How to get rid of moths in an apartment? Modern — chemistry — and folk remedies

How to get rid of moths in an apartment? Modern «chemistry» and folk remedies

How to get rid of moths in an apartment? You need to know clearly what you are dealing with. An interesting fact: more than 70% of people do not suspect that different types of moths can start in the house: clothes, fur, carpet, furniture, fur coat and even eating leather goods. Knowing with what type of pest you encounter, you can pick up an effective remedy for moths.

Fur moth

This is one of the most voracious species. It is a mistake to believe that if you do not keep fur products in the apartment, she will not find something to eat. Its larvae will find a replacement for fur in the form of silk, velvet and even synthetic fabrics, book bindings and wax. Fur moth is not only gluttonous, but also tenacious: multiplying year-round, the species can withstand the temperature to 0 degrees and dispense with food for about a month. And even if you hide things in plastic bags, for fur moths there will be no obstacles.

One of the simplest and most accessible means,responding to the question of how to get rid of moths in an apartment, this is keeping things clean. You probably noticed that the pest does not touch the things you rarely use. Moles are much more like the dirtiest areas — armpits, pockets, sleeves and collar. Therefore, before you send the item to the cabinet, take it as a rule to wash and clean it. As an additional measure, you can iron the thing with an iron of the maximum permissible temperature — its larvae are also afraid. From time to time, ventilate things in the open air. And before you hang it in the closet — shake it. Another option is to hang out the infected clothes for a couple of hours in the cold.

Furniture moth

It is still more difficult with her. Cleanliness is again the main means of struggle. Regular wet and dry cleaning, vacuum cleaner — your faithful assistants in how to get rid of moths in the apartment. If the infection could not be avoided, it is possible to completely disperse the mole only through chemical means including dichlorvos in its composition.

Kitchen Mole

The ideal environment for kitchen moths is dried fruits,Nuts and various cereals (especially semolina). Polyethylene bags and fabric bags are not a problem for them. Therefore, it is recommended to store such products in plastic, glass or metal containers. Also, you need to regularly process the cabinets: wash them thoroughly with soap and water and wipe with a clean cloth, and apply a vinegar to all the slots with a brush.


How to get rid of moths in an apartment folk remedies, we already know. But they are not always effective. Therefore, the help of modern «chemistry» is required.

First, you can buy so-called repellents- they do not kill the flying moth, but frighten it away and do not allow it to approach things (such include naphthalene and camphor alloys tablets). As natural substitutes for them, you can use tobacco, pepper, garlic, chamomile, saffron or citrus crust. Herbs need to be folded into a pouch and placed on kitchen shelves or in a closet between clothes. Change bags every 2-3 months.

How to control a clothes moth infestation

Insect infestations can be frustrating to deal with – they take time, money and a lot of effort to properly eradicate the pest. If your home has a clothes moth infestation, another layer of difficulty is applied as you try to protect and clean your valuable wool, silk and fur garments. Battling clothes moths is no simple matter and can be costly to do, but TERRO ® has assembled this guide to help.


Recognizing that you have clothing moths will be your first step to eliminating them from your home. The signs aren’t usually apparent until you discover damage wrought by the clothes moth larvae. Some of the signs of a clothes moth infestation include:

  • Furrows, silky tunnels or trenches found on wool products, including clothing, blankets and rugs.
  • Excessive shedding from furs.
  • Patches of damage to wool rugs, especially in little-used areas of the rug.
  • In some cases, tiny tubes clinging to suspect material. These are the “cases” that casemaking clothes moth larvae create and live inside.
  • Small crusty accumulations on fabrics, rugs and clothing. These will be the same color of the fabric. If no wool, silk, cashmere or furs are present, then you may spot damage to cotton, linen and other less-desirable clothes moth food sources.
  • The physical appearance of moths when you remove fabric from their storage areas. Some will fly away, others will crawl away despite having wings.

