You have just opened your drawers for that nice wool sweater when out pops a few small white moths, and you now see the holes in your sweater! To get rid of moths, there are a few things you can do. After you get over your anger that they chose your sweater to munch on, you can do plenty to send them off or repel them.
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Before you get out the big guns and wage toxic warfare on your house, try a few of these much easier and natural ways to stop them from making a meal of your wardrobe and to discourage them completely from your house.
The first thing you need to do is clean. If you keep your seasonal garments in a separate dresser or perhaps in a chest or under your bed, any area that does not get used much should be exposed and cleaned. Every so often open the cupboards or drawers and leave them open for a day, this will discourage moths as they like dark and quiet.
But take out all the clothing and really vacuum the area in question. Shake your sweaters outside and then wash them or get them dry cleaned. Then put them into a bag and put them in the freezer for a about 3 days, this will kill any larvae that were forming in the fibers of your clothes, then shake them outside again.
Once you have cleaned out the area, washed your clothes and put them in the freezer. You will now create a few natural moth repellents, this will get rid of moths and stop them from making a home in your new sweater!
You can purchase these online already made or make your own.
Cedar is a natural moth repelant and they will not hang around if this is in the area of your clothes. It also has the added bonus of freshening the air in your closet or drawers. You can make your own for a fraction of the cost.
Here is what you need:
one bag of cedar shavings (sold at pet shops for hamsters etc)
old socks or purchased ones if you want to get color coordinated)
Simply fill your socks with cedar shavings and tie off with ribbon or rubber bands, you can then hang them on hangers for the closet, or put into little baby sized socks for your drawers. This will prevent moths from coming back, but don't rely on this to kill ones already there. You need to really clean out everything and vacuum first, then as you put your clean clothes back, include these cedar sachets.
But if you want to expel them from your home, but you just can't stand the smell of cedar (not everyone likes this!) you can make a herbal sachet to repel moths too!Credit: amazon.com
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Herbal Sachet using Dried Lavender and Dried Elder Flowers
Here is what you need
some pantyhose material or purchased nylon netting
dried elder flowers
you can get these supplies online to make it easier.
Fold the fabric into squares, make them whatever size you want, but the most effective so far is a 4 x 4 inch one. Sew them together and then fill with the dried flower mixture. Then tuck into your drawers. This smells nice, and repels moths as they especially don't like the smell of lavender or elder flowers.Credit: amazon.com
Invest in a Cedar Chest
These are great for storing all kinds of woolen goods such as sweaters, socks, blankets, especially for the off season. Moths do not like cedar and once you have cleaned your clothes at the end of the season you can store them in this chest. Perfect for home or cottage.
Clean Your Clothes Before Storing Them
Even if you don't think they need a clean, make sure you do it before you put them away. Moths love animal based fibers such as pure wool, or even a wool blend (they are not especially picky!) plus silk, feathers and fur.
If you own furs you should get them cleaned and they should not be stored at your house, they should be in cold storage to protect them.
But if you have wool or wool blend sweaters and silk blouses for example, the moths are not only attracted to these fibers but to anything on them, such as food stains, drink stains, perspiration etc. So, make sure your clothes are really clean before you put them away.Credit: amazon.com
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In The Kitchen
If you purchase a lot of dried goods and leave them in their paper packaging, you could be asking for trouble. You should transfer your cereals and oats and pasta etc, into plastic containers with airtight lids, to keep your food fresh longer and to prevent moths from finding a great food source and other insects such as ants.
If you discover moths in the kitchen cabinets, then you need to take everything out, and really vacuum out the cupboards as crumbs and dust are great attractors. Then go out and invest in the plastic containers and reorganize your kitchen so that everything they like to eat is either in the fridge or in airtight containers.
So, for a recap:
Take everything out and give it a shake outside and then wash them
Put in bags and then into the freezer for a few days (this kills larvae that the washing might not have, they are tough!)
Really give the area a good clean with the vacuum, and then bin the vacuum contents out of the house!
Make yourself a few natural moth repellent sachets.
Put your clothes back.
In the kitchen:
Empty all the cabinets
throw out any infested or questionable food
really clean out shelves with vacuum then empty vacuum outside
use airtight containers for the rest of the foods or put in fridge
The above should help you get rid of moths. This will take a day to organize, but will be worth it. The cost of replacing that favorite wool sweater or that gorgeous silk blouse can be far too high, compared to a good clean and some cedar chips or lavender flowers.
You can win the war and get rid of moths without huge chemical warfare. The vacuum is a great weapon to use, make sure you vacuum by the baseboards as they can hang out in there too, especially if you have a wool rug or wool carpet. They like these too! So, make sure you really vacuum all surfaces on a regular basis and open and close doors a lot to put them off, since they prefer darkness.
You don't have to spray clouds of chemicals, just clean and make sachets to get rid of moths naturally!