Be it in your pantry or wardrobe, the most common household pest problem is the clothes moth. They are usually found in food storage containers or in the wardrobes where woolen and fur clothes are stored (1). Normally, a clear sign of a moth infestation is when you find just one or two small moths. But being able to see them is not always possible. So, look for these other moth infestation symptoms to start your eradication plan: tiny holes in apparels; spongy web-like layers at the corners of the racks, grills, wardrobe layers; a dusty look on the top of the rarely-used garments or screens; a discolouring of your garments, a foamy look at the sides of the food containers; stinky clothes racks. If you find these tell-tale signs of a moth infestation, immediately try out our home remedies on how to get rid of moths naturally using non-toxic and natural methods.
Home Remedies for Moths
Traps are generally made of bright colors like orange, green or tan. Coat the inner side of trap using a sticky material called pheromone, a natural substance emitted by female pests to attract males during mating. The scent of this substance attracts male pests and they are caught in the sticky substance of the trap (2, 3).
It is a simple yet most effective and an ancient method of setting traps to kill these creepy creatures. Apply oil on the sides of a sheet/ paper to make the flypaper. Now hang this paper in the kitchen rack or wardrobe to catch moths.
- Instead of using edible oil on the flypaper you may employ fish oil to attract numerous moths easily.
Vacuum with high power also works effectively in catching moths from clothing, carpets, racks, wooden door, corners and also from the screens. Washing the area after vacuuming gives long lasting relief from moths (4, 5).
3. Hair Dryer
On dresses that you cannot vacuum, you can blow dryer to give it heat treatment in order to control the moths by killing them and also their eggs (6, 7). You can also put infested clothes in the oven at a temperature of more than 120°F for at least 30 minutes to kill the clothes moths (8).
4. Naphthalene Balls
Add two naphthalene balls in a small cloth pouch made of cotton fabric and place it in the corners of your wardrobe racks. The pungent smell of these balls drives away moths (9). Moth balls work effectively only in enclosed spaces like wardrobe or storage container, those having very less air exposure (10).
Note: Products exposed to moth balls should be aired out before use.
5. Cedar Chips
Cedar repels moths as they hate cedar wood (11). So, here’s a good news for those who want ideas to eliminate these insects from their house. Keep a bag of cedar chips in the areas which have been occupied by moths and chase them away. Cedar chips that are used should be freshly cut and container in which they are kept should be sealed properly (12).
6. Herb Sachet
Herbs like rosemary, lavender, and thyme can be added to small cloth sachets and place them in the moth prone areas to keep them at bay (15, 16). Lavender helps chase almost all moths away (17). You can either sprinkle some dry lavender flower or add them to potpourri; or simply spray lavender oil in the areas you suspect moths are present (18).
8. Cloves Pouch
Make small pouch by wrapping cloves in tissue paper or a cloth piece; keep them in the storage containers or the grain storage places, so that moths don’t reach food easily (19).
- Make a thicker bundle of cloves using a cloth piece or tissue; then place them in the cupboard or wardrobe to protect your clothing from the pungent smell of cloves.
- You can also make a pouch mixing rosemary, cloves, thyme, mint and Ginseng.
9. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves emit a strong scent that moths hate to inhale. The bay leaves can be added to a potpourri to eliminate moths. Sprinkle dry bay leaves to control moth infestation (20).
10. Essential Oils
Mix lavender oil, Indian Lilac oil and clove oil to make an anti-moth solution. Dip a sponge in this mixture and squeeze. Wipe this sponge over the moth prone corners of racks or wardrobes to get rid of moths, moth eggs and more (21).
11. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac is a great anti-pest natural herb (22). You can keep its fresh leaves in a corner of your kitchen rack to eliminate moths. Alternatively, soak a cotton ball in its herbal oil and place them in the racks. For your wardrobe, simply dust dry powder of Indian lilac.
White vinegar can be mixed with equal proportion of water and used as a pest control spray to prevent the moth infestations. But, treating certain areas with vinegar may leave stains, so use them carefully on kitchen slabs and food storage container rally.
Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of 1 cup of molasses and 2 cups of vinegar. Moths will get attracted and stuck to the mixture (23).
15. Cinnamon Sticks
Put some cinnamon sticks in the wardrobe, cabinets and garment bags to chase them away. The scent of cinnamon may cling to clothes for longer, so you may choose to wrap them in tissue paper.
After getting rid of moths, try to clean your house regularly with mild soaps, vinegar or spray essential pest control oils to ensure they don’t come back. Most importantly, moths don’t eat your food; rather they lay eggs in foodstuffs. Hence, it would be better to throw away moth infested food, or in the case of grains, dry them in the sunlight for a few days before using.
16. Cold storage freezers
You can also keep infested item in the freezer at 5 F temperature or in Cold storage freezers at -20 F to kill the pests. Let the items remain in the freezer for two to seven days. Cover the infested items in plastic bags to safeguard them from frost damage (24).
Note: Remove plastic bag air before packing items.
- Wash your clothes to do away with moth eggs stuck in clothing (25, 26).
- It is good to sun and brush dresses made of wool and fur (27, 28).
- Clean your window curtains, screens and sofa covers (29).
- Wash the suitcases, storage containers and kitchen racks.
- Dispose infested food items in the garbage (30).
- Clean cupboards using soap water (31).
- Vacuum corners and crevices daily to avoid pests (32).
- Don’t spray alcohol in your wardrobe to eliminate moths. This may cause stains in your dresses (33).
- After washing the suitcases, food storage containers and bags, do not leave them moist as they invite fungus.
- Don’t leave the moth-attracting flypaper in your kitchen racks or wardrobes overnight as it attracts other smaller insects.