Operation Clothes Moth 2017: We need you to help map the moths


From tapestries to period dresses, our furnishings and fabrics are hundreds of years old. But clothes moths can eat through them in several months and their numbers are rising. Our conservation scientists need data to tackle the problem - and that is where you come in.

We're giving away free clothes moth traps at our manned sites this spring for you to take home, and see what's lurking in your house. Discover more about the problems clothes moths pose, and find out how you can get involved below.

Situation Report

It can be an uphill battle protecting our historic artefacts from clothes moths. Our properties are crammed with edible contents, and are full of nooks and crannies for moths to hide in. Brodsworth Hall, which we've conserved 'as found', came to us in a state of disrepair. It's an example of what happens when clothes moths and other pests get out of control.

Over the past ten years, we've been monitoring clothes moths in 42 properties using over 3,000 sticky traps. Their numbers are rising - both at our sites and (we suspect) in domestic homes. At English Heritage, we are on top of the situation, but we can't afford to get complacent. Now we are launching a long-term research project, and we need your help to better understand how clothes moths spread.

the MISSION: trap and map

To help support our research, we're asking you to collect a free clothes moth trap and put it up at home. The traps are non-toxic, but work by attracting male webbing cothes moths to a glue impregnated with the female sex pheremone.

Write the date on the trap, then pop them in your living room or bedroom, on a fireplace surround, shelf or on top of a wardrobe (be sure not to use these traps in areas with bats, like attics). After at least one month, but ideally three, take a look at the trap and see what you've caught. Then use our record page to tell us about your findings.

What to do next

Places where you can pick up a moth trap

 Place(s) To Visit


Operation Clothes Moth Trap

The Webbing clothes moth traps we're using are made by Russell IPM Ltd

What to do once you've laid your trap

Step 1: Leave your trap for 1-3 months, then check and see what you've caught. This might be a Webbing clothes moth (Tineola bissellella) or the Pale backed clothes moth (Monopis crocicapitella).

Step 2: Fill in the form. We need to know a bit about where you live, what the conditions in your house are like, and what you've found.

Step 3: Take a look at the map and see where the hotspots for pests are.

Step 4: Plan a visit to another historic place and see what we're fighting to protect.

Send us your findings

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