There are few things more annoying in the morning then going to the closet for an outfit and finding moths. If you do find moths in the closet it is important to act right away since the longer you wait the more eggs will be laid which will bring even more moths further down the line. Clothes that are clean are less likely to attract moths then clothes with perspiration (in which the moths can obtain vitamins and minerals) so keeping your clothes clean is the first defense.

How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths

  1. Vacuuming often does a good job in ridding the closet of clothes moths. It is important to vacuum everywhere, not just the floor. Vacuum the cracks, the crevices, the walls, the angle where the walls meet, the ceiling, things in the closet including clothes and shoes, around the hangers and anywhere else you can think of. Moths are small and their larvae are even smaller and often blend with the surroundings. Vacuum a few times a week at first and then once a week should do the job.
  2. If there are clothes that have a particularly large amount of larvae on them it is easier to freeze them than to wash the garment. Simply place the garment in a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as you can and freeze for 72 hours. After that you can shake out the garment (make sure you are outside) and then wash.
  3. Clothes moths love humidity, therefore, it is necessary to control the humidity in your home. The insects are most comfortable in a home that has 70 – 80 percent humidity. A dehumidifier will help lower the humidity wherever you place it. With the regular use of a dehumidifier you will soon notice a decline in moths living in your closet. This does not mean, however, that they have not simply taken up residence in some other section of your house so keep an eye out for them because you can always move your dehumidifier to combat new tenants.
  4. Sodium lights can also be effective in getting rid of clothes moths. Moths are attracted to lights because they copy the light spectrum of the sun. By installing low pressure sodium lights (high pressure sodium lights contain mercury) by your front and back doors you will go a long way towards moth control. Good screens on your doors and windows will also help a lot.
  5. There are some moth control products available but they are poisons, stink (moth balls) and often do not work anyway. Moth balls, in fact, are harmful to humans because they are carcinogenic and kill red blood cells when inhaled. Moth balls will also make everything in your closet, including you, smell like a moth ball.
  6. Sometimes, despite all our efforts, the moths will not go away. It is then time to call a professional exterminator. Moths multiply quickly so you want to get them while their numbers are fewer. Exterminators will get rid of the moths by fumigating. Once the moths are gone it will be easier to implement a strategy of vacuuming often and using a dehumidifier to control humidity.

A couple of good sites for information on clothes moths are: Colostate.edu and Epestsupply.com.

It is always good to learn the facts about moths because then you will have an idea of how best to deal with them. Clothes moths can take over your house (bedroom closets, hall closets, couches, drapes, etc) so the more you know the better equipped you will be to fight back.

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