How To Get Rid Of Clothes Moths

How To Get Rid Of Clothes Moths
How To Get Rid Of Clothes Moths

Clothes moths and pantry moths are distinct insects.

What are clothes moths and how to get rid of them?

Clothes moths are insignificant insects with voracious larvae. They are little grayish butterflies with the scientific name of “tineola bisselliella”. It is the larva of this insect that causes all the damage in our closets as they use natural fibers as food and to make their cocoon.

The moth life cycle:

An adult moth only lives about 15 days. The female lays eggs in a dark area that provides abundant food supply for future larvae. It lays around 50 to 100 eggs each time.

Small white caterpillars are born about 10 days later and they quickly become gluttonous for your wool, silk or cotton clothes. When they reach maturity, they make a cocoon where they will transform into adult moths.

How harmful are closet moths?

Closet moths are not harmful in anyway to humans. On the other hand the larvae, will eat ferociously all your natural fabrics and will leave nice big holes. Nothing is safe… clothes, curtains, rugs, even furs, they like it all.

How to get rid of moths in the closet?

You can buy moth traps that use pheromones (sexual hormones) that will attract males on a surface where they will remain glued, thus preventing reproduction. These traps are not toxic and only target moths. Some of these traps have hooks that make them easy to suspend on clothes hangers or closet rods.

There are other methods to get rid of moths naturally. The old moth balls that our grandmothers used are suspected to be carcinogenic. They can be replaced with other moth repellents more natural, but these should be replaced regularly or they will stop working. Among the natural moth repellents you can count:

If you don’t have any of these, you can use cotton balls with a few drop of cedar, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, or mint essential oils.

You can also find diffusers that will repel moths with 100% natural neem oil (neem is a tropical tree). You place the diffuser on a closet shelf, some can be suspended on the rod. Not only does neem repel moths it also slow their reproduction ability.

Ultimately insecticides can be used. They are not my preference, but they will kill moths.

Prevention against moth infestations

  • Moths like quiet and dark areas, the smell of perspiration and the smell of fabrics. To prevent moths infestations in your closets you must :
  • Only store clean clothes.
  • Open and air closets regularly. Move the clothes hangers around, create noise and movement.
  • Store clothes that you wear rarely, or out of season clothes in garment bags with a little lavender, cedar chunk, or other natural repellent.
  • Vacuum closet regularly.

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1 Comment

  1. Moth repellents provide a good short term solution but they don’t get rid of the infestation fully so your clothes are still not safe in which case I’d recommend some boxes or suit bags for clothing.


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