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How-To: Get Rid of Fabric-Eating Moths

If you've opened your closet and realized that your favorite cashmere sweater has holes all over it, you've probably got a moth problem. It's unlikely that the moths are attracted to just that one cardi, so there are a few steps you should take to ensure your whole wardrobe doesn't suffer the same fate. That is, unless we're talking about all those reindeer Christmas sweaters from grandma.

To learn how to kick those buggers to the curb,


  • Clothes moths feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, lint, paper, and even cotton, linen, silk, and some synthetic fibers. But in general, they especially crave fabrics that have been stained or soiled with food, beverages, perspiration, sweat, oil, and urine. In many cases, you can't even tell that your apparel has been stained, so you should always clean your garments before you store them.
  • If you've already discovered you have a moth problem, you should wash all of your clothes in the infested area in hot water and detergent or dry clean them.
  • When it comes time to store your out-of-season clothes, you should keep them in airtight containers such as plastic boxes and bags, metal containers, or wooden (cedar is ideal) chests.
  • Moths tend to develop under humidity. So, if your closet or storage space is near a bathroom or humidifier, you should ventilate the area by opening windows or using a fan.
  • Clothes moths also prefer darkness. So if you have an alternative place to store your apparel that is bright, consider moving your clothes. You might also leave on low-energy lightbulbs such as CFLs or LEDs to light your closet.
  • To capture the male clothes moths in order to stop the breeding process, use a pheromone trap in your closet.
  • You should also vacuum your closet thoroughly in all cracks and crevices, as well as carpeting. Use a flashlight to identify lint and hair at the baseboards, in air ducts, and corners of the room that you might not see otherwise. If you have upholstered furniture in your closet (lucky lady), make sure to vacuum it thoroughly as well.
  • As for moth repellants, mothballs are tried and true, but they can also be harmful to your health, and leave a strong odor on your clothes. So, you can make a sachet with these herbal mothball alternatives. Cedar chips tend to lose their effect after the wood has dried, but cedar chests, which are airtight, are often effective.
Image Source: Getty
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