Moths are nowhere near the most dangerous insects that could get inside your house. However, seeing a cluster of these pests when you turn on the lights tends to make you wonder how to get rid of moths naturally. Thankfully, adult moths are unable to bite, although larvae snack away happily on woolen clothing, as well as on foods like pasta, cereal, and bread.
One feature worth noting about moths is that some species transport toxins on their bodies. Their cocoons and feces contaminate any food that they touch—a good reason to make sure that all containers are well sealed!
In addition to larvae’s attraction to human food, adult moths find human sweat and body oils appealing. These pests hide in cracks and crevices in your house. They move and reproduce quickly, increasing the risk of a moth infestation and likely making you curious about natural ways to kill moths.
- Natural Methods for Eliminating Moths from Your House
- How to Prevent a Moth Infestation
Natural Methods for Eliminating Moths from Your House
No one wants bugs in the house. Learn what are weevils and moths and how to get rid of them before they contaminate your food.
What do moths eat? Unfortunately, if they get in your house, they can eat the dry goods in your pantry or through the fibers in some of the clothes in your closet.
Outdoors, caterpillars and moths eat tender vegetation. It’s important to learn how to get rid of gypsy moths if you have that problem lurking in your trees.
Although store-bought mothballs or pheromone traps might initially come to mind when dealing with moths indoors, natural remedies for moths are just as effective.
Stinky mothballs also contain chemicals like paradichlorobenzene, making them dangerous for children. Use herbs, essential oils, and other home remedies to get rid of moths without calling an exterminator.
Herb-Based Moth Repellent
Moths are not fond of herbs, so put together different combinations to scare off the pests. Place the mixture in a homemade sachet or a cloth bag.
Break the cinnamon sticks into pieces and combine them with the dried southernwood, which is available via specialty herb shops or online order. Divide the mixture equally among the three handkerchiefs. Tie them into pouches with the pieces of ribbon.
Place the sachets on clothes hangers, in boxes, or by doorways. Alternatively, combine herbs in a bag as a natural solution to your moth problem.
Grind the herbs using a mortar and pestle, then combine their powders in a small cloth bag. Close the sack with an elastic band or ribbon.
Use Mint to Chase Away Moths
Peppermint is a herb that moths especially dislike. Spread dried mint leaves in drawers to send the message to moths to leave your clothes alone.
Alternatively, use peppermint essential oil for moths. Shake a few drops of peppermint oil onto a cotton ball and put the ball in the back of your closet. Peppermint oil also makes an excellent spray to keep spiders away.
Rose Water Solution for Repelling Moths
Start by picking one of these essential oils: bergamot, cedar wood, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, orange blossom, peppermint, or sandalwood.
Note that balsamic or acidic scents last longer than floral ones. Combine your chosen essential oil with rose water for a natural moth control strategy.
Add the essential oil and alcohol to the bottle, then fill the bottle the rest of the way with rose water. Shake the liquids together, then spray them in the air two to three feet away from the clothing that you’d like to protect.
How to Get Rid of Moths Naturally: Cedar
The sharp scent of cedar oil is a powerful moth repellent, which is why it’s possible to use several variations on cedar wood to chase away moths. Purchase these products at a home improvement or big-box store.
In your closet, hang cedar rings on a string or place cedar blocks on the floor or shelves. Sand these pest control tools every few months to keep their scent strong.
For clothes made of natural fibers like wool and cashmere, store them on cedar hangers and stuff cedar chips in their pockets. To kill moth eggs, apply cedar oil wherever the pests lay eggs. A cedar essential oil spray is also useful for silverfish elimination.
Eliminating Pantry Moths
What are pantry moths? These unwelcome fliers feed on food items in the pantry. You’re probably dealing with pantry moths if you come across sticky secretions, chewed food boxes, and musty smells. These moth food sources include popular pantry items like grains and nuts.
Start by cleaning your pantry thoroughly with a vinegar cleaning solution and tossing any food that’s open or damaged. Next, vacuum your pantry, throwing away the vacuum bag when you’re done.
As a further precaution, store all new food items in airtight containers. In the meantime, lay out fresh or dried bay leaves along pantry shelves. Replace the herb regularly to ensure its continued effectiveness.
How to Store Clothing to Prevent a Moth Problem
The last thing that you want is to discover at the start of a new season is that webbing clothes moths have nibbled on your favorite coat. Thankfully, a few simple steps can prevent this situation.
Wash your clothing with vinegar and let it dry outside before storing it for the season. Sunlight and vinegar are both effective natural ways to kill moths.
Brush items made of wool, fur, silk, or feathers with a soft brush to remove any moth larvae. As well, store suits and wool coats in garment bags before placing them in your chosen containers.
Depending on your items’ size, store them in well-sealed plastic containers, suitcases, or cedar chests. Avoid cardboard boxes, which won’t stop moths. Stow the storage containers in a dry part of your house, like the attic or under a bed.
Natural Ways to Kill Moths with Extreme Temperatures
If moths have gotten on your clothes, run them through the washer and dryer on high heat. The hot temperature acts as a natural moth killer.
For clothing items that must be hand-washed or can’t take high temperatures, stick them in the freezer for at least 12 hours in a plastic bag. Cold also kills adult moths, larvae, and eggs. For wool clothing, however, dry cleaning is the most effective solution.
Natural Moth Killer Trap
To kill moths in the closet or those that have been taking over your house, DIY moth traps may be the way to go. Make an easy trap by applying a little fish oil onto some flypaper.
Clip the trap onto a clothes hanger as far away as possible from your clothes. Moths get stuck on the sticky surface. Once your trap becomes full, replace it with a new one.
How to Prevent a Moth Infestation
We’ve already covered some best practices for keeping moths out of your house. Before storing clothing items for the season, make sure to wash them with vinegar and let them dry outside. Place them in storage bags if necessary and definitely in a well-sealed container.
In general, keep on top of your cleaning, whether that’s the laundry, sweeping, or vacuuming. When vacuuming, focus mainly on closet floors, baseboards, and carpets. Change vacuum bags regularly in case you’ve sucked up any moth eggs.
Replacing standard bulbs with yellow bug lights is what gets rid of moths outside your front and back doors. Regular white light draws insects that the moths feed upon. The yellow lights don’t attract as many bugs so the moths go elsewhere for an easy meal.
Moths may not be dangerous, but it’s no fun finding one hanging out next to your bathroom mirror, munching on your cereal box, or making holes in your sweater. Mothballs are always an option, but we suggest that you try a natural strategy before resorting to this harsh, smelly solution.
How to get rid of moths naturally involves several components. Plants like herbs and cedar send moths flying, while a trap acts as a natural moth killer. Proper clothing storage and cleaning habits diminish your house’s appeal for these unwanted guests.
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