It should be noted that clothing moths primarily seek out animal-based fabrics, as well as fur, hair, leather, feathers and taxidermy. If those materials can’t be found, the larvae of these bugs will also eat lint, dust, cotton and linen because they are often saturated with tasty oils.


There are two primary kinds of clothing moths – the webbing clothes moth and the casemaking clothes moth. Both of these moths and their larvae are treated the same way. The only difference worth noting between the two is the evidence one leaves behind. The larvae of casemaking clothes moths create small, fibrous tubes that cling to the material they’re eating. Both moths have cream colored wings and bodies. Their larvae, which are responsible for your damaged fabrics, are worms that are about a half-inch long.


Clothes moths seek out dark, undisturbed areas to eat, mate and reproduce. That’s why they are often found in closets and other areas in a house that go relatively unused for long stretches, such as an attic. Eggs hatch in about 4 to 10 days in the summer and three or more weeks in the winter. After hatching, the larvae seek out a food source. The larvae then dine until they transform into moths, at which point they mate and the cycle begins again. The larvae and pupa of clothes moths can survive for months without food, which makes totally eliminating an infestation difficult. The entire clothes moth life cycle usually takes four to six months. However, researchers say that with the right conditions these insects can remain in their larvae stage for more than two years!


Once you’ve determined that you have a problem with clothes moths, you need to take steps to eradicate them from your house.

  • Set Out Clothes Moth Traps – Set the TERRO ® Clothes Moth Alert in your walk-in closet, chest of drawers or underneath a bed. This simple pest trap is devised to lure and kill adult clothes moths without leaving a mothball smell on your fabric products. To get rid of the larvae, which do the damage, additional steps need to be taken.
  • Shake It Off – One quick way to dislodge any active larvae or moths is to simply shake the suspect garment vigorously. They will fall to the floor where they can be quickly vacuumed.
  • In some cases, tiny tubes clinging to suspect material. These are the “cases” that casemaking clothes moth larvae create and live inside.
  • Launder All Clothes – To eliminate most of the larvae and moths lingering in your home, put all your clothes through the laundry on high heat. Those high temperatures will kill any moths and their young.
  • Freeze Fabric – Some fabric simply cannot be washed. For those items, you can seal them in a plastic bag and put them in a freezer for about 12 hours. The intensely cold temperatures will kill eggs, larvae and moths. If your infestation occurs during a cold snap, you may even be able to take large items outside to eliminate the moths and their larvae.
  • Vacuum Your Storage Areas – Before you put any clothes or fabrics back into their normal storage areas – including closets, drawers, chests and bureaus – thoroughly vacuum out these areas and pay special attention to any crevices or dusty areas where eggs and larvae may be accumulating. The cleaner you make it, the less likely the infestation will return. Once done vacuuming, take your machine outside, remove the vacuum bag, seal it in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash. Remember, larvae can survive on dust, so get the vacuum debris out of your house!.
  • Reconsider Mothballs and Cedar Balls – Both mothballs and cedar balls can repel or even kill moths. Each has its own problems though. For mothballs to work effectively, they must be sealed in a container with the infested fabrics. This tends to make the fabrics take on the mothball smell. Cedar balls, on the other hand, need to be “refreshed” frequently, and that means you have to scratch them up with sand paper. Doing so reactivates their scent.
  • Exterminator – In extensive infestations, a professional exterminator may be required. While costly, a thorough treatment with chemical insecticides may be the ultimate solution to control these bug.


