How to Get Rid of Moths? (5 Home Remedies)

There are a number of reasons to dislike these drab-hued cousins of butterflies (I mean moth). As the temperature gets humid and moderate, they start seeking the best opportunity to invade your property. Once these Indoor infesting moths are your housemates, the most common household problems you are going to face include—holes in your natural fiber dresses (the woolen, furry and silky), carpets infested with moths’ eggs, discolored clothing, small webs and cocoons on your outfits or in the corner of wardrobes, moth’s dropping and a damp smell in different areas (dark and less airy) of your house.

Getting Rid of Moths in Closet

Moths in closet with clothes.

To keep your closet clear of moth infestation, you must follow proper storage techniques. Some of the best are enlisted here;

  • Remove everything from your closet first. Wipe the empty closet with a detergent-soaked cloth or a solution of vinegar and water. It prevents larvae infestation.
  • Before storing your outfits, don’t forget to wash or dry clean each of item. The sweaty outfits or the ones with food particles or hair on them are more appealing to moths. For total wardrobe care, ensure their cleanliness.
  • As woolen cloths are more at risk, pack your knitwear garments in zip lock bags, as the season is off.
  • Get your dry cleaned clothes out of those big plastic bags, used by the dry cleaners, (to avoid humidity and dust; plastic attracts dust)hang them on cedar wood hangers or use cedar rings to hang over the common hanger. Cedar wood’s smell would keep the moths away. There are numerous ways of utilizing cedar wood. Beside cedar hangers, you can hang cedar chips packed inside a sachet bag in your closet. Cedar drawer liners and cedar-lined closet too function as great moth repellents.

Note: Cedar can lose its effectiveness with time. If that happens, simply apply cedar oil on the wood to restore its lost aroma.

  • To deal with immediate moth issue, setting traps in your closet is another effective technique. Set pheromone moth traps to kill them. Attracted by this gooey substance, they are not going to escape anywhere. Another easy way to make your own moth trap is to pour on some fish oil on a flypaper and hang it inside your closet.
  • In most of the cases, moths get inside your wardrobe through the clothes you have been wearing outside. You are advised to brush off the woolen clothes well before hanging them in the closet again.
  • Take a small cloth bag and fill it with cloves, lavender, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Store the bag in the drawer or the closet. The smell of these natural repellents would keep those buggers away. This is especially good for protecting vintage clothes.
  • If kids are always around, opt for natural hacks for your closet. Dip a cotton ball in lavender essential oil or peppermint oil and place it in the corner of the closet. Using dried lavender or lose leaves of mint also works as effective moth repellent.
  • Make sure your closet is cool and airy enough as moths always nestle in humid spaces.
  • To store winter knits, plastic storage bags and metal containers are the safest choice.
  • Don’t forget to air out the off season clothes before wearing in the new season.
  • Even after doing all of it, if the moths keep on returning, you should seek some professional help. They are equipped with advance technologies to reach the deepest and the darkest corners and fumigate the infested spots, where you can’t reach.

Getting Rid of Moths in the Kitchen

Moths in rice.

Your kitchen is another favorite spot for indoor infesting moths. To confirm their existence, look for the following signs in your kitchen, if you find any of these complaints, it’s time to plan some action.

  • Webbings in and around kitchen cabinets and other pantry items
  • Miller moths can infest the edibles, including the factory sealed items. Food items (nuts, pasta, grains or rice) that get sticky continuously (moth secretions cause it).
  • When food items get expired before the instructed date.
  • Food giving off a damp and wet smell.

Tricks for Kitchen Infestation

  • Throw out all the edible items infested by moths. It is not recommended to eat them at all.
  • Storing the pantry items in cardboard boxes is not a safer option. Moths can easily make holes in them. If you find yours with tiny holes, toss them out immediately.
  • Proper scouring of your kitchen cabinets and pantry is a must-do. After throwing all the infested material out, spend hours in cleaning your kitchen. Don’t leave a single corner. Use vinegar/water solution or soapy water to scrub off different areas and corners of the kitchen. Doing it all would be helpful in the removal of moth’s eggs.
  • Do not leave any food items opened and uncovered. Moths can easily pass through the tiny spaces.
  • Empty your trash bin on daily basis. Seal the garbage well in garbage bags before disposing off.
  • An airy and ventilated kitchen and pantry is also helpful in controlling the moths.
  • Hopefully, things will be controlled after following the above-mentioned points. If the problem persists, arrange pheromone traps or pantry moth traps. The gooey substance on these traps would leave these tiny critters glued helplessly. To throw them out, seal the trap in some sealed container.
  • If you continue to have these nasty pests around you, maybe your sponge is not getting into the places, they are nestling. Call for professional help to chuck them out. Their heavy-duty products would surely kill the nasty pests.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Moths

We do not recommend conventional pesticides for indoor moth infestation. The chemicals in it, when applied on household items like furniture, bedding or clothing, may put the housemates and their pets (if any) at risk. That is the reason why home remedies are considered best and safest solution. Read on to know the most effective remedies.

1. Regular Vacuuming of the House

Woman is vacuuming the house.

Clearing your house of all the moth infested areas is not possible without regular vacuuming. A vacuum cleaner removes all the food crumbs, dead insects, lint and human or pet’s hair. Moths depend on all such rubbish items for their survival. Besides that, vacuuming vigorously, would pull out all the hidden eggs, larvae and moths from fabrics, carpets and every nook and corner of the house. Make certain that you have vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter. To ensure their permanent disposal from your property, change the vacuum bag regularly.

2. Get Help from Extreme Temperatures

Both extreme hot and freezing cold temperatures can help in getting rid of cloth moths and their larvae. Put the infested piece of cloth in a plastic bag and place it inside the freezer. Make sure the plastic bag does not have any air left inside it. Leave it that way for about four days. Pests like moths (pupae and larvae) cannot survive this much cold. Similarly, moths cannot survive the extreme heating conditions. That’s why machine drying and ironing, both are good ways of disinfecting the clothes.

3. Control the Humidity Level

What is the purpose of moths’ lives? To eat, to grow and to reproduce. A high humidity level is all they need to do that. If your place’s humidity level is around 70% or more than that, you have provided the best atmospheric conditions for moth’s reproduction. Bring down the humidity level to about 50% or even less than that. Moths would not be able to survive it. Air conditioner and dehumidifiers are the best ways to control humidity level. Keep checking it regularly with the help of hygrometer.

4. Seal off all the Crevices and Cracks

Cracks and crevices are the safe haven for moths. These are the spots where household remedies do not work. The best you can do to control their population is to seal off all such places. Such hide outs are normally found in baseboards, closets, kitchen cabinets, flooring, drawers, pantry and kitchen.

5. Use All-Natural Ways to Control Pests

Using toxic items like mothballs or moth bombs (not recommended for the houses with pets and kids) for killing moths can be dangerously toxic for you (along with moths). Opt for safe and natural ingredients with some repellent aspect. The safest items to place in your closet may include—cedar oil sachets (fumigants), cedar chips and cedar blocks. And the best natural repellents to place in your pantry may include—bay leaves, eucalyptus, dried lemon peels or cloves.

Some Other Moth Control Tips

  • Regularly wash your towels, beddings, curtains, linen and soft furnishing. These are the most favorite spots for moth larvae.
  • Clean your bags, suitcases and other containers on regular basis.
  • Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth on all infested areas, especially in the cracks and crevices.It’s good for killing moth and larvae. 

Conclusion: Getting rid of moth’s population in your house or pantry may seem a fatiguing task. To get the best and most effective results, you must follow all the above mentioned steps regularly. This is the only way of moths’ prevention.

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