Clothes Moths

I live in Northern NJ and certainly never thought I could get moths. My dry cleaner never even saw one in all the years of her business. I noticed a few things flying around in my hallway about 2 weeks ago but thought they were little fruit flies or something. As the days went by I noticed more of these and a few in the house. I am terribly afraid of bugs of any kind so I frantically started cleaning the hallway to find a white with a pale greenish worm on one of my jackets.

I right away suspected moths and took a few of my sweater coats to the dry cleaners. We found two cocoons on the bottom rim of one of the sweaters. Another day has past and I noticed three on one of my suede coats. I thought they only liked wool?! I have 2 long suede coats two that have lambs wool around the collar and cuffs which have the cocoons. Another suede coat with fur and a few other sweater coats all have them.
My landlord went through them all and put them in plastic bags and I am going to take them to the cleaners today. Three jackets are left in the hallway without any visible signs of cocoons but I am sure I should clean them anyway. There was one moth hanging out on my ceiling in the hallway yesterday and now I just spotted one on my wall leading into my kitchen (which may be the one from the hallway?). I took a few pics but under the nervous pressure to get close to it they are blurry. I am attaching it anyway.
I have no idea how they got here because I am obsessively neat and work so much that I rarely have food in the house. I do have a lovebird who eats a pellet diet but has spray millet for treats…this I keep in the refrigerator though. Will they go near him and can he get sick from them if they do? I am so upset over this and how can I get rid of them if I do not know where they started. The coats were not in a closet but hanging on hooks outside my door and I live on the second floor and my landlord doesn’t have them. However, one of my bosses said they had clothes moths a few months ago. Is there any correlation?
What should I do?
Any help with be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
Lisa Tomsky, MS, RD
Innovative Nutrition Consultants

Hi Lisa,
Moths are attracted to lights, so if anyone in your vicinity has either clothes moths or pantry moths, they can easily fly into your home and begin to feed if they find a food source. Naturally, a sheepskin lining in a coat is a food source. Animal skins including suede are also viable food sources. One of the best ways to protect your woolens is to take all clothing to the dry cleaners at least once a year, whether or not you wear it.

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