How to Understand That There are Moths in Clothes, and What to Do

The moth is attracted to dark and dusty corners, so the fight against this pest cannot do without a general cleaning. Although moths in clothes are not dangerous for humans, they cause a lot of trouble. The pest feeds on our favorite closet items and does it all year round, regardless of the season.

No one is safe from moths – they can fly into the window or sneak in through the ventilation. You can also bring moths home from the street – it can be done not only by you but also by your dog or cat.

What a clothes-eating moth looks like

Adult moths are creatures 5-8 mm in size and can be recognized by the shiny golden bristles that cover their bodies. The newly hatched moth caterpillars are white, translucent, and about 1 mm long. Moth eggs are very tiny (0.3-0.5 mm), and pearly white. Moth moths are not dangerous for clothes – they perform the function of reproduction and look for food for their offspring. The real enemy is caterpillars.

How to find a moth’s “nest

Female moths lay eggs (one or more) in places where the offspring can feed without difficulty. The larvae can also be in a fur coat and cotton pants. But the size of this pest does not make it easy to find them.

Damage on items in closets and the presence of cocoons in the bottom of drawers and closets is a sure sign that you have a moth.

It is worth diligently inspecting all items and the entire closet, especially cracks and joints. There you may find a nasty surprise in the form of spider webs, cocoons, and adult moths.

If you find damaged items but are sure there are moths in the clothes, hang some glue traps and check them after a while.

How to clean your closet of moths

Clothes moths are attracted to dark and dusty corners, so you can’t do without a general cleaning to combat this pest.

Remove things from cabinets and drawers, and go through them thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner (throw away the dust collector immediately).

After that – a wet cleaning. Wipe the inside surfaces of cabinets and drawers with a rag soaked in any detergent – laundry soap will do. Or go over with a rag soaked in cedar or fir oil.

What to put in your closet to keep moths away

To discourage moths from your belongings, you can put moth balls in the closet or use special moth repellents. These are sold in the form of Velcro, traps, pads, and sprays.

What smell repels moths? Herbs and oils are great for combating moths that are intolerant to pleasant smells. For example, you can hang a bag of rosemary, lavender, thyme, bay leaf, or something soaked in lavender, citrus, or clove oil in your closet. You can also put chestnut fruit and orange peels. A piece of laundry soap will do as well.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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