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Getting Rid of Moths

Category Moths
Having moths inside your home can be a real nuisance. They can destroy clothing and other fabric items. This guide is about getting rid of moths.
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By 2 found this helpful
April 19, 2011

I display pretty cobalt blue glassware in the windows. In winter, I fill the glasses with water for added humidity. When I take the glasses down to clean hard water deposits and dust out, sometimes I find drowned wool moths. What a safe, handy, and non toxic way to control wool moths. No stinky moth balls or sticky traps that can catch poor spiders (I gently catch spiders and put them outside. Spiders are helpful).
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Here is a photo - don't get grossed out. I cleaned it afterward by soaking with vinegar, water, and a drop of dish soap. Try it with inexpensive colored glassware from thrift stores or church rummage sales.

By ohiogirl from OH1

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By 1 found this helpful
September 1, 2015

I folded mine and dropped in a few mothballs and some leftover potpourri, then sewed it shut. Instant moth-repellent that doesn't smell too bad.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 28, 2010

To keep moths, etc, from attacking fruit on trees in the spring, place a plastic gallon bottle with one cup sugar, one banana skin, and fill it half full with water. Hang it from a limb of the tree.

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By Jtomhave from Schenectady, NY

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 14, 20041 found this helpful

I'm going to put a dresser up in the attic to store clothes and I'm just wondering if anyone has ideas/tips on how to keep the moths away without using moth balls because I heard they do damage to clothing plus the smell is so overpowering and hard to get out of the clothing. Thanks for any advice you might have.

Jenny from Wisconsin

Answers

August 9, 20070 found this helpful

I've always heard that moths only eat wool that is not completely clean. Lavender, rose petals, and dried lemon peel are supposed to repel moths. Cedar chips and cedar oil also help. Good luck.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 9, 20070 found this helpful

Hi,why don't you buy those plastic storage bags that you vacuum all the air out. You can store more things and you can use the bags over and over again. I think Walmart would have them.

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August 9, 20070 found this helpful

Lavender has been used for centuries for all kinds of things including moth repelling. You can buy dried lavender by the pound and put an ounce or two into small bags or tie up in handkerchiefs. Place a couple in each drawer of the dresser or in any closet to keep linens beautifully fresh, and free of moths. Enjoy. You will probably become a lavender lover. It smells so good!

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August 25, 20110 found this helpful

I have pantry and clothing moths. Please tell me how to inexpensively get rid of and prevent these critters that are eating us out of house and home! I prefer totally organic, if possible.

Thanks.

By Alicia

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Answers

August 26, 20110 found this helpful

Put Cedar blocks and sachets in your closets and drawers. Make cedar sachets using the small animal cedar bedding and scrap fabric. I don't buy the pre-made cedar blocks anymore, I purchased an 8' cedar board at the lumber store and cut it down to various sizes, then drilled a whole through the middle. most were around 2" x 2" x 4" pieces.

I then cut metal coat hangers into hooks that could be threaded through the holes. I add beads and tassels to make them decorative and hang them in my clothes closet.

Also always be sure any seasonal clothing is thoroughly cleaned before packing away. These will last forever, if it seems the scent is not as strong as it use to be, take a piece of sand paper to the cedar block and that will bring the scent out again.

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You can also use Tea Tree oil in your pantry and cabinets. It seems pricey at first, but you only put 8-10 drops in a squirt bottle and fill with water, then spray this around the inside of your closet especially in the corners (top and bottom) and door. It has a very strong herbal smell, but that will disappear shortly. This is also an excellent mold and mildew inhibitor.

Eucalyptus is also an excellent bug repellant as is Lavender, just be sure and use the natural essential oils, not imitation fragrance oils.

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

I've put sticks of spearmint chewing gum in all of my food cabinets and so far, no problem with moths. I was getting them with cat food for a while, but the gum seems to keep them away.

You should replace the gum with a fresh stick every 3 months or so.
Good luck.

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

Take an orange (the fruit - preferably organic) and insert in the skin lots of cloves - you will need a lot! Leave all around a space for a ribbon and hang it in your closets or just put it in the middle of your clothes. It smells wonderfully nice, is moth repellent, the cloves dry the orange and it last for years!

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

Do you have birds or keep wild birdseed in the house? You can end up with tons of moths due to the bird seed, one way to get rid of them is to freeze the seed in a tupperware container and only take out what you need for each feeding. Be sure to empty the shells out of their dish and throw them outside of the house, also clean the bottom of the cage everyday and remove the seeds that fell to the bottom of cage and be sure to place them outside also.

