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Top Five Pests That Infest Clothes


Clothes are one of the most important needs in our daily lives. It is listed by Abraham Maslow as one of the primary needs of mankind to survive in this world. We need our clothes for warmth and protection against the harmful rays of the sun, dust particles, allergens, and of course, pests. As much as our clothes protect us, it is also our responsibility to care and maintain their quality. One of the main reasons our clothes get destroyed is the numerous pests that infest fabric.

Without further ado, here are the top five pests that infest our clothes:


Most people know that termites eat wood and degrade the structural integrity of a house. However, they are not aware that termites can also do damage to clothes. Termites will eat any material made of cellulose such as wood and paper-based products. Natural clothing fibers such as cotton and linen are made from plants that are cellulose-based. This makes garments the perfect fashionable snacks for termites. Termites eat through pieces of clothing especially if the clothes are stained with food or drinks.

Wet wooden drawers are perfect termite traps. Termites are very hard to detect. Usually, when you do, they already cause serious damage to your clothing and the compartment itself. They can live and thrive in wooden walls and then transfer to clothes you stored in your wardrobe. They can also eat through the drapes and curtains.


Crickets are primarily outdoor insects. Because of this, not a lot of people are aware that crickets can become indoor pests that can do damage to clothes, drapes, and curtains. Crickets can hide and live in boxes of rags and clothing which are stored in the attic. Outside, crickets eat garbage, fruits, vegetables, and other plants. Inside homes, food crumbs supplement their diet. Like termites, crickets are attracted to food and beverage stains on clothes. The cricket eats the remains of the stains. In the process, it cuts the threads of the fabric. Oftentimes, the damage is not discovered until the clothes are washed and worn.


Cockroaches are common household pests. They breed in a messy and dirty environment. They prefer to live and breed in dark, warm, and humid places - under floorboards, between walls, inside closets, and over cupboards. Cockroaches can lay eggs in stored boxes of clothes or piles of old rags. They are attracted to moisture and bodily fluids including perspiration and urine. They are also attracted to stains such as laundry starch, food stains, and sugar-based products. As the cockroach eats the stains, it weakens the fabric, creating holes and making the fabric easy to tear. They can even damage leather-based clothes.

Cockroaches can be attracted to soiled and dirty clothing dumped in hampers and left unlaundered for days. Urine and feces from roaches can cause dark brown stains to form in clean garments. These stains require the use of bleach in order to remove them. These processes can sometimes damage the fabric.

When cockroaches infest our clothes, they cause more damage than we anticipate. Apart from the fact that they weaken the fabric of clothes, they can even contaminate it with different diseases. When we put on our cockroach-infested clothes, there is a great probability that we might get skin infections from different kinds of bacteria.


The silverfish thrives in dark and humid places and can be found in drawers, closets, and shelves. It has a destructive feeding habit and ends up ruining books, stored files, clothing, upholstery, and wallpapers. The silverfish feeds at night and stays close to food sources. It has a particular fondness for items containing high levels of carbohydrates, protein, starch, and sugar. Silverfish eat the clothes not for the actual material but for the nourishing substances found in fabric. It is attracted to natural fabrics like rayon, cotton, linen, and silk. Unlike other pests, the silverfish do not leave holes but create a shaved look on the fabric.

Carpet Beetle

There are three species of carpet beetles that can damage clothes: the variegated carpet beetle, the black carpet beetle, and the common carpet beetle. Surprisingly, it is not the adult carpet beetle that does damage to the clothing. It is the larvae that feed on the fabric. The female beetle lays about 100 cream-colored eggs in concealed areas on clothes, furniture, carpets, and cracks. As soon as the eggs hatch, they start feeding on animal-based materials and garments such as wool, mohair, feathers, fur, and leather.

Soiled synthetic fibers are also in danger of damage because the larvae feed on the food and oil stains on the clothes. The larvae do not usually do damage on rugs and carpets with regular use or those that are regularly vacuumed and cleaned. They prefer to hide behind the wall, under furniture, or inside closets until they finally hatch.

Prevention & Control

To avoid any pest infestation, it is best to practice good housekeeping. Clean as you go. Avoid leaving crumbs and clutter all around you. Pests love to infest when everything is topsy-turvy. Vacuum your rugs and carpets regularly. Sweep your floors to get rid of any unwanted insects lurking on your floors.

It’s not enough to wash your clothes, iron them, and put them on the rack. Make sure you check your clothing compartments from time to time. Let it breathe. Put it under the sun if possible. Remove any dust, webs, and other eggs that might be present inside your drawers.

Wash your clothes neatly and regularly. As much as possible, avoid piling dirty clothes in your room because it can attract more pests to infest your home. As we have discussed, cockroaches are attracted to used clothes. If you do not want any more of these insects, it is best to secure your dirty clothes by washing them or putting them under the sun.

If you want, you can protect your clothes from infestation by storing them in tight containers or carefully sealed boxes. It helps to add some mothballs in your compartments to ward off any pests. But remember to maintain the application of mothballs to your cabinets and compartments. According to experts, moth repellents are only lethal if there is a sufficient concentration for a particular amount of time. It pays off to check every week to see if additional mothballs are needed in your compartments.

You can also use insecticides to avert any pest infestation. But make sure that you know exactly what you are doing. Or else, it could be harmful to you and your family’s health. Make sure to check the instructions of the manufacturer before application. Usually, using a spray-on insecticide, you focus on cracks and crevices in your area where pests can hide and reproduce. It can also be applied on the carpet, along baseboards, and under your furniture.

Remember, do not use the insecticide directly on your clothing and bedding. Insecticides consist of harmful chemicals that can cause allergic reactions when they come in contact with human skin. It is best to launder your clothes and your sheets with hot water and dry-clean them afterward.

Did you know that freezing is one of the most common ways to exterminate fabric pests? This process includes sealing the clothes tightly and storing them at 0 degrees for 48 hours to 72 hours. Extermination could also happen at 10 degrees Fahrenheit. But then, you will have to store the clothes longer to be effective.

Call for Professional Help

If you are having a fabric pest infestation, it is best to call for help from your local exterminator near Denver, NC. However, there are so many pest control companies to choose from. How will you know which one to call?

According to experts, it is important to do your research ahead of time. What are the top-rated companies in your area and what services do they provide? Consider assessing and comparing the reviews from one company to the other. Make sure that they display competence, knowledge, skill, and professionalism in their line of work. As responsible homeowners, you should also consider the affordability of the services to avoid any budget constraints.

If you are looking for the one and only company that can meet these criteria and more, you have come to the right place. The services of Lake Norman Home Services have been proven and tested for more than 50 years. Equipped with the latest knowledge of pest control, the experts from the company pride themselves in using high-quality treatments of pest control that are botanical and human-friendly.

The founders of the company understand what it feels like to be in danger but lack the resources to do anything about it. Which is why they offer the most competent pest control service at a very affordable price. With just one call, you no longer have to worry about any of these fabric pests that keep feeding off of your clothes. You can finally enjoy the comfort of wearing them without worrying if it has already been torn.