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You have to think like a moth to eradicate a moth. Identify what they want, then take it away. Moths hate disturbance, so adults look for places that are dark, warm and undisturbed. Larvae look for protein. Dust is a food source, so the dirtier things are, the more they thrive.

The basics

The most effective deterrent is thorough, regular housekeeping – at least once a week during spring and summer and once a month during winter. This takes away what moths need to thrive. Anything made of wool, such as carpets and curtains, must be disturbed regularly. That means dusting, vacuuming, removing seat pads from sofas and pulling out beds, TV cabinets, bookcases and wardrobes. Vacuum right around the edges and in the corners and crevices of rooms, as well as the bottom of wardrobes and cupboards. If there is carpet on the floor of your wardrobes and cupboards, get rid of it, if you can.

Open up your wardrobes and chests of drawers, take the clothes out and give them a good shake. This will deter any adult moths that may be in there.

Seasonal tasks

In the spring, clean heavy items of clothing and bedding (such as thick blankets and quilts), then store them in vacuum bags – so moths can’t get in – for the warmer months. If your home has an open fireplace, get the flue swept at least once a year.

If you use central heating in the winter, try not to turn it up higher than 21C; doing so will attract moths.

Bigger jobs

If you have wool carpet in the loft or basement, remove it. Carpet in less-used rooms will often sit, undisturbed, and get covered in dust.

If you have a major problem, enlist the services of a pest-control professional. Pheromone lure balls are not a control method, but they can help to identify if (and where) you have a problem. Get someone trained to come round and put some out. You can then target the source of the infestation, if there is one.

Dee Lauder, a pest control manager at English Heritage, was speaking to Lucy Campbell

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The Gaurdian

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