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

I have the same problem with pantry moths, put anything that is susceptible to moth infestation into plastic sealed containers (or glass). I just keep smacking them when I see them. I threw out the cat food they were hatching in, but still have a few diehard moths hanging around.

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

Pantry moths are extremely hard to get rid of. They will seem to die off, but are actually in a stage of larva that hasn't hatched yet. They hide anywhere, under rims of jars that haven't been opened yet, in between the matches of matchbooks, in cupboard cracks, nesting in curtains, etc--not just in food.

I cleaned out my pantry every week for months fighting them. And yes, they will fly around the house and do everything regular moths do. I now open everything as soon as I bring it home. I have found boxes of dog treats infested, along with cat food, dog food, bags of rice and macaroni, sacks of flour, etc. Flours get bagged and put into the freezer to kill anything that might be in them. E

verything gets put in sealed plastic bags or glass, airtight containers. Open and check everything--they hide out in boxes (cake mix, cereal, hamberger helper, etc)--don't just check the food, check the inside of the box too! It takes a while to get rid of them and will often feel defeating, but be vigilant. I found that they'd swarm in the evening, so I'd look for them about an hour after we went to bed and kill the ones on the ceiling, walls, cupboard doors (check the inside of the doors too), etc.

We'd only been infested that one time and it was so much trouble that I check everything now, not wanting to go through it again. I seriously panic when I find one. Good luck.

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August 27, 20110 found this helpful

I have found many great ideas already posted. I have used bay leaves in all my cabinets on each shelf. Lavender in my dresser drawers and cedar blocks in my closet. Then I began to watch and noticed that many flowers and mints deter bugs so why not moths too?!

I also quit buying boxes of food. I now buy fresh whole foods and bulk items. I no longer have the challenge so much. I rarely see moths around. O and to put clothes away for the seasons. I just use peppercorns, no bugs there either.

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful

Cedar chips in closets and cupboards will get rid of clothing worms and moths. They don't like the smell.

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November 18, 2004

We had moved out of town for a few years and had our house rented out to various renters. Now we are back and the carpets, etc all have moths (the clothes moths not the flying kind). I know moths don't like cedar, tomato leaves, etc., and that may work for places like the closets, but what about the carpets? We can't afford new carpets at this time. We've steamed cleaned them, etc., but have run out of ideas. Does anyone have any solutions that may help?

Answers

November 20, 20040 found this helpful

Looking in a pest control book for an answer, my husband (who's getting his Master's Degree in Entomology--insects) found the following information. First, the book recommended using an INDUSTRIAL GRADE vacuum cleaner. Possibly try checking with a Pest Control agency to see if they have such a vacuum, or possibly a cleaning agency that does commercial grade cleaning.
You might want to ask the Pest Control agency to see if they have any pheromone traps that will attract the adults, too. This will get rid of the adult females that will continue to lay eggs. Or they may recommend a surface treatment for the carpet. (Have them test it in an inconspicuous area first.)
The book says "Upholstered furniture can also support clothes moth larvae on the outer surface between the rows of pile and underside. Regular vacuuming of these areas on susceptible furniture can help infestation and damage."
Good luck! I hope this helps!

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December 9, 20040 found this helpful

Thanks. I'll have to give it a try!

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

When I moved into my house it was full of moths. After about 6 months of using crushed bay leaves on the carpet they were gone.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 23, 2014

Can you tell me the exact cycle of clothing moths? All the exterminators tell me my house is clean. I have found few holes in clothing fabric and my towels are all stringed up. I have used mothballs, fogged, and cleaned along. 90 percent of the clothing has been cleaned at the cleaners.

I do not see anything flying, but have seen tiny black or brown hard bugs like a gnat. I put clear plastic behind the dresser and counter. My clothes are all bagged up. I am scared to put things away.

I have no more energy to deal with this plus the smell from mothballs is making me sick. I also have my terminally ill mother here and do not know if I have clothing moths. What can I use other than moth balls that works? I also have cleaned and vacuumed all the furniture and thrown away a lot.

I am concerned how do you transfer them room to room or do you? I'm ridiciulously scared to even live also my dog are they in here. Do I have the worms crawling on me if I wear the clothing? Please help me.

By Sundra A.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 25, 2011

My house is full of moths! Does anyone know how to get rid of them?

By Cassandra from Imperial, TX

Answers

April 27, 20110 found this helpful

If they are what is called pantry moths, you can get rid of them, but they are difficult. They usually come in on bird seed so if you have any of that in the house anywhere you should get it outside or in garage. Then, you might have to throw some foods away in your kitchen/pantry where you see the infestation. They spin tiny little webs in the packages. They can even burrow through plastic. You usually find them in dry goods like macaroni, spaghetti, and other dry goods.

