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  • When moving, Don’t Travel with Moths

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12 percent of Americans move to new homes every year. The next time you find yourself moving, there’s something you need to remember NOT to pack: gypsy moths. Although they well known for their ability to ruin wool clothing, webbing clothes moths are also attracted to a variety of other materials, like hair, fur, feathers and silk. These moths tend to measure 2.5 to 5 cm in length and are buff colored. They avoid light and are most commonly found in dark locations like basements, attics and closets. Within these locations, moths can be found in the folds of fabrics or hiding in corners. Moths are have the ability of infesting a home long before their populations are noticed. As a result, substantial damage can occur to clothing or furnishings.

    The gypsy moth is one of the most destructive pests of trees and shrubs in the country. Gorging themselves on leaves, gypsy moth caterpillars defoliate, weaken and can kill more than 300 different species of trees. Since 1970, they’ve defoliated more than 75 million acres. That’s why the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires homeowners to inspect and remove gypsy moth egg masses from household goods prior to moving and get an official certificate of inspection.

    First inspect outdoor household goods like outdoor toys, grills, lawn furniture, and camping equipment for egg masses. Use a putty knife, stiff brush or similar hand tool to dispose of the egg masses into a container of hot, soapy water, or place them in a plastic bag, seal it, and set it in the sun. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, to get the certificate, you can perform a self-inspection or hire a state-certified pesticide applicator like a certified home inspector.

    To prevent or minimize moth entry, inspect all food products brought into the home ahead of time. This is particularly important with pet foods and grain-based products. Be sure to inspect plants, rugs, any fabrics, clothing, furniture, for the immature or the adult moth stages before bringing them inside your home or business. Another effective way to limit moth entry into your home is to use outdoor lighting only when necessary since lights are a significant moth attractor around the home at night.