How to Get Rid of Moths: Eliminate & Prevent Moth Problems

moth on leaf

Moths can cause problems in a household. They like to feast on your cereals, grains, and the clothes in your closet. They especially like wool and silk but will eat other fabrics as well. If you are experiencing a moth problem you will want to read these tips on how to get rid of moths.

Moths in Your Closets

The first thing to do when getting rid of moths in your closet is to know what signs to look for that they are present.

You will see tiny holes in your sweaters or other clothing articles. If one sweater has the holes it is most likely there are others that have suffered the same consequence. Check all the clothing in the closet for damages.

You may notice that your clothing looks discolored or dusty, or that is has a musty smell.

You may notice webbing on your clothes or in the corners of the closet.​

If you see any of these signs, set out traps to take care of the immediate problem.​

You can trap them with pheromone moth traps that have a sticky substance on them that will attract and kill the moth as they can’t escape from it once they land.​ You can make these traps from articles you most likely have around your home:

  • Flypaper with fish oil dabbed on it can be hung in your closet to catch and trap them.
  • Mouse traps are also effective in catching moths.

After you have inspected your clothing and found signs of moths, wash all of it. They could have laid eggs on your clothing that must be removed in order to prevent further infestation.

  • You can wash the clothing according to label instructions, but if possible dry them on a high heat. If they cannot withstand high heat it is suggested you freeze them for a few days to kill the eggs.
  • Check all your linens and towels in your home for damage.
  • Check suitcases, bags and any other cloth containers and wash them also.

While your clothing is out of the closet being washed; scour it from top to bottom to make sure all eggs are gone. This can be done with vinegar and water solution or soapy water making sure you reach into all crevices and cracks. Follow the scrubbing with a good vacuum to clean the carpet inside the closet.​

Prevent the Moths from Returning to Your Closet

Once you have gone through the time and trouble to remove moths from your closet you want to make sure the problem doesn’t return.​

  • Brush all clothing you bring home made from wool, feathers or fur. If you wear clothing made of these materials outside; brush them each time. The moth eggs are most often brought into a home from clothing that has been worn outside.
  • Keep all clothing in your closet clean. A professor of textiles, Cheryl Ann Farr reported dirty clothes are often the biggest attraction for moths. Once you have worn something, even if you feel it wasn’t long enough to soil it, wash it. The moth will be attracted to food stains on your clothing that you may not even be aware is on them. Dry clean your wool items after wearing as this is the moth’s favorite fabric.
  • Store any clothing that you don’t often wear, especially wool items. Protect them in plastic bags, storage bins or airtight metal containers.
  • Make sure your closet is well ventilated as the moth is attracted to humid spaces. Keeping the air circulating will ensure they decide to use the closet for nesting.
  • Once you remove stored clothes from storage, especially your wool items, hang them out to get some sun and air them out.
  • Cedar chips work great when placed inside your closet as the moth does not like the scent given off from cedar.
  • Moth balls are another alternative to place in your closet and keep them from setting up home. This will; however, leave a scent on your clothes and they are toxic to humans. There are alternatives such as; cloves, thyme, rosemary leaves or bay leaves that the moth will not like either.

Moths in Your Kitchen

Just as you checked your closet for signs of the moth; check your kitchen for their presence. They will leave webbing and other signs alerting you have a problem. You will notice:

  • Items in your cupboard have a sticky feeling or are slightly stuck together. This occurs from their secretions.
  • Your food may not smell right or have a musty odor.
  • You may find webbing around boxes or bags in your cupboard.
  • If there are any caterpillars or full-grown moths around your pantry area then you know for sure you have a problem.

Begin by throwing away any food that appears the moth has been in. Do not try to save it because you don’t see the actual moth as it is not healthy to eat anything the moth has been in.

  • Your bulk items may the ones that are biggest risk of being infected. The moth will eat and lay eggs in; nuts, grains and rice.
  • The moth can eat through cardboard so if you see tiny holes in any boxes you will know the moth has been in it.
  • Put all the infected food into a plastic garbage bag, seal it and throw away immediately.

You can trap the moths in your kitchen after their food source is gone by setting out pheromone traps. These have a sticky substance on them that will attract and trap the moth. Once they land on it they cannot escape. Throw the used traps away in a sealed container.

You will need to scour all cupboards and the kitchen in general from top to bottom to make sure there are no eggs left. Use a vinegar and water solution or soapy water, making sure to clean all crevices and cracks. If you still notice signs of moths after following these tips; you may need to contact a professional to come in and exterminate. There may an issue of eggs having been laid where you cannot reach.

Prevent Future Moth Infestation in Your Kitchen

Once you have gone through the time and trouble to remove moths from your kitchen; make sure they do not return.

  • Examine your food sources, especially bulk items.
  • Place items in a freezer for a day to kill any eggs that may be present.
  • Store items in air-tight containers to prevent them from getting into them.
  • Maintain a well-ventilated pantry.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your kitchen to prevent moths from entering.

Moths can infest a home long before you notice them and as a result cause considerable damage to clothing and your food source. Checking for signs occasionally to make sure you do not have these winged creatures moving about would be beneficial. At the first sign, follow these tips to stop and control their spread of damages.

Categorized as Moths

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.