If you’re looking to avoid an infestation (or a resurgence), then understand that prevention is the key to your fight against clothing moths. Keep the following tasks on your regular chore list:

  • Cut Back on Fabrics – According to one report, the average woman now has four times as many clothing articles as she did in 1980. That means you have a lot of clothes that rarely get worn, which gives clothes moths ideal conditions to dine undisturbed.
  • Keep Clothes Clean – Always wash your clothes after they’ve been worn for any period of time. Even wearing an article for a few hours can deposit a layer of oil that draws larvae to your clothing. Further, the more frequently a piece of fabric is laundered, the less likely it is to house these moths or their larvae.
  • Hang, Don’t Stack – Clothing moths seem to prefer clothing that’s stacked on top of other clothing. It could be they appreciate the darkness or the relative stillness of such an arrangement. Regardless, it’s apparent that they prefer not to dine on clothing that’s placed on a hanger or hook.
  • Seal Clothing Away – For clothing that doesn’t get regular use, get it dry-cleaned and then immediately seal it in a moth-proof container or bag. This will keep these creatures from damaging these little-used items. The containers don’t need to be vacuum sealed, just closed in a bag or container that keeps moths and their larvae out.
  • Clean Second-hand Fabrics – If you regularly collect vintage clothing at a consignment shop, bring home antique rugs and furniture or buy from yard sales, you need to remain vigilant. Clothing can be laundered normally or dry cleaned before coming home. Rugs and furniture can be beaten outside to shake off larvae and then thoroughly cleaned.
  • Vacuum Regularly– Closets and other fabric-storage areas should be regularly inspected for clothing moths and vacuumed to remove dust build-up. As you do, shake out and inspect any fabric item that’s remained in the same place for a long time.


Are you struggling with a clothes moth infestation? What have you done to prevent clothing moths? If you have any questions about clothes moths, ask below in the comments, through our online contact form or by calling our customer service center at (800) 800-1819. You can also tell us about your clothes moth infestation the next time you visit TERRO ® on Facebook.

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How To Stop Moths From Eating Your Clothes

Moths invade our house against our will, and we rarely get rid of them as quickly as we want. Moths are divided into two categories, both equally stressful: moths attacking food and the ones attacking textiles, especially wool, fur, sometimes silk, and other types of fabrics.

Get rid of moths easily from your house

Pour in a bowl soapy water, add a few drops of essential lavender or white fir oil, wipe well with this scented water every shelf and the kitchen cabinet on all sides.

Store on shelves, clothes bags, clothes pockets and sleeves in bags with clothes, jackets and other clothes, shoes, folk remedies such ad: chestnut fruits, white fir branches, dry lavender in a cotton bag, or citrus peels.
Moths don’t tolerate all these substances, and if you combine them, she will never come back to your closet to “chew” your favorite sweater or your favorite cocktail dress.

Important! Citrus peels should be changed every month. The effect of other substances lasts for six months, and chestnut fruits – for lifetime.
Good to know! Moths don’t survive in cold environment with temperatures below 0 ° Celsius.

How to get rid of clothes moths: Do THIS for 12 hours to get rid of insects forever

CLOTHES MOTHS in your home are hard to notice, and you may not realise you have an infestation until fabric, fur or feathered items in your house become damaged. But there is a way of identifying the problem and some nifty tricks to get rid of them.

How to get rid of moths: Extreme heat or cold can help control infestations

Adult clothes moths actually do no damage when feeding. It is the larvae which hatch from the sticky eggs that eat wool, hair, fur or feathers.

Their preference is blankets, wool carpets, wool garments or upholstery, and one of the most common place to find them is wardrobes and drawers.

So what do clothes moths look like?

While there are many species of clothes moths, all of them are characterised by folding their wings tent-wise along their backs.

Related articles

How to get rid of moths: Adult moths actually do no damage when feeding

Adult clothes moths actually do no damage when feeding. It is the larvae which hatch from the sticky eggs that eat wool, hair, fur or feathers.

According to the British pest Control Association, the adult common clothes moth is six to seven millimetres long.

Larvae which hatch from sticky eggs are white caterpillars with golden-brown heads, and a distinguishable feature is they spin a hiding place of characteristic loose silk webbing, beneath which they feed.

While the larvae might be hard to spot, and it might not be apparent you’ve got an infestation until they’ve grown into the adults, there are some ways to prevent the problem happening.

The University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources says: “Methods for controlling clothes moths include periodic dry cleaning or laundering, proper storage, freezing, heating, fumigating with dry ice, trapping, or insecticides.