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April 27, 20110 found this helpful

Yes get rid of anything in boxes like pancake mix, cake mixes, flour, bran cereals, any powdered foods, etc. and wash your cabinets down inside and out with bleach water. Kill any worms or webby like things. Get rid of all cleaning cloths and trash. This worked for me. One cycle of moths can produce up to 400 eggs! You can bring them home from the grocery store also.
Hope this will work for you!

B from Delaware

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By 0 found this helpful
September 20, 2010

I can't get rid of moths in my closet. I have tried cedar planks, lavender, but nothing seems to work. What else can I try? I am desperate, the moths are eating my clothes.

By Betty from Simi Valley, CA

Answers

September 21, 20100 found this helpful

If possible, I would completely empty the closet and hang the clothing outside. I would wash/clean everything I could. Wipe the shelves down, vacuum thoroughly. Once clean, find an insect spray that states on the label that it kills moths and spray the closet well and close it up for a day or two. Open it up to let any odor dissipate, then put only the clean things back in. Discard/replace any boxes or paper in there, or seal it in plastic bags. If there is anything you cannot clean, try putting it in plastic and putting it in the freezer for a few days. Good luck!

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

Before replacing clothing, you may need to place them in the clothes dryer on the hottest temperature they can tolerate or brush the clothing down with clothes brush both inside and out. Heat from a couple of cycles in the dryer, especially for sturdier items, usually kills insects. Clean empty closet as meticulously as possible.

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August 18, 20130 found this helpful

I have scrubbed my closet top to bottom, scrubbed baseboards, used cedar, lavender, and moth balls. I vacuum every other day and have had the carpet cleaned and still the moths continue to eat my clothes, I am desperate for a solution!

By Linda M

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By 0 found this helpful
March 5, 2013

I came back from the Middle East with some beautiful tribal rugs. I also brought back moths in one of them. I read that putting wool items in the freezer was the only way to kill moths in wool rugs, so I wrapped them in plastic bags and left them out all last winter. It didn't work. Can someone help me?

By Linda B.

Answers

March 7, 20130 found this helpful

Powder the rugs heavily and evenly with boric acid powder front and back (follow package directions carefully) then put them back into the plastic bags-seal tightly and leave for at least two weeks.

Vacuum up the boric acid and you should see a moth-less rug. You may need to repeat the treatment a couple of times to be sure you got all of the moths but the boric acid powder should work.

You can find the powder at any grocery, big-box (like WalMart and Target) or at a feed 'n seed store. Works on fleas, ants, spiders, and roaches too, great stuff! But be sure to follow the directions exactly for safest and best results.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 11, 2012

How do I get rid of household moths?

By Kbeco B

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June 13, 20120 found this helpful

There are products on the market called Pantry Moth Traps. I've used them with success. They are $5-10. for a pack of 2. They have a pellet that has moth attractant on it that lasts several months, which you put on to a sticky trap that comes with it and holds and traps them. I used both traps at the same time in different rooms. The little triangle traps don't look too bad, they are 3 sided with the sticky inside. They are about 6 X 6 inches. I didn't measure them.

They can be bought at some garden stores, milling stores, big box stores and on line. Good luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 13, 2012

How do I get rid of moths in my front storm door?

By Tracy from Wellington, CO

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Archives

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April 19, 20110 found this helpful

I have a problem with clothes moths and am not sure how to kick it. This happened a few years ago, too. At that time, I had my apartment fumigated, but only a few days after that, I saw them flying around again! But after awhile they did seem to disappear. Now they're back, but this time, I can't find the source of the infestation.

My winter woolen clothing is cleaned and in plastic boxes with protective sachets and I've looked through all the sneaky places I found them a few years back, in tea towels in the kitchen, books, the back of picture frames on the walls, the felt on the bottom of furniture, everywhere. My apartment is in an old building though and the floorboards are full of cracks so it's possible that I'll never be able to really properly clean out the place.

So my question now is, is there an alternative to fumigation? For example, does anyone have any thoughts or experience with using incense to "smoke" them out? I mean, incense in great quantities, like twenty sticks per room. I realize they are tough to get rid of, but if I find it difficult to breath when one incense stick is burning, maybe a concentration of smoke will destabilize and ultimately kill any lurking eggs? Any thoughts or tips on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance.

By Anna from Chicago, IL

Answers:

Getting Rid of Moths

Lots and lots of lavender and cedar, moths hate both of these.

I got some cheap cedar rings from a dollar store or you could ask your local lumber yard for some shavings. Perhaps even pick up some cones yourself.

Lavender is everywhere right now so beg and borrow, make small bunches, dry them and put them in your clothes boxes and wardrobes. Or make lavender sachets with the dried flowers and put them in between the clothes.
Lavender bags are also brilliant tucked into your pillow case if you have trouble getting off to sleep! Which you might be doing if these pesky moths are worrying you. (07/06/2010)

By mrs christmas

Getting Rid of Moths

We have recently had an outbreak of moths. I have looked online and from pictures I see, I believe they are 'pantry moths'. The only reason I am not absolutely certain is that while they look exactly like the pictures of pantry moths I have seen, they do not infest our foodstuffs at all (I saw one moth in the dog food once). They do not like any of the pictures I saw for clothes moths, nor do they seem to like our linens either. They have infested an upper cupboard right above our linen cupboard. We keep holiday decorations and camping gear in this cupboard, not really any cloth (or any natural cloth at any rate, just the material on the tent and sleeping bags) or any foodstuffs whatsoever. Anyway, they have multiplied in there at an alarming rate!

I open the cupboard and they are everywhere! There must be at least 30-50 in there at any given time! I tried clearing everything out of there and spraying it down with a mixture of bleach and water however I saw about 8-10 hanging out in there just a few hours later. I have now dumped a large quantity of mothballs in there and then taped the whole thing up around the edges in hopes of killing them. We will see how this works. They are mostly in this cupboard, but then come out and hang out along the walls and ceiling of the little alcove in which this cupboard sits and I saw about 8 of them about 5 hours after doing the mothballs and tape up. They are driving me up the wall!!! If anyone knows what type of moths look exactly like pantry moths yet do not infest foodstuff or linen and how to kill them please please please let me know! (09/14/2010)

By Everhartm

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September 20, 20100 found this helpful

I was wondering how to get rid of moths in my closet. They are eating holes in my t-shirts. Do I have to wash all the clothing first and then treat them? Please help me, I need to know. I'm tired of holes in my shirts, and it's cotton shirts at that.

Debbie

Answers:

Getting Rid of Moths in Closet

I have the same problem. We had moved away for a few years, and when we came back we found that not only the closets, but also the bedroom carpets had moths! I'm awaiting a solution to this problem. (12/04/2004)

By klawrence34

Getting Rid of Moths in Closet

Tried Mothballs? If you're like me you can't stand the smell, another option would be to go to Walmart (pet section, they sell huge bags for bedding) or someone that builds cedar furniture and buy cedar shavings, put in knee high panty hose and knot the top. Or if you're handy with a sewing machine, make your own sachets to hang in your house and the closets, even put some in your dresser drawers. Cedar is a wonderful deterrent for all kinds of bugs/critters and of course it makes your house smell great too. Also, if you have shavings left over I have heard you can put them around your house or under your decking to keep gnats and mosquito's away.

NOTE: You will have to refresh your sachets several times a year with new cedar shavings, so keep this in mind if you are making your own sachets so you can make them with a tie for refilling. (07/12/2005)

By JustCeleste

Getting Rid of Moths in Closet

Thanks JustCeleste! Very helpful! (11/07/2008)

By birdo

Getting Rid of Moths in Closet

I just wrote a rather extensive "feedback" and it didn't post. What's up? Ok, I just read the "Post Feedback" paragraph (duh). Anyway, it was all about cedar; using cedar in the closet/drawers to rid the little critters of their snacks (your clothing). I'm not posting my e-mail because it looks like I might regret it, but will check in. The larvae are the guilty little buggers. They could have already been in the fabric from the store or you have moths, or other critters whose larvae feed on natural fabrics like cotton and wool.

Cedar products are sold at hardware stores, the larger stores with more variety of product. I have purchased cedar planks and cedar spray to re-'cedar' and have had success. I also have taken the 'loaded', ooough, items and put them in the drier. Good luck. (11/09/2008)

By Pam

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July 5, 20100 found this helpful

I need a cheap way to kill moths, anything that eats holes in my clothes while in the wardrobe or chest of drawers.

Brian from Australia

Answers:

Getting Rid of Moths

Mothballs! (02/28/2008)

By luvmygingerkids

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

Put whole cloves in pockets of woolen coats or in bags with sweaters when storing for the off-season. They prevent moth damage and leave a spicy aroma. Also place them in dresser drawers with socks and everyday work clothes.

Mary

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