alternatives to pesticides - bugs/pests - moths (clothing)
Actual Size: Wingspan 3/8” – 1 3/8”
The moths you see are not the ones to worry about. Moths that cause damage to clothes are too small to notice. It is the larvae of these moths that eat fabric. These moths are very small, no longer than 1/2”. They like to settle in dark places such as stored clothing or under furniture slipcovers, where they leave their eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on anything containing wool, fur or feathers. They will also eat other fabrics if dirty and blended with wool. They are primarily attracted to dirt, lint, salt, stains, moisture and dead insects.
Clean - Clean any used clothing or furniture you purchase before bringing them inside. Clean out drawers used to store clothing. Keep stored clothes and furniture clean and dry. Minimize humidity with good ventilation and control moisture sources.
Vacuum - Rugs, furniture and closets should be vacuumed frequently.
Shake - Clothing should be shaken out or brushed frequently to destroy any larvae present. To avoid contaminating newer material, discard or donate woolens, leathers and feather products that are no longer used.
Clean/Store - Wash clothing and clean furniture from yard or garage sales thoroughly before bringing into your house: they may contain moth eggs. Moth larvae especially like areas soiled with food stains; before storing woolens, dry clean and double wrap them in tightly sealed plastic bags or in airtight containers. Seasonal woolens should be stored in very tight containers when not in use. While cedar and natural sachets smell wonderful, they are not effective at repelling moths.
Air/Sun - Expose to air and sunlight.
Clothes Dryer - Kill moth eggs by running garment through a warm dryer.
Freeze - Placing clothing items in the freezer for several days will kill clothing moth adults and larvae.
Lavender Mint Rosemary Sage, Thyme, Dried Lemon Peel and Cinnamon - Mix handfuls of first five ingredients (cloves, and ginseng are optional) in muslin bags. Add a little lemon peel and a pinch of cinnamon. Place in closets, drawers, or closed containers to mothproof garments. Chicago area weavers and spinners use 1/2 pound rosemary, 1/2 pound mint, 1/4 pound thyme, 1/4 pound ginseng (optional), and 2 tablespoons cloves. