Summer temperatures can make your home more susceptible to stray moths that cling to your light fixtures and terrorize your home’s residents. Moths are known to thrive in dark areas such as your unlit corners and your closet areas. Because moths flock to storage areas like a closet, they can infest your wardrobe and gnaw on the natural fibers of your clothing. These pests are particularly attracted to cashmere and other fabrics like silk, cotton, and lambswool. Moths are more than just an inconvenience, however, they are actually known to cause allergic reactions and skin irritations, which makes treating these fluttering pests a must.
Moth larvae are actually more destructive to your personal belongings, as compared to adult moths. To stop moths from infesting and damaging your clothing, you can rely on natural remedies or more intense chemical treatments to prevent further moth infestations. Whatever route you take, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with all available pest control options.
How to treat for moths
Incorporate cedarwood into your home
You can swap your plastic hangers for cedarwood hangers, or you can purchase a cedarwood wardrobe, if possible. Cedarwood releases pheromones that repel moths and other insects. If you are not able to purchase cedarwood fixtures or furniture, you can use cedar oil instead. Dilute the oil in some water and spray your clothes, drawers, and closet areas to ward off pests.
Freeze your clothes
Extreme temperatures (such as freezing and boiling points) kill moth larvae and adult moths, alike. Exposing your clothes to said extreme conditions can cause a build-up of condensation, however—which can lead to mold and/or musty smells. Therefore, you’ll need to place your moth-infested clothing in a plastic bag before freezing them for the recommended 48 hours.
Use a combination of dried powdered herbs
Take advantage of the strong scent of herbs like rosemary, bay leaves, thyme, clove, and lavender to repel moths from your clothes. Dry the herbs, crush them, then combine in a bag which you can properly suspend in your wardrobe.
If you’d prefer not to hang dried herbs in your closet space, you can use the essential oils of the corresponding herbs and spray them in a diluted form directly on your clothes and wardrobe. Be warned of potent smells that may penetrate clothing fibers. Always choose oils whose aromas you can tolerate.
Contact a pest control provider
Pest control providers use chemicals to fumigate your entire house, effectively freeing it from any burdensome moths. Click here for information on pest control services in your area and their adjoining costs, so you can successfully clear your closet space of any unwanted pests while staying within budget.
Buy a sticky trap
Sticky traps are only effective if you cover them with moth pheromones. These pheromones will attract moths, trap them, and secure them to the surface of the sticky trap. When using this pest control method, you won’t have to worry about moths that flutter from corner to corner. You can store your fly swatter, and contain pests with ease.
Clean your clothes and wardrobe
Routinely cleaning can be used both as a treatment and preventive measure. Sanitize your wardrobe by soaking a piece of cloth with detergent followed by diluted vinegar and tossing it into your washing machine. Vinegar’s strong scent repels moths and eradicates any existing eggs and/or larvae.
The secret to killing moths that wreak havoc on your clothing is to harness the power of extremely hot temperatures. Expose your clothes to high temperatures during cleaning by selecting a hot water setting on your washing machine and amping up the temperature on your dryer after washing.
Preventative measures you can take against moths
Wash your clothes before storing them
You should always avoid putting dirty clothes back into your wardrobe. Because moths are attracted to the food particles and sweat that seep into the clothes you wear, any dirty laundry that is rehung in your closet can be a magnet for pesky moths. Food particles and sweat, in addition to the dark and moist environment in the wardrobe, make for a perfect breeding ground.
To successfully prevent months, you can also air dry your clothes in sunlight. To avoid these tediously long drying processes, keep up on your laundry routine, and never store soiled laundry in moth-friendly spaces.
Always brush wool and fur fabrics
If you own clothes made of a percentage of fur or wool or are made of 100% wool or real fur, be sure to brush them after wear. Moths tend to firmly stick to these types of fabrics, which can potentially lead to a widespread infestation of your entire home. Because you won’t want to wash your wool coats after every use, regularly brushing can be an excellent preventative measure.
Store clothes in airtight containers
Use large plastic bags to store your out-of-season clothes. These plastic bags can be tightly sealed and will be inaccessible to moths that can lay eggs. For a more eco-friendly solution, you can also place any unused clothing in a suitcase and zip it up tightly before storage. As long as your storage container can be tightly sealed, moths won’t be able to slip through any open cracks and reproduce.
Hang Rentokil moth cassettes in your wardrobe
The cassettes are easy to place in your wardrobe and can last for up to six months. In addition to preventing your clothes from a moth infestation, the cassettes are effective in killing any moth eggs and larvae present in your clothing.
Store clothes in clean and dry areas
Moist, dusty, and dirty storage conditions promote the growth of moths in your clothing. By occasionally dusting your clothing storage areas, either by use of a vacuum or a dusting cloth, you can mitigate your risk of moth infestation. You can also use a wet cloth to clean any closet and dresser surfaces to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt. Once you’ve completed your cleaning routine, make sure to properly sanitize the cleaning and dusting cloths and empty the vacuum to avoid the growth of eggs in these devices.
To prevent moths from ruining your clothing, you’ll want to choose a suitable area to store your clothes. Opt for storage that won’t be affected by weather changes. Areas outside the house, such as the garage, will be vulnerable to the effects of rainstorms, snowstorms, and any extreme wind, making them unsuitable for storing your clothes.
If your clothing has been terrorized by hungry moths and larvae, prior to your pest control efforts, don’t throw them away. Click here for some DIY crafts on how to put the clothes to good use.