All-natural solutions for repelling moths from your wardrobe

October 31, 2014

Moths making a mess of your clothes? To protect your garments, here are some all-natural solutions for repelling moths from your wardrobe that work well.

What is a moth?

A moth is an insect that is closely related to butterflies. They feed on hair, feathers and animal cuticles. That’s why moths are attracted to natural fibers such as wool, silk and cotton.

Moths thrive in the shade, so closets and drawers are the perfect haven.Contrary to popular belief, clothes and materials are destroyed by juvenile moths (caterpillars) and not the adults. Newly hatched larvae feed on clothes, while adults only seek to mate and lay eggs. Females lay 50 to 100 eggs and then die.

What can you do to get rid of them?

It's easy:

  • Dry clean your clothes.
  • Install traps with moth pheromone. They're available at many garden centres and home renovation stores.
  • Freeze your clothes at a temperature of -23°C for one week. Use the freezer or leave your clothes outside on very cold winter days.
  • Wash clothes in hot water at temperatures exceeding 49°C.
  • Iron your clothes.

What can prevent moth infestations on clothes?

To head off future infestations:

  • Regularly vacuum and clean carpets, chests of drawers, and closets.
  • Never put dirty clothes in the closet or in drawers.
  • Open and ventilate closet spaces, cupboards, and anywhere else you store clothes.
  • Store your off-season clothes in vacuum-sealed storage bags, and use lavender as a natural moth repellent.

Other natural moth repellents

The following products are available as essential oils or in sachets, and offer good protection. Moths are repelled by the strong odor of these natural elements, so be sure to replace them when their scent fades.

  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon or orange
  • Thyme
  • Cypress
  • Rosemary
  • Cloves
  • Cade wood
  • Neem oil

Avoid mothballs

Mothballs are not recommended because they contain known carcinogens and, among other things, are linked to headaches and respiratory problems. Mothballs also emit a very unpleasant odor.

  • Using an insecticide on moths can be hazardous to the health of both people and animals, so use only in moderation and if absolutely necessary.

What to do in case of infestation

If you’re unable to control the problem or if the moths have multiplied into a large mass, call an exterminator.

Moths are benign creatures. They are not dangerous and do not bite or sting. Still, they can bug you by devouring your expensive clothes!

All-natural solutions for repelling moths from your wardrobe
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