As cooler weather approaches and the woolen garments come out, moths become quite the nuisance. These of course are not the only moths to worry about. Pantry moths are a year round pest.
Getting rid of moths naturally can be a bit of a challenge. Moths are clever. Really clever. And resilient. They lay their eggs in your carpet which actually affords them quite a bit of protection. You have to get creative with how you go about trying to get rid of moths.
Traditional ways to get rid of moths involve some pretty awful smelling products. Moth balls anyone? Gag. Who wants their clothing to smell like a moth ball?
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Moths – Where to Start?
Since moth larvae can hide in carpets, under furniture and in the corners of cabinets, your first line of defense involves the vacuum. Vacuum everything thoroughly, using crevice attachments for the cabinet. You need to do this every day for 7 days. You would be surprised at how much you miss on the first sweep.
While you are in the kitchen or pantry, discard any open grain-based products. Moth larvae can eat their way into the bags. Ideally, you want to store grains and flours in glass jars with very secure seals on the lids. (I have had success with good old mason jars like these.)
Get Rid Of Moths With These 3 Natural Moth Repellents
Dried lavender is simply the best way to repel moths naturally. They hate the smell of lavender! The best part is that your clothing will smell nice and the lavender won’t permeate your pantry staples. I purchase this brand.
Placing a few cinnamon sticks in garment bags, cabinets, and closets works really well to repel moths. However, the scent can linger in cloths so if you aren’t a fan of the cinnamon smell, you might not want to use these. These ones are a good price and should last you a while.
Same deal with the cinnamon although you need to sprinkle a handful or whole cloves around. You can put them in a little dish as well. Once again, they tend to leave a residual aroma on clothing. This brand is a pretty good buy.
Important Warning About Using Essential Oils As Moth Repellent
Lemon, mint, eucalyptus, bay leaf essential oils (as well as the dried herbs) seem to actually feed the moths. They love those particular flavors/scents apparently. Lots of essential oil sites will promise that these oils will rid your home of moths. Nope. Won’t happen. They will just give them reason to stay.
Get Rid Of Moths By Making Your Own Moth Trap
To take care of the immediate problem of moths, trap them moth traps which are really easy to make!
You will need:
- Flypaper (this one is good)
- Cheap fish oil which attracts moths (this is about as cheap as it comes)
- Dab a bit of the fish on some fly paper and hang it in your closet, pantry, cabinets etc…
If you would rather use something already preassembled or you have multiple species of pantry bugs to contend with, this product is about as safe as it gets and it very effective.
Have you battled moths in your closets, drawers, cabinets, or pantry? What worked for you?
Be sure to check out all my other great natural pest control posts as well. I will teach you how to get rid of ants, keep mosquitoes at bay, stop slugs from nibbling your garden, move silverfish along, keep flies out of your home, prevent a spider invasion and more!
Sabrina M Bowen says
I’ve never had an issue with moths in our clothing. I was always taught so long as you store your clothes in or with cedar the moths won’t bother them, and that seems to be the truth. Even if I’m using those big plastic bins for storing I toss in some cedar balls or blocks and don’t have an issue.
Now, Indian Meal Moths (Pantry Moths) are another story. The grocery store closest to me (and the only one I can usually get to) has them. I’ve seen them flying around down there a few times. So of course, we have them too. I’ve tried everything and this year I did pretty well getting rid of them. Although from time to time I still see one or two. The key was keeping everything sealed in jars or “Ziplock” type bags. And vacuuming out the kitchen cupboards weekly. It’s the only thing that worked.
I clean with Lavender Oil instead of Tea Tree (which makes me sick) and it’s never deterred them. Neither has cinnamon, in fact I had to throw away some with I found their “worms” in it. I can’t speak for the cloves, maybe that will work, but I haven’t had luck with the others. The best course of action IMO, is to keep everything tightly sealed and constantly clean out anywhere they could be.
We had an issue with them at one point. I used food grade Diamataceous Earth to get rid of them. Worked like a charm on the larvae/eggs. Used spray to keep adult moths away. Cleaned out pantry and threw out infested food products(prior to treating) and use air tight canisters from here on out and freeze all my dry goods for 3 days before placing in canister as a precaution. They are annoying little buggers. Use spray first (I used raid flying insect, this year I’m going to use peppermint/eucalyptus EO spray and see how that works) let dry and then use DE in powder gun. Thought I’d share in case the DE works for you too?! Maybe it can save you the weekly vacuumings ?
Thank you for this!
I buy a product called moth pheromones, it’s a small box with a tiny pheromone cylinder that attracts them and the inside of the box is gluey like a fly trap. It seems to work well and there are numerous moths caught in it, like 50 or more. I bought it at an old fashioned hardware store, which are increasingly difficult to find.
Action Pest | Commercial Pest Control says
Pests like moths can be really clever and sly No matter how much preventive measures we do to our clothes sometimes, they always seem to find a way. It’s better to act upon it immediately.
Moths are the really annoying bug. I am sure these tips provided by you will help us in getting rid of moths naturally. Along with natural pest control techniques, we can also use professional pest control services in case it’s difficult for someone to treat these moths as their own.
Good day! Great article! Thanks author for this councils! Btw, i want to ask about naturally repellents! I find some of them, and want to know, what is the best, herbs or cedar? Thanks for the answers! With the best regards – Richard!
Marci Smithler says
What about cedarwood oil, you didn’t mention that? I did try the cloves and that seemed to work great outdoors but one two little suckers got in and I can’t find them! I’m already dealing with stink bugs and carpenter ants, I do have a cat that finds everything that doesn’t pay rent but I don’t want him to get sick eating the Invaders.
I will look into cedarwood oil further but my understanding was that it isn’t all that effective.
Sarah W says
The moth in the picture is an orange underwing- completely harmless to clothes. Please could you use a picture of a Clothes/carpet Moth so that the other moths don’t get harmed.
I will do just that! Thank you for alerting me. My assistant selected a stock photo and obviously I don’t know my moths. I will swap it out today.
Pav Smith says
Before reading your article, I ordered We love the Planet Spiritual Spa oil with diffuser (it has eucalyptus, mint, lavender, rosemary oils). I thought it mostly smelled like lavender when I saw it at a restaurant. I was hoping it would work against moths. Do you think this combination could hurt?
I had clothes moths infestation so I had pest control come in 4 times and spray with K-Othrine (I think). I also bought some chemicals myself specifically for moths and have been using it on-and-off. The oils are just a preventative measure although I don’t seem to have any clothes moths now.
Thanks for your advice!
Hi there! I do not think this combo of oils will hurt anything. Give it a try and see what happens! Be sure to come back and let me know if it helped!
Does vinegar work to get rid of moths?
I have tried vinegar for all kinds of insects and have never had it work. I haven’t tried it for months specifically but my research indicates that it may work on pantry moths only. A lot of people add peppermint oil to the vinegar and spray it in the pantry. Apparently it deters the moths and they move elsewhere.
Diana Coatsworth says
Could you use strips of selotape instead of fly paper for the moth trap? Would it be sticky enough?
Honestly I don’t know. I think it is worth a try though!