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“Keeping humidity levels low inside buildings creates an environment that isn’t favourable for clothes moth development. Buildings that don’t have numerous tiny cracks and crevices will also have fewer clothes moth problems.

“Good housekeeping practices are important as well. It is also important to regularly monitor fabrics and closets for clothes moths and their damage so you can take action when infestations are still small.”

Another way of controlling clothes moths the university suggests is by heating the infested item on an oven for at least 30 minutes at temperatures higher than 120 degrees fahrenheit, enclosing the item in a plastic bad and placing it in a freezer for several days at temperatures lower than 18 degree fahrenheit, or fumigating the item why dry ice.

It adds: “Before using any of these methods, consider if col or heat will damage the fabric.”

How to get rid of moths: Wardrobes are a common place to find them

Another infestation that can be found in the home is silverfish.

Silverfish are tiny bugs which can usually be found in kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms and dark, isolated areas within the home. But what causes an infestation and how do you get rid of them?

Adult silverfish have long silver bodies and use a curious swishing motion to travel across walls and floors, a bit like a fish.

They can can be found in a variety of common items in households an businesses such as books, wallpaper, paintings, fabrics, carpets, coffee, sugar, pasta and other food debris.

What Causes Moths in Your House?

If you see a single moth flying around your living room, you probably left a window open, but a whole collection of moths in your closet or pantry probably got in a different way. There’s a good chance they entered — perhaps as larvae — on someone’s clothes or in a grocery bag. Destructive moths love the shelter and nourishment they find in a pantry, an open bag of dog food or your linens. Insecticides aren’t much good for getting rid of them — it’s better to throw away infested food, dry-clean infested clothing and do a deep clean of the surroundings. If you don’t want them to come back, and you want to avoid toxic mothballs, keep food containers closed and dry-clean your clothes before storing them.

Four Destructive Species

If you’re lucky enough to host a single outdoor moth, such as Cecropia (Hyalophora cecropia), in your living room, enjoy the treat. Large moths, such as Cecropia — with moon-shaped markings on their wings — are usually beautiful and completely harmless. The moth probably came in through an open window, and if you leave it alone, it will undoubtedly leave the same way.

Three smaller moth species aren’t as benign or beautiful, and if you spot some of these (you’ll seldom see just one), you’ve got a problem:

Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella) — Measuring less than a half-inch in length, with a wingspan that approaches one inch and brown wings with bronze flecks, the female brown house moth can lay 600 eggs at once. The hungry larvae feed on dry food in the pantry and natural fiber clothing.

Pantry Moth (Plodia interpunctella) — Also known as the Indian meal moth, this household pest is perhaps the most destructive of all the moths. It has the same coppery coloration on its wings as the brown house moth, and it’s about the same size, but its wings are gray. It infests pantries and linen drawers with equal zeal. Females lay up to 300 eggs at a time, and as is true with all destructive moths, the larvae do the damage.

Webbing Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella) and Casemaking Clothes Moth (Tinea pellionella**)** — Clothes moths tend to stay around the clothing they’ve infested, and they are smaller than moths that infest pantries. They have a general golden-brown coloration, with reddish hairs on the head, their distinguishing feature. If you notice them in a closet or drawer, damage to your clothing is almost certain. These moths feed almost exclusively on natural fabrics, especially wool.

Where Did They Come From?

Pantry moths and house moths may enter your house through an open window or door, or they may find their way in through a crack in the eaves. The larvae often surreptitiously hitch a ride on someone’s clothing or in a grocery bag. Pantry moths are especially likely to infest bulk cereals and grains. Because clothes moths seldom wander far from the clothing they’ve infested, and because they don’t like the light, they — and their larvae — are usually stowaways on clothing, particularly items purchased at second-hand outlets.

