The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Clothing Moths For Good

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It must be that time of year, because everyone and their Pumpkin Spiced Latte has been asking me about moths, and how to get rid of them; my clients, my business acquaintances, my neighbors, my aura reader, kidding I don’t have an aura reader, but if I did I bet she’d be all up on me about clothing moths.

While chemicals are always an option, I’d reserve them as a last resort. Like a root canal. You don’t want to go there unless you really have to go there.

The most important step is the Simplest, as is always the case. Moths & co. are lured to your doorstep by way of juicy stains, succulent sweat particles, and so on. The dirtier the better for them. Thus, why your best plan of attack is to clean. Clean everything. All the time. 

Empty the contents of whichever closet or storage area you believe is currently infiltrated before conducting a deep clean: vacuum hard to reach corners (look up!), wipe down walls, shelves, and drawers, and seal any cracks you find in the walls. That’s step one. 

Step two: every item of clothing which goes back into the closet must be cleaned. You do not put away dirty clothes, especially not clothes that you’re going to be storing for long periods of time. Oh, no. Nor do you leave dirty clothing laying around (you might even want to consider temporarily relocating your hamper if it’s normally in the occupied territory).

Clothing that you believe may already be compromised can be placed in the freezer for 72 hours. This kills the moth and the egg and blah blah we don’t really need to get into the gross specifics, do we?

Step three is to maintain this newly achieved state of cleanliness. Vacuum the space regularly (read: at least once a week), wipe away cobwebs, etc, etc. Limit the humidity levels in the storage space if at all possible by closing windows. All those microscopic little crumbs and particles that you can’t see or think aren’t a big deal? Yeah, well, those moths are feasting on your lack of stringency, so, you know, yum.

As we covered in the post called Off Season Clothes Storage, you cannot skimp on proper storage products if you care about your clothing’s longevity. Don’t tell me you spent $650 on a cashmere wrap, tossed it in an open garbage bag with the rest of your winter warmth over the summer, only to be surprised and disappointed it was full of holes come October. If you care about it, protect it, which is also, come to think of it, quite a fitting slogan for like…life. Funny how organizing and the core of existence are so intertwined, isn’t it?

The next proactive step is to enlist the powers of natural repellents: lavender and cedar are known to be effective at warding off preyer-of-clothes. Do note that such products will lose their effectiveness over time, as the scent wears off. However, you can easily revive cedar slabs by taking them out into the sunlight and sanding them with sandpaper, or by using a cedar/lavender refresher spray every couple of months. As long as the products are still effervescent, you’re in business. 

1. Household Essentials CedarFresh Deluxe Cedar Coat Hanger // 2. CedarFresh Cedar Power Spray with Lavender // 3. CedarFresh Cedar Balls with Lavender // 4. Moth AWAY natural repellent sachets // 5. Cedar Green Aromatic Cedar Hang-ups // 6. Organic French Lavender Sachets with Ribbon Rosettes

But please don’t go the mothball route. Not because they’re not effective (I actually have no idea if they are or aren’t) but because the day you lose your ability to detect (and be repelled, yourself, by) the odor of the mothball is such a sad, sad day. So, you know, try to hold out just a little longer, okay?


Image credits: via Fargerike, Sarah Richardson, unknown, Erin Boyle for Gardenista
P.S. What have YOU found most helpful in combating the clothing moths?


5 thoughts on “The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Clothing Moths For Good

  1. Elaine DiNitto

    Annie!!! BUGS ON THE WALLPAPER!!!! Please!!! I can’t even look at a picture of one on a bug spray can, have to turn the can around!! Who on earth would think to create wallpaper with bugs!! (OK, I feel better now; I ranted!!!)

    1. DuhJones

      I’m not understanding the comment, or the rant about….wallpaper? Unless you’re looking through a ‘literal lense’….this is just additionally imagery that’s clearly (or in your case not-so-clearly) isn’t intended to do anything than introduce the article and let readers, alongside the title, know what the article’s focus is. Pretty sure this isn’t the writer’s bedroom. 🙂

  2. Violetta Valery

    Your comment, although it may have been a joke: “because the day you lose your ability to detect (and be repelled, yourself, by) the odor of the mothball is such a sad, sad day” is really true. I was in a room with an elderly woman and her clothes reeked of mothballs. I had trouble staying ion the room and I am pretty sure she could not smell it.

    1. Annie Post author

      Right?! How does one become immune to that smell? And how is the tolerance of it correlated with age?? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely there…

  3. Pingback: The 8 Most Effective Tools You Need To Obliterate Your Moth Problem | Live Simply by Annie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *