Moths are the scourge of closets and can be very destructive. They are attracted to wool, silk, and other fabric. Having a moth infestation is frustrating, but you can get rid of them by treating the immediate infestation with a thorough cleaning, then using preventative measures like cedar blocks or other treatments and proper storage techniques to deter moths from returning.

Look for signs

A fluttering moth or two may not be a sign of a serious infestation, but you should look for signs such as:

    • Tiny holes in your clothing, especially clothes made of wool, silk, and fur.
    • Webbing in the corners of your closet or on your clothing.

Set out traps

Purchase pheromone moth traps, which attract them and then kill them when they land on the sticky substance they can’t escape.

Clean your clothes 

It’s important to wash or dry clean every item of clothing, set of sheets, or blankets to get rid of moth eggs and larvae.

    • Wash items according to their care instructions.
    • If they can’t be dried on high heat, place them in a freezer for a few days to kill any eggs.
    • Remember to remove everything from your closet, including suitcases, bags, and other containers, and wash these out as well.

Clean your closet 

Now that everything is out of your closet, wash it from one end to the other to get rid of moth eggs and larvae that may be holed up in cracks and crevices.

      • Vacuum and dust well.
      • Then use soapy water or a vinegar and water solution to clean the closet corners, walls, and seams.

Keep your closet cool and well-ventilated

Since moths love humid spaces, keep the air circulating and on the cool side.

Use cedar or other natural alternatives in your closet 

Moths are repelled by cedar oil. You can purchase cedar hangars or hang marble-sized cedar balls or cedar chips in your closet.

    • You can try hanging sachets made with dried rosemary, thyme, cloves. lavender, or bay leaves.
    • Sprinkle essential oils made with herbs in your closet.

A word about mothballs 

Naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, typical ingredients in mothballs and other anti-moth devices today, will actually kill moths, larvae, and eggs, provided the storage is airtight, and the atmosphere can be saturated – if it is not the chemical released is not strong enough to do the job.

    • The chemical-containing device should be hung above the clothes because the vapors, which are heavier than air, will flow downward.
    • Unfortunately, both naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene are also toxic to humans.
    • The EPA recommends you use these items only in areas sealed off from your living space, such as garages or attics.

For extreme cases

  • call an exterminator

For more on how to clean stuff, visit


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