How to Stop Moths in Your Closet From Eating Your Clothes

If you are like many people, then probably a minute ago you did not need an adult wardrobe. How many of us have been working remotely over the past few years? Have the years really gone by ? Holy Moly. You can rip dress shirts up for a Zoom call, but otherwise we live in a constant Causal Friday that gives moths a chance to get to all those trousers or dresses in the closet.

There are two types of moths that love to eat your natural fiber clothes, and once they get into your home, they will silently – and often unnoticed – literally eat your clothes , like in a horror movie. Clothes moths love dark, untouched places, so the less you wear and wash your clothes, the better for them. Here’s what you can do if you find clothes moth civilization thriving in your closets.

Moth detection

First, how do you know if you are dealing with moths? There are three telltale signs:

  • You open a closet or drawer and moths fly out. This is not a joke and it makes it obvious.
  • Mysterious holes begin to form on your clothes, ranging from the size of a pinhead to the size of ever larger coins. They are produced by moth larvae that gnaw through your clothes until they are ready to spread their wings and fly at you when you finally open the closet door.
  • At the bottom of the boxes or on the floor of the cabinet, a layer of “dust” resembling salt and pepper is the remains of pupae or “cases” in which the larvae hatch, as well as the remains of dead moths.

Most people first realize they have moths when mysterious holes appear on their favorite sweaters. Moths love natural fibers, so it’s not unusual for a closet or drawer to have half of the clothes already eaten and the other half left untouched. One thing is for sure, if you have moths, any natural fiber garment you place in that closet or drawer will be destroyed pretty quickly. You should get rid of these moths or switch to a viscose and nylon lifestyle.

Death to moths

While many moth species are in decline, clothes moth populations are definitely on the rise . If you open a closet and an army of tiny cream-colored insects fly out, you don’t have to worry about going to DEFCON 1 and destroying the enemy. Here’s how to do it:

First, treat the clothes. Pull everything out of the closet or drawers and inspect each item. You will be amazed how many holes you will find. Fixing moth holes is possible , but not easy, and making your expensive clothes look like new can be very difficult. You will need to decide whether to salvage moth-damaged clothing or just throw it away.

Don’t assume that just because you can’t see moth holes, a piece of clothing is safe – it could very well contain moth eggs or larvae. Before you put your clothes back in the closets, you need to make sure those little bugs are gone:

  • If the clothes can be machine washed and dried, wash them in hot water. The water must be hot , above 120 degrees, so you can temporarily turn on the water heater. Put them in the dryer, but again, it should be at least 120 degrees. If you are not sure about this, try another option.
  • The main thing here is the extreme temperature. If you can’t wash your clothes and/or your dryer doesn’t provide enough heat, you can put your clothes in the oven at 125 degrees for half an hour, or put them in plastic bags and put them in the freezer for 24 hours. hours (or longer if you want to be more sure). Note. If your clothing has plastic buttons, beads, or other items, do not bake them as they may melt or warp.
  • As an alternative (but much, much more expensive), dry cleaning will definitely help.

Insulate as you process clothing. It’s not a bad idea to pack them in airtight plastic clothing bags to make sure enterprising moths don’t sneak in after you’ve baked their family members to death.

Second, process your storage. Your cabinets and drawers need a thorough cleaning. If you haven’t already, move everything out of the area. Moth eggs fall into the cracks and seams of boxes, floors and walls. Vacuum them all, penetrating all the seams you can handle. Then wipe everything down with whatever household cleaner you normally use.

For best results, you should use an insecticide to make sure any eggs or larvae you missed (those suckers are small ) are destroyed and future moth invaders don’t get new support. Look for insecticides made from pyrethrum or a related compound, which are usually available as dust ( delta dust is a popular choice). These insecticides are specific to flying insects such as moths. Be careful: this dust is dusty , and if you just start spraying it into your nooks and crannies, you will end up with a cloud of death in your home. Instead of splattering dust like a maniac, pour a small amount of dust into a container and use an old brush to gently brush it into cracks and seams – and be careful to clean up spills if you have pets or children who might get close. To her.

Finally, add some deterrents. Now that your cabinets are (supposedly) moth-free, take some steps to keep them that way. Avoid old-school moth balls – they do work, but unlike Delta Dust, they seamlessly pump fumes into your home that are just as bad for you (and your pets) as they are for moths, and can also damage the plastic by damaging yours. clothes. handbags and other items of clothing at risk.

Old-fashioned cedar will help. Moths are repelled by the smell of cedar and other essential oils, so by placing a few cedar planks or bags in cabinets and drawers, you will at least increase your chances of avoiding a second invasion. Just be aware that cedar will tarnish over time – you’ll need to sand the cedar blocks from time to time to release the fresh scent, and give a good sachet massage once in a while. It’s also a good idea to open closets and drawers and move clothes around. Moths hate light and movement, so this will scare them away if they come back and you will notice the damage much sooner, allowing you to move on to the second wave of the fix.

Finally, place some pheromone traps in the closet. Capturing adult butterflies won’t stop an infestation (there will always be more eggs), but the traps will act as a warning system: if you’ve cleared everything and see adult butterflies in two weeks, you haven’t done a good enough job and your clothes have become a smorgasbord again. which you can eat.

Clothes moths can cause a lot of damage both financially and psychologically, but you can minimize both by being proactive. Or try to convince people that tiny holes all over your clothes are the new fashion of your choice.

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