Five facts about the menace of munching moths

  • 6 April 2017
moth Image copyright SPL
Image caption A clothes moth munching a piece of cotton clothing, seen under a microscope...

You may get a shiver when you see a moth fluttering around your bedroom light, but some experts are worried about what they're up to in ancient houses.

English Heritage says that furniture, clothes and rugs in England's historic houses are under threat from an invasion of clothes moths.

The charity says that moth numbers have doubled in the past five years, most likely because of warmer weather.

Now a new kind of moth has been found happily munching on the ancient wool carpets and tapestries under their care.

Visitors to historic houses in England will be asked to help - you'll able to get a free clothes moth trap to put in your home, to keep an eye on the type of moths you find.

The information will be used to help the charity to decide how moths are spreading and how to protect their historic treasures.

Image copyright SPL
Image caption The numbers of clothes moths have doubled at English Heritage sites over the past five years

How much do you know about the UK's moths?

  • There are over 2.400 species of moths found in the UK - experts say many of them pose a threat to clothes, rugs, furs and even stuffed animals.
  • Moths only fly when it is warm and tend to hide from light, keeping in dark corners where they lay eggs on wool, feathers or skins.
  • You'll be lucky if you see 15 different butterflies in your garden, but in some parts of England you could see 300-400 different moths!
  • You may think butterflies rule the daytime and moths live at night - but in fact there are more day-flying moths in Britain than there are types of butterfly.
  • The best way of getting rid of moths and larvae in clothing and small textiles is to put them in the freezer for at least two weeks!!

Source: Butterfly Conservation