Asked on Oct 6, 2017

HELP! MOTHS 😱trying to find a non toxic, proven method to eliminate

GinnySharonNancy Turner


Just realized our house is infested with clothes moth. They’ve eaten away our wool carpet under the beds, our rugs that were stored in a cedar closet (!) , my two favorite woolen sweaters , one was a very expensive anniversary present from my husband - triple ply thick cashmere (Catherine Malandrino design) - also in cedar closet plus half of my collection of vintage woolen shawls & scarves. The scarves were from my mother, grandmother and aunts. I picked up a couple while traveling. They are irreplaceable.
We’ve tried the following: cedar closet, cedar spray, moth ball hangers, lemon oil, allowing spiders to stay in the house untouched. We even tried highly recommended , organic , moth repellant herbal sachets. The moths used them as a digestive aid or dessert .
please help. 🙏 my husband and daughter are chemically sensitiv.

9 answers
  • Oh my goodness, my heart is breaking for you! I do not have many wool garments, but the few I do have are well protected. I place sweaters in space bags with lavender and bay leaves. I have a garment bag for my coats, also with lavender and bay leaves. I hae eool scarves in ziplock bags. What puzzles me is that you have cedar in the closet. It might be worth a consult with a local pest control company to see what they might have to suggest. Here are a few links, there are tons of remedies out there - we will find one that works for you. Someone told me once to put wool garments in the freezer, but I do not remember for how long . . .

  • Catherine Anspaugh
    on Oct 6, 2017

    You can buy great sticky traps on Amazon. You just put one up high and one down low. I only saw one in my closet and I couldn't believe how many I caught when I put my traps down. Yuck!
  • Cindy
    on Oct 6, 2017

    Have you tried using moth balls? I use them for other purposes and they have always worked well for me. They smell a little bad but are effective. I hope you can salvage all your beautiful heirlooms. Wishing you well.
  • Amber
    on Oct 6, 2017

    Call an exterminator. I had the same problem. You need an expert pronto.
  • PJ Wise
    on Oct 6, 2017

    Take a look at the information I took from the following website. Not only does this site discuss preventing clothing moths, it also details pantry moths.

    How to Get Rid of Moths from Your Home Safely and Permanently
    Posted by EarthKind on April 15th, 2017

    Furs and silks can be signs of a lovely and luxurious wardrobe – but they can also be an invitation for moth infestations. Clothes moths are attracted to natural fibers. They will lay in wait, damaging or destroying precious items that are stored away.
    Preventing moth damage is essential. You may not know you have a moth problem before it is too late and the damage has been done.
    Thankfully there is a way to get rid of moths naturally that is safe, effective, and long lasting!
    What to Look For
    Many people believe moths are drawn to light, but this isn’t true for the moths that infest closets, clothes and furniture. They actually prefer dark, undisturbed areas. Casemaking clothes moths and webbing clothes moths tend to be less active in brightly lit environments. They prefer to stay close to their food sources, making them difficult to detect.
    Adult moths do not have mouths so they are not responsible for damage to clothes or fabrics. The larvae are the ones responsible for holes in your favorite blouse or other damage. Don’t be distracted by the sight of a moth flying somewhere in your home. Instead, be on the watch for damage to clothes, bedding, or furniture, as well as webbing, cocoons, or even droppings.
    Plan Ahead
    Washing or dry cleaning items that moths are attracted to, such as natural fibers, before storing them can reduce the likelihood of moth infestations. This will remove any existing moth eggs or larvae as well as remove any biological residue such as sweat, hair, or body oils which moths find attractive. Store items in air tight storage bags or totes rather than cardboard boxes to protect against moths.
    Conventional pesticides are not recommended when treating a moth infestation as chemicals and poisons may have adverse effects on people, pets, and non-target species if applied to clothing, bedding, and/or furniture.
    Invest in a Moth Repellent
    In addition to laundering and protectively storing items, one of the best ways to prevent moth infestations is to invest in a moth repellent.
    Stay Away® Moths works by using moth’s highly developed sense of smell against them. Moths use their sense of smell to communicate, to detect food and find mates. Stay Away® Moths will block the scents they are searching for and cause them to avoid the treated area.
    As an added bonus, the natural scents and essential oils smell pleasant to people!
    Most importantly, when you choose an environmentally friendly repellent, you do not have to worry about the risk you might be posing to your pets or to your kids or grandkids.
    Remember to ‘prevent the pest so it won’t infest.’ You don’t want to have to get rid of moths; you want to stop them from damaging your property before they begin!
  • Nancy Turner
    on Oct 6, 2017

    I put my wool stuff in the bags you vacuum down and put them in my cedar chest and cedar closet, so far I haven't had trouble. I have wool coats in the closet that I have never covered, so far so good. I hope you can find a viable solution without getting your hubby and daughter ill. My hubby and I are both sensitive to highly scented things like perfumes. If it is strong enough I get like a hay fever reaction that I have had linger for a week once it started.
  • Ginny
    on Oct 6, 2017

    Ask a professional like Terminex (sp) if they have non-toxic repellents.
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