Getting Rid of Destructive Moths

Insecticides have limited use against moths. You may kill some of the adults, and possibly some of the larvae, but you’ll contaminate your clothes and/or your food in the process. A better way to get rid of moths in your pantry is to throw away infested food and deep-clean the shelves, walls and floors with soap and water. If you spot moths in a closet or a drawer, remove all the clothing you suspect may be infested, throw away all the damaged clothing and dry-clean the rest. Dry-cleaning kills the larvae and eggs that still may be on the clothing. Keep in mind that clothing moths prefer natural fabrics, especially wool and fur, so pay special attention to them.

Preventing a Re-Infestation

Mothballs were invented to prevent moth infestations, but both the ingredients used to make them — paradichlorobenzene (PDB) and naphthalene — have been proven to be dangerously toxic. PDB is a suspected carcinogen, and naphthalene can cause liver and eye damage, particularly if eaten by a curious child or pet. If you opt to use them, do so sparingly, and put them only in places far out of the reach of curious hands or mouths. Keep in mind that mothball crystals produce a persistent odor that can pervade woodwork and clothing, which may linger long after you remove the mothballs themselves.

Once you’ve rid your pantry of a moth infestation, the best way to prevent a recurrence is to keep your food in sealed containers and check items carefully before you put them into storage. Be especially wary of bulk grains, cereals and dry pet food.

The strategy for protecting your clothing from clothes moths is basically the same. After you’ve inspected your clothing, thrown out damaged items and dry-cleaned the rest, continue to clean clothing meticulously before putting it away. Some moths attack clothing — not for the fabric — but for the organic oils left by perspiration and dried food.

If you suspect the moths may have entered through gaps in the eaves or through windows you want to leave open, you might want to treat these areas with an insecticide. You can also trap adult moths with safe traps that attract the moths using natural pheromones to prevent them from laying more eggs. If you think the moths came in through an open door or window, it’s probably best to keep it closed as much as possible.

How to Store Clothes in Cardboard Boxes

Packing away clothing in cardboard boxes makes a cheap storage alternative but cardboard storage should only be a temporary solution. Certain types of household pests, like moths, are attracted to the box’s protein glue and will easily sneak into boxes for food, resulting in damage to the fabrics you want to protect. Whether storing seasonal garments or transporting items to a donation facility, get the best results by preparing your clothing prior to packing and taking a few extra steps to protect your clothes.

Examine each garment for stains, spots or obvious signs of soiling. Smell the garment. If it smells or appears dirty, you should wash the items before packing them. Protein-based stains attract the bugs you want to avoid.

Wash the clothing according to the directions on the care label. All clothing should be clean and dry.

Fold the clothing neatly and in a uniform manner. For example, fold all the sweaters the same way. This makes packing the clothing easier.

Select a clean cardboard box with a lid. Look inside the box for spots or stains. Do not use boxes that have contained foods or have obvious stains.

Line the inside of the box with acid-free tissue paper to protect the garments from leaching. Some cardboard contains chemicals that transfer dye on to your clothing.

Place the clothing in the box. Cover the clothing with a sheet of acid-free tissue paper. Put the lid on the box. Tape the box, where the lid and box meet to create a temporary seal. Mark the box with a permanent marker.

Learn to Keep Moths Out of Your House Naturally

This post may contain affiliate links.

Moths in the house? This solution works well, is inexpensive, and is simple to make. Make the sachets, and place them where you have wool in your home!

I love living in the country. Unfortunately, there are a few hard and fast truths that come with wide-open spaces and fresh air:

  1. You will never be able to keep the layer of dust at bay during harvest season.
  2. Spiderwebs that you have just swept away will return almost as fast as you can blink.
  3. You will struggle with moths in the house who want to share your warm indoor space.

This last truth has been especially difficult for us this year. We have found moths in our closet and in the pantry; it is time for them to go.

It used to be more common for people to have moth sachets in their homes. I’m not sure when we got away from this. It could be that we wear less wool clothing. Whatever the case, I am making a call for a reinstatement of these scented pouches, in every room of the house.

