Prior to getting my new floors installed, I had a small moth infestation in my apartment. Here is the story of how all this happened and how it got resolved.
I am actually not sure when I got the moths but I do know where they came from. The common hallway outside my apartment is carpeted and I remember that quite frequently, I would see these small flying insects in the hallway. I’d step outside the elevator and I’d see one or two of these things buzzing through the air.
I didn’t pay attention to these things because they were small and I’d see at most two of them at a time. One day, however, I noticed one of these damn things in my bedroom. It landed on a wall and I killed it. I didn’t think anything of it, partially because it was small, there was only one, and I didn’t know what it actually was.
It turns out, it was a common clothes moth. A few days later, I noticed another one in my bedroom, which I also killed. This got my attention because now I was seeing a pattern. On a hunch, I checked one of the closets in my bedroom. I got a flashlight and I rustled some of the clothes hanging in there. I immediately saw two of these damn things flying off. It was then I realized I had a problem and these were tiny moths. Worse yet, there were eating my clothes for food and almost assuredly reproducing in my closet.
What followed what a week long process of washing clothes and then putting the clean clothes in sealed bags. Textiles that I couldn’t wash, went into sealed bags with moth balls in them. I emptied my closets because I read that I needed to remove everything that they could eat or hide in. At the time, I still had carpet and my closets were also carpeted. The internet told me I had to vacuum the carpet to get rid of any potential eggs that might have been laid in the carpet. Gross.
Once the closets were empty, I noticed many dead moths on top of boxes that were in the closet and on the closet carpets as well. I wasn’t sure if that was a good sign that they were dying in there or it was bad sign that they were enough moths to start piling up dead.
I did a thorough vacuum of both my bedroom closets and left them empty for a few days. I left my clean clothes in garbage bags and just got my clothes directly from the bags. After a few days, I felt it was safe enough to take a few items of clothing and hang them back in my closet. A day later or so, I noticed two or three moths flying in my bedroom. It was hard to say if these moths had been hiding out in the carpet in the rest of my bedroom or if I hadn’t been thorough enough with the closet carpets.
I again vacuumed the closet carpets and also vacuumed my bedroom carpet. By this time though, I had already made the decision to get vinyl flooring. So, not long after, I began ripping up my carpet. It took a while but eventually a junk service took away rolls of my old carpet.
I never saw any moths in my apartment after that and all my clothes hang in my closets again. Do you know where I actually did see moths again though? I saw them in the hallway outside my apartment. In fact, I distinctly remember coming home one day and as I was about to put my key into the lock, I saw a moth fluttering in front of my door, as if it knew I was about to open my door and it was waiting to fly inside. I smacked it against the door jamb and killed it.
I have a theory that somehow these moths got into the hallway and that one day, when I wasn’t vigilant, I came home, opened my door, and one of these moths got into my apartment. My home is moth-free for the time being and I haven’t seen any hallway moths for several months now. I hope it stays that way.