How to Get Rid of Bugs That Eat Holes in Clothes

by Angus Koolbreeze ; Updated September 28, 2017

This man's sweater was probably the victim of a clothes-eating insect.

Stephen Schauer/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Tiny Insects whose size allows them to elude detection can destroy your clothes without your being aware of what's happening. By the time you notice their presence, it may be too late. According to extension consumer education specialist Susan Wright, it's not the adults that wreak the most havoc, but the larvae from eggs they leave behind. Clothes-eating moths, carpet beetles and other such insects feed in quiet, dark areas, such as the closets and drawers of unsuspecting people.

Inspect all drawers and closets at least once a year. Remove all clothing from these areas. Vacuum all closets and drawers thoroughly to remove lint and other debris.

Clean all rugs, carpets, drapes and pet bedding. Move furniture around, as areas behind couches, love seats and dressers are most vulnerable to infestation by bugs that eat holes in clothes.

Empty your vacuum's bag. According to Pest Control Canada, the larvae of these insects can grow in the bag of a vacuum cleaner, leading to a reinfestation as you continue to use the vacuum.

Wash all garments, including sheets, blankets and pillowcases, at least once a week. Place the cleaned laundry in airtight containers, such as bins with strong lids or plastic bags without rips or tears in them.

Inspect and clean your kitchen. Move all forks, knives, plates, glasses, cups, saucers and utensil holders from their respective areas and vacuum in those places.

Check your bed, both on the surface and underneath. If you find evidence of clothes-eating bugs, such as holes in the fabric that you haven't noticed in the past, call a professional.

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About the Author

Angus Koolbreeze has been a freelance writer since 2007. He has been published in a variety of venues, including "He Reigns Magazine" and online publications. Koolbreeze has a Master of Arts in English from Western Michigan University.