Using Southernwood for Moths in the House

Right outside my kitchen door, there is a plant that has a well-earned and ancient reputation for keeping moths out of the house. To date, I have only used it in connection with keeping moths out of my beehives. It has grown wild and unmanageable and I was eyeing it this spring for a major cutback anyway. This plant is called southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum).

Southernwood is a European native that does very well here in North America. It grows happily into a small shrub that is roughly three feet by three feet in size. In the Middle Ages, southernwood was very popular. It was taken inside and thrown on the floor to be walked on, hung in wardrobes and placed in trunks of clothing for its pest rebuffing properties. It is aromatic, smelling of lemon and camphor when crushed. The French call it “garderobe” for its ability to guard their stored wardrobe.

Southernwood used to have quite a reputation as a culinary herb and as an internal healer. It was used to drive off intestinal worms and calm the stomach. Today, it is little used as a remedy and only seen in food in Italy. It makes a great potpourri and incense ingredient.

Making a Moth Sachet

I originally grew southernwood for its reputation for chasing away fleas when sewn into a dog’s bed. This week it’s going to get pressed into service in other areas of my house. I’m making a moth sachet to get rid of the moths in my house.

Making a moth sachet is not a complicated process. You can use just about any kind of cloth bag. I have a big drawer of my grandmother’s handkerchiefs that I have been wanting to use – they’re going to become part of this project.

Other Plants for Getting Rid of Moths in the House

If you don’t have southernwood, or if you want to have a mix of plants instead, here are some other great plants that will help you get rid of moths in the house:

Sachet for Moths in the House

You will want to make one for hanging on each hanger you use for something that is wool. If you have drawers, or you have put your clothes away in boxes, make a sachet for each of these as well.


  • 2-3 pocket handkerchiefs, or any kind of cloth bag (find some here)
  • 1 ounce dried southernwood* (find it here)
  • 1 ounce dried herb(s) of your choice from above* (a traditional recipe uses broken cinnamon sticks here)
  • 8 inches of ribbon for each handkerchief

DO NOT use powdered herbs for this project.


  1. In a bowl, stir your herbs together.
  2. Place a golf-ball-sized mound of the herbs in the center of each unfolded and flattened handkerchief.
  3. Gather the four corners of your handkerchief together.
  4. Fold your ribbon in half and make a knot around the handkerchief corners in the middle of the ribbon.
  5. Tie another knot with the ends of the ribbon.
  6. You should now have a tied herbal sachet with a ribbon hanger. You may shorten the ribbon or just tie the ends into a bow if you would rather not hang your sachet.

To Use

Place one sachet into each drawer or box with wool clothing. Hang one sachet on a hanger with each wool garment in your closet. These sachets can be used to get rid of moths, ants, and mice in your house and food cupboards. You can keep them fresh for 6-12 months by squeezing them occasionally.

We have also written about other homemade moth repellent ideas.

Have you ever used a natural method to get rid of moths in the house? If so, what worked well for you?

About Dawn Combs

Dawn is a wife, mother, farmer, author, ethnobotanist, professional speaker, and educator. She has over 20 years of ethnobotanical experience, is a certified herbalist, and has a B.A. in Botany and Humanities/Classics. Dawn is co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows Farm. Her books include Conceiving Healthy Babies and Heal Local.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.

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Kay says

Great tips, Dawn, thank you! I do not have any southernwood growing, but the native Artemisia ludoviciana grows all over here. Are you familiar with it? It has a sagey smell and has a history of being used for smudge sticks. I wondered if I could use that with a mix of some of the other herbs you list. Thanks!

Dawn Combs says

Thanks Kay!
I say, give it a try. A lot of the sages carry similar phytochemicals, if not in the same concentrations. With a combination of other plants known to repel moths, I don’t think you can go wrong. =)

About Matt & Betsy

Matt and Betsy are passionate about living naturally and building a like-minded community focused on the sustainable lifestyle.

DIY Natural is about rediscovering the traditional value of doing things yourself, doing them naturally, and enjoying the benefits. Welcome to the movement! (read more)

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