moths in a car

How To Get Rid Of Moths In Car?

Cloth moths infest other textiles as well as clothes and can even find a home in car seats. Here you will learn how to recognize such an infestation and how to successfully get rid of moths in your car.

Have you ever had small, shiny moths in your car that simply couldn’t be driven away? Or maybe small holes in your seat covers and damage to the upholstery?

These could be clothes moths (Tineola bisselliella). In addition to fur coats, wool sweaters, and other items of clothing, clothes moths also nest in other textiles, such as carpets, pieces of furniture, or even in the upholstery of car seats.

Why the small moths are especially popular in older cars, how to recognize an infestation, and how to get rid of the pests, you can find out here.

Detecting moths in a car

Not every butterfly that gets lost in your car is a direct danger. Clothes moths are a very special group of moths that you can reliably recognize by a few characteristics.

The pests are between 0.5 and 1 cm tall and have monochromatic shiny, yellowish, grey, or brown wings. When the insects sit on a surface, the wings are always folded over their back to form a kind of small roof.

The moths lay their eggs in the cushions of car seats, on which the caterpillars later feed. The eggs and caterpillars themselves are inconspicuously small and whitish and since they live in the cushions, it is very unlikely that they will actually be discovered. It is, therefore, better to recognize an infestation by the adult animals or by small holes and feeding marks on the upholstery covers.

Why do clothes moths appear in older cars?

Especially older cars and classic cars are often infested by clothes moths. This is due to the fact that vintage cars are often only rarely driven and the moths can therefore spread there in peace.

More important, however, is the fact that in older cars animal fibers were often used for the interior, such as furs or silk. Sometimes even the upholstery filling consists of real animal hair.

Although clothes moths sometimes also eat synthetic fibers, animal fibers are their real target and welcome breeding ground.clothes moths look

Fighting moths in cars

To get rid of these small pests, many car owners resort to moth sprays. These chemical toxins are not only harmful to the moths themselves, but also to humans and the environment.

A more sustainable and harmless way to combat moths in cars is to use heat, for example. However, since temperatures of at least 70 °C must be reached for successful treatment, this method is rather difficult to use in cars. It is only carried out in special facilities by experienced pest controllers.

On the other hand, another sustainable and natural control method that you can use in your car is the application of ichneumon flies. ichneumon flies are tiny, stingless, and harmless insects that are the natural enemies of many moths.clothes moths damage

Therefore, they have been used for quite some time as an effective measure against these pests. For this purpose, mainly ichneumon flies of the genus Trichogramma are used.

The small beneficial insects are delivered by us on practical cards to your home and the application is very easy. Just put the cards unopened in your car and close all windows and doors.

Shortly after, the ichneumon flies get to work: they specifically track down moth eggs and parasitize them, causing the eggs to die. The ichneumon flies themselves also die after the work is done and leave little more than a little dust behind due to their small size.

To ensure successful control of all moths and possible subsequent generations, this procedure should be carried out six times – at intervals of two weeks each.

Tip: After application, it is recommended to vacuum the car thoroughly once to remove all residues – even if they are hardly visible to the naked eye.

Summary Fighting moths in the car:

  • Chemical control with moth sprays (beware of toxic ingredients!).
  • Heat treatment in a suitable plant.
  • Simple, effective, and biological elimination by Trichogramma ichneumon flies.

moths in car fights

Once you have defeated the small moths, you naturally want to avoid a new infestation. You can prevent the pests by regularly vacuuming the upholstery and by airing cars that spend a lot of time in the garage.

In order to detect an infestation with the shiny clothes moths early enough next time, it is also worth hanging up sticky moth traps when the car is parked for a longer period of time.

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