Protect Clothing from Insect Damage

insects can damage your clothing

If you recently pulled your winter clothing items out of storage and noticed new holes in them, you may have an insect problem. Sometimes the holes don’t become visible until after you wash the clothing and items that you store seasonally are more prone to insect damage. Moths often damage wool fabrics, but other insects including beetles, roaches and silverfish make meals out of clothing stains and other fibers. Insects cause direct and indirect damage to clothing and recognizing what type of damage they cause is a step toward preventing future holes.

Direct damage from insects

Direct damage to clothing from insects happens when moths and sometimes termites feed on the fabric directly. These types of insects go after mohair, wool, fur, feathers, down and natural bristles in clothing. Moths and termites may also damage wool/polyester blends and other blends, which disproves the idea that synthetic fibers protect fabric against insects.

Indirect damage from insects

Silverfish, roaches, and beetles cause indirect damage to clothing when they feed on leftover food and stains on clothing. They make meals out of perspiration, food stains, starch and beverage spills that weren’t cleaned from clothing properly before storage. It’s vital to clean clothing and remove any stains and food or beverage residue before storing it so pests don’t use items for food. Professional dry cleaning ensures that even the stains you think you’ve dealt with are gone, thus deterring pests from invading your closets and other storage areas.

Preventing pests

Along with thoroughly cleaning clothing before storage, other ways to prevent pests from damaging clothing is by storing them in cedar chests and using cedar chips or mothballs.

Mothballs – The smell of mothballs repels insects and their larvae, but never place them directly on the clothing. Instead, suspend mothballs above the garments or place them nearby in an enclosed area. Unfortunately, mothballs can leave a lingering odor on garments so you may need to hang them outside for a few days or take them to a professional cleaner to restore their freshness.

Cedar – Cedar chips and chests also repel insects due to the scent, but an airtight cedar chest protects best by keeping insects out. If you don’t like the lingering scent of cedar on your clothing, toss them in the washing machine or arrange for dry cleaning pickup and delivery from Embassy Cleaners.

Dry cleaning solvents can destroy moths in various stages of their life cycle, but once the solvent dries and evaporates, moth larvae can cause damage, so it’s a good idea to use additional methods to protect your clothing during storage.

Make sure your summer clothing is free of stains and ready for storage by bringing it to Embassy Cleaners for professional dry cleaning. Freshen and repair the colder weather clothing you just pulled out of storage by utilizing Embassy Cleaner’s pro cleaning and custom tailoring.

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