Moths are a common problem in many homes, in pantries, where they eat cereals and flour, and in closets, where they are attracted to wool, silk and other fabrics. Getting rid of moths altogether takes a two-pronged approach: you will first need to fix the immediate moth problem and clear the infested areas, then use preventative measures to make sure the moths don’t return.
1. Get rid of the moths in the closet
Learn to recognize the signs. If you’ve seen a month or two flittings but aren’t sure you have an infestation, look for these signs:
- Small holes in sweaters or other clothing. If you see holes in a sweater, you will likely find more. Check all clothes made of wool, feathers, fur and silk.
- Clothes that look dusty or discoloured, or have a musty smell.
- Cobwebs in the corners of the closet or on clothes.
Place moth traps. To solve the immediate problem of moths in your closet, trap them with moth pheromone traps, which will attract and kill them with a sticky substance from which they cannot escape once they come in contact.
- You can make a flypaper and fish oil trap yourself, which attracts moths. Pour some on some fly paper and hang it in your closet.
- Traps designed to catch mice are also effective against moths.
Wash your clothes. It is important to wash all clothes to eliminate the eggs that the moths may have deposited.
- Wash clothing according to directions. If possible, dry them with a dryer. Garments that cannot be dried at a high temperature can be placed in the refrigerator for a few days to eliminate the eggs.
- Wash blankets, towels, and any other clothing stored in your closet.
- Remove suitcases, bags and other containers and wash them too.
Clean the closet. Now that you’ve got everything out of the closet, it’s time to clean it from top to bottom to remove any moth eggs that may be hiding inside.
- Use soapy water or vinegar and water to clean the closet walls and shelves. Pour the solution onto a sponge and rub it on the walls to get rid of the eggs. Clean very carefully in cracks and crevices.
- Vacuum clean well. Use a very powerful vacuum cleaner to clean your closet mats. While you’re at it, vacuum the bedroom as well, as the moths may have spawned too.
2. Prevent Future Infestations in Your Closet
Brush clothes made of wool, fur, or feathers after wearing them. Moth eggs usually enter closets through clothing.
Keep your clothing clean. Moths are attracted to wool, but they tend to get into your closet more willingly if your clothes have food stains and other items they can eat. Make sure you wash your clothes before hanging them. Dry clean wool items before putting them in the closet.
- Store clothing properly. Clothes you don’t wear often, especially woolen clothing for the winter, should be stored in sealed containers.
- Protect wool coats and sweaters with plastic bags.
- Store winter clothing in sealed plastic or metal containers.
- Keep the closet cool and well ventilated. Moths are attracted to humid places, so it’s important to circulate the air in the closet and keep it cool so the moths don’t decide to settle there.
- Air your clothing often. Let woolen garments take their own, especially if you’re picking them up in early fall or winter after they’ve been stored for a long time.
- Use cedar in your closet. Cedar is a moth repellent, so it’s a good idea to hang wool items on cedar hangers.
- You can also buy spherical cedar pieces to hang in your closet, or fill a bag with cedar chips and hang it up.
- Try putting cedar-scented items in the pockets of your wool garments for added protection.
- Try using moth products or natural alternatives. Putting moth moths in your closet is an effective way to kill moths, but chemical moth moths are made with substances that are toxic to humans, and leave a strong odor in your closet and on your clothes. Try these alternatives:
- Bags that contain dried rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender or bay leaves. Fill a simple cloth bag with these ingredients, use a ribbon to tie it, and hang it up.
- You can sprinkle essential oils made from these herbs in your closet or on your clothes to keep moths away.
- In extreme cases, call an exterminator. Moth problems can often be solved with these simple solutions, but if you find that moths keep coming back, they may spawn in places you can’t reach with a vacuum cleaner or sponge. Call a Professional Pest Control who uses fumes in the area and eliminates the moth eggs.
3. Getting rid of moths in the kitchen
Learn to recognize the signs. Moths leave droppings, cobwebs and other signs of their presence. There is probably an infestation if you notice these signs:
- Foods stuck together or slightly sticky. This can happen due to the secretions of the moths.
- Foods that taste bad, even if they have not expired and have not been exposed to conditions that may have generated the stale flavor.
- Veils of cobwebs around boxes or bags in the pantry.
- The presence of adult caterpillars or moths in the pantry is a sure sign that it is time to do something.
Throw away infested foods. Don’t try to save them; it is unhealthy to eat moth-infested foods. Throw away the following foods:
- Bulk foods, such as cereals, flours, pasta, nuts and rice, because moths eat and lay eggs in these foods.
- Moths can eat cardboard boxes. If you see small holes in the boxes, throw them away.
- Moths can also penetrate very small spaces. Anything that has already been opened, even a plastic box of dried fruit or chunks of chocolate, should be thrown away.
- Throw the food in a sealed plastic bag, and take it out of the house right away.
- Trap moths. If there are still moths in the kitchen after you throw away their food supplies, place moth pheromone traps to attract and eliminate them with a sticky substance that they cannot escape from. Throw the traps in a sealed container when you have caught all the moths in the kitchen.
Clean the kitchen. Now that you’ve solved the immediate problem, it’s time to clean the kitchen from top to bottom, focusing on the pantry, to get rid of any eggs the moths may have laid.
- Use soapy water or vinegar and water as a cleanser. You can also use a stronger chemical cleaner.
- Wet a sponge or steel wool with the solution and wipe it through cabinets, pantry, and other nooks and crannies in your kitchen. Make sure you scrub the surfaces well to remove all the eggs.
Consider calling a pest control professional. If moths appear again after you take these measures, they may leave eggs in the walls or other places you can’t reach with a sponge. Make an appointment with an exterminator, who will use powerful products to solve the problem.
4. Prevent Future Infestations in the Kitchen
Examine the foods. Moths enter the kitchen through already infested food. Bulk items such as oats, dry cereals, or dried fruit may have eggs in them when you bring them indoors. Even food that has been packaged and sealed may contain moth eggs.
Put food in the freezer when you bring it home. You won’t have to stop buying bulk foods; try putting them in the freezer to eliminate any eggs they may contain before putting them in the pantry. Clear a space for these foods in the freezer and store the foods there for 3-4 days before using them normally.
- Store foods in sealed containers. Proper food conversation is probably the best preventative measure you can take.
- Use glass or plastic containers for bulk foods. Make sure they have covers that close well.
- Instead of putting open boxes and bags of non-perishable foods in the pantry, pour what’s left into sealable containers. Moths can eat cardboard and light plastic.
Check the temperature and humidity of the kitchen. Moths thrive in hot, humid environments, so if your kitchen is often humid, it’s an inviting environment for moths.
- Keep windows and doors closed when the air conditioner is on.
- Make sure your pantry and food storage areas are well ventilated.
Seal cracks and openings. There are many great hiding places for a moth in the kitchen. Try your best to seal out places you can’t clean regularly, such as cracks in the back of the pantry, gaps between shelves and walls, and cracks where cabinets are attached to the wall.
Moth moths are poisonous to humans. Make sure children and animals don’t come near the closet if you use them. You can also book our moth pest control service to remove moth from your closet.