8.9 million Brits plagued by clothes moths

Hot and sweaty London worst affected

This summer’s record temperatures seem to have brought an unwelcome visitor to households across the UK.  New research by award-winning laundry and dry-cleaning start-up, Laundrapp, has revealed that almost one fifth (17 per cent) of the population have recently experienced problems with clothes moths – that’s 8.9 million Brits with holes in their clothes! Of those, by far the highest number live in hot and sweaty London (36 per cent). According to experts, this is due to London providing ideal conditions for breeding, with its mix of hot, humid days, dirt from pollution and general close living proximity.

Across the board it appears that cities in the south suffer more than those in the north, with 28 per cent of Brighton residents claiming to have experienced problems with clothes moths recently. Other southern cities are also moth spots, including Cardiff (26 per cent) and Plymouth (19 per cent). In fact, those in the North East are largely unaffected, with 90 per cent of people in this region reporting to never have experienced a problem with clothes moths. 

The little critters aren’t picky when it comes to their meals, although items with dirt, spilt food and sweat provide the moisture needed for the larvae to stay hydrated. Tops are the most commonly affected item, possibly due to their close proximity to the sweat glands, with one quarter (25 per cent) of people claiming to have had more than five tops damaged by clothes moths in the last year. This is closely followed by shirts, jumpers and socks, with one fifth (22 per cent) of people having more than five of each of these items damaged in the past twelve months. 

Clothes moths appear to become less of a nuisance with age. A nominal one tenth (11 per cent) of the population aged 55 years and over report having problems with the insects recently, compared to 27 per cent of those aged 25-34 years, 18 per cent of those aged 35-44 years, and 16 per cent of those aged 45-54 years. This suggests that people either become more adept to storing clothes as they age, or that the living conditions of younger generation – shared flats, greater socializing, city living – provides a better environment for moths. As, the golden pests are notoriously difficult to get rid of, this problem is likely to increase as this population ages.

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