Blog written by Katchy.
While not dangerous, clothes moths can be a nuisance. Adult moths fly around your home while larvae feed on your belongings. They eat through garments, carpets, curtains, and any other fabric in the house. Getting rid of these unpleasant neighbors is on every homeowner's agenda.
While mothballs and other toxic repellents are available, a natural approach to moth elimination is much more appealing. You can take advantage of natural ingredients to create your own moth-fighting arsenal or consider safe products like Katchy's glue boards.
Moth infestation isn't fun. It requires a smart approach. Let's take a closer look at how to get rid of moths in your house naturally.
What You Need to Know About Moths
Clothes moths aren't big. They are about ½ inch long and beige in color. These pests prefer hiding in dark and humid places like:
- Storage areas
Adult moths don't pose a danger to your clothes. They only live for a few weeks. Before these pests die, they lay up to 300 eggs that take about 10 days to hatch. In the larvae state, clothes moths live between 2 and 30 months. During that time, they actively feed on all available fabrics.
Why Get Rid of Moths
While moths aren't dangerous, they can inflict serious damage on your belongings. Once they settle in your house, these pests start eating through fabrics quickly.
Moths can't tell a difference between cheap t-shirts and luxurious furs. If it contains keratin, it will be eaten. That's because moth larvae need this structural protein to survive.
Besides inflicting damage on your property, moths can cause allergies. Some people may develop a condition called Lepidopterism. This type of contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes into contact with adult moths or larvae.
How to Get Rid of Moths Naturally
Many people mistakenly believe that mothballs are safe. In reality, their toxicity and unpleasant smell make these moth repellents dangerous and unpopular. If you are facing a moth infestation, it's possible to deal with it naturally. Here is how.
1. Take Advantage of Cedar
While pleasant to people, the odor given off by cedar oil is repulsive to the adult moth. If they catch a whiff of this oil, moths prefer not to lay eggs in the area.
So if you want to keep moths away from your house, consider putting blocks and chips of cedar in your closet, basement, and attic.
Keep in mind that cedar loses its moth-repelling properties with time. To renew them, consider buying cedar oil and spraying it on surfaces.
2. Make Herb Repellents
Moths aren't big fans of such herbs as lavender, cloves, rosemary, thyme, and mint. You can use these herbs separately or in combination with each other. Put them in sachets and place these sachets in places that moths prefer.
You can also take advantage of the oil produced by these herbs. If you like the scent, spray the oil on your clothes or around your closet. Don't forget to refresh regularly.
While highly effective, herbs may cause allergies. Before spraying oils or putting sachets around the house, find out if any of your household members are allergic to them.
3. Use Glue Traps
One of the easiest ways to get rid of moths is to catch them with glue traps. Unlike the above remedies that scare pests away, a trap is a natural moth killer.
Traps like Katchy's glue boards are covered with special pheromones that attract adult moths. The moth sticks to the board and stays there until you replace the sticky insert. Besides catching moths, these boards will also attract other small insects.
The best part about glue traps is that they don't emit any odors. For people, who are allergic to moth-repelling herbs, such a trap can be a great natural solution.
4. Clean with Vinegar
Vinegar gives off a strong odor that keeps moths away. While you are battling moth infestation with natural weapons, you can clean your closet surfaces with vinegar.
Besides keeping the adult moth away, vinegar cleaning can get rid of dust, debris, and remaining larvae. To make a cleaning solution, mix one part vinegar with one part of water.
5. Use the Freezer
If you suspect that larvae could be hiding in your clothes, place it in an airtight plastic bag and put the bag in the freezer. Keep fabrics in the freezer for 24 hours to make sure all eggs and larvae are dead. Then wash these items as usual.
How to Prevent Moth Infestation
Once you learn how to get rid of moths in your house naturally and eliminate these pests for good, consider a couple of prevention tactics:
- Wash all fabrics before storing them – did you know that moths don't drink? They get water from the fabrics they eat. Human sweat is an excellent source of moisture for these hungry pests. Make sure they don't get access to any fluids by washing and drying all fabrics before storage.
- Use cedar hangers – you already know that moths hate cedar. When you hang clothes, take advantage of cedar hangers. They will serve as a natural moth repellent 24/7.
- Store fabrics in airtight containers – moths need air and moisture to survive. If you put your clothes in airtight plastic bags or containers, existing larvae will die while new pests won't have access to food.
If you aren't sure that all moths are gone from your clothes, you can wash it on high temperatures (around 120°F).
Enjoying a Moth-Free Home Without Toxic Remedies
While not dangerous, moths can make your life miserable. These pests can ruin expensive garments, cause allergies, and infest your entire home. While mothballs may be effective, they are hazardous to pets and children.
By learning how to get rid of moths in your house naturally, you can enjoy a safe environment and forget about these unpleasant neighbors. Heat, cold, natural herbs, vinegar, and glue traps are safe and effective moth elimination remedies. Try them today!
Contributing Writer: Julia Suh