Irish properties battle to handle moth invasion as bugs wreak havoc


Moth infestation across Ireland has more than quadrupled as households and business owners struggle to cope with a winged insect invasion.

The lengthy lockdown, coupled with unusual spring weather, has created ideal breeding conditions for moths and triggered a huge increase in numbers.

Carpet moths in particular have wreaked havoc and irreparable damage, according to pest control experts, leaving beleaguered homeowners and business owners high bills.

Trevor Hayden, who runs Complete Pest Control, nationwide, said, “Moths are something we’ve always looked at in the past, but in small numbers. However, the numbers have skyrocketed in the past few months. We now receive up to 20 calls a day about moth infestation, whereas previously we would have received a maximum of three to four calls. So we probably do four to five times as many moth jobs as we normally do right now.

The moth population increased by a third within a year

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“In many cases, the infestation has been in buildings such as offices, restaurants or other commercial premises that were not in use during the lockdown but are now being reopened or cleaned up before the restrictions are relaxed.

“Carpet moths have thrived since our first lockdown because they end up in empty buildings and unused interiors. Once things get back to normal, their numbers are sure to go down again.

“While these pests won’t bite, the infestation will likely cost a fortune as their larvae destroy carpets, curtains, and upholstery, all of which need to be replaced.”

Aside from the increase in moth infestation, rats remain the biggest headache for homeowners.

The closings of food businesses, deserted city streets, and an increase in the tipping of flies are believed to have contributed to the increase in pest infestation.

It’s not all bad news on the pest front, however – restrictions on overseas travel have resulted in a welcome drop in bedbug infestations.

Hayden added, “Bedbugs are the ultimate survivor and can survive without food for approximately 12 months. But there are definitely fewer of them because far fewer people come into the country from overseas. They arrive here in suitcases or luggage. But because there is less travel, the numbers have dropped directly and we are not seeing nearly as many infestations as we usually do. “

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