Just imagine: You go into your closet to get one of your favorite pieces of clothing and the next thing you know, your finger gets caught on a gaping rip that wasn’t there before. In shock, you look through the rest of your clothing and find that many of them have scattered holes. Paranoia ensues. Then you spot it. A moth flies overhead and you know for sure: You have clothes moths.
Tell your clothes you love them because you may never wear them again.
What are Clothes Moths?
Clothes moths, or clothing moths, are insects that eat your clothing for sport. Their lives consist of eating your sweaty clothes, mating, laying eggs and dying. All within the confines of your wardrobe or storage box.
When a clothes moth opens its eyes for the first time, it's in the caterpillar stage and requires immediate nourishment to survive and grow up. Because moths need nourishment from natural materials, like animal and plant materials, they will often adhere themselves to items like sweaty gym shorts or your favorite wool sweater and chomp away.
Clothes moths gravitate towards wool, cashmere, silk, cotton, linen, fur, feathers, hair and clothing with sweat or stains on them. So while you’re eating a nice steak or a garden salad, clothes moths are eating away at the sweatshirt you wore to the gym last week.
Now, before you freak out, take a breath. There are several safe ways to get rid of clothes moths before they destroy all your favorite sweaters.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Clothes Moths
Vacuum & wash clothes on a high temperature: Before using the preventative measures, make sure you remove living eggs and larvae. Because they are so tiny and don't fly, it’s hard to get rid of them by using only sprays and traps. Vacuum your closet thoroughly and wash and dry all clothing on a high temperature to dispose of eggs and larvae.
Cedar: Moths have an impeccable sense of smell, so using strong scents to disorient them and repel them away from your home can really work if using a powerful concentrate. The smell of potent cedar can be used in oil form, or in the form of cedar blocks and hangers, which you can buy online. However, these can lose their potency after a few months. To make the smell potent again, simply sand the cedarwood down and its natural oils from will reach the surface again.
Pheromone Traps: Moths are guided to their mates by pheromones, so using pheromone smells to trick them into thinking a potential mate is nearby is the perfect way to catch them. Most traps contain glue to catch them. These traps can be easily disposed and you will also see how many moths were lurking around in your closet in the first place.
Vinegar: Vinegar really can be used for anything. And when it comes to cleaning out your closet or storage box to repel moths, it does the job. The strong acidic smell of vinegar will repel moths away from the area as well as cleanse the area from dirt, dust, moth eggs and larvae.
Lavender: Similar to cedar oil, lavender oil’s strong scent can repel moths. The potent smell will disorient moths and prevent them from invading your closet. Get a sachet and fill it with lavender flowers or dab lavender on paper towels and throw them in your closet.