Moths are small and quiet but can cause quite the expensive damage to your clothes. One of the most famous home remedies is the use of mothballs. Sadly, they are smelly and not really ideal for a long-term solution. And their smell can act as a signal to all of your guests that you have a moth infestation.
Luckily you don’t have to rely on the smelly solutions. There are plenty of natural remedies that you can try out. They can help reduce or even remove the moths, but they will also smell much better.
Phase 1 – Preparation
To maximize the chance of success, you have to invest in some preparation before applying any remedy you have chosen. What this means is to clean your wardrobe. Around spring cleaning time is the ideal moment for that.
While many people blame the adult moths for the damages, it’s actually the moth larvae. They use clothes as a hiding place and a way to maintain suitable conditions for their development. Moth larvae are usually active around summer and spring, so around that time, or just before it, would the ideal moment to start tackling the issue.
Begin with deciding what clothes you want to keep. Make sure you clean the wardrobe well, including the sides, walls and so on. Also, make sure the clothes are also well cleaned. Return the clothes to the wardrobe when you are sure they have dried very well. Moths and their larvae prefer moisture, so dry clothes lower their interest.
It can be tempting to store clothes in airtight boxes and bags, but you have to be careful. Not all fabrics are suitable for that and might need at least some ventilation.
Phase 2 – Time for the smelly stuff
Relax, it’s not going to be a bad smell. One popular solution is cedar wood blocks. They can come in various shapes and forms, even as coat hangers. Moths really don’t like the strong smell of cedar, so all you have to do is use some sandpaper on the block every few months to “revive” the scent. Depending on the wardrobe’s size, you may need more than one cedar block to achieve the desired saturation.
Another popular choice is lavender. It has a great aroma and can deter moths from the wardrobe. You can make sachets with lavender and other dried plants like bay leaves, peppermint, lemon balm and/or rosemary. You can even add some cedar shavings, too.
Place a couple of spoons of these ingredients in an old sock or a dry tea bag. Then place a few of the sachets in various corners of the wardrobe and between the shelves. The sachets will last a varying amount of time. You can usually “refresh” them by squeezing them every now and then. You can also get lavender and other similar herbs in essential oil form. It will come in a small bottle. It will be very concentrated and thus with a potent aroma that you can add to the sachets.
Another option would be to mix some of the essential oil with a small amount of distilled alcohol and water and spray it on the wardrobe’s floor and walls (not on the actual clothes, though).
There are also lavender-scented mothballs on the market. They might seem like an easy solution, but they usually don’t last as long, so they aren’t really suitable for the long term.
Sadly, pretty much all of these solutions are only suitable for small-size infestations. If you have a bigger problem or if the issue persists despite your best efforts, you will need to call moth control professionals.
They will know how to tackle the issue in the most effective way. That will depend on various factors like moth species, conditions, size of the colony, etc. But that’s why they are professionals and have the equipment needed to make sure you will bid a proper, long-term goodbye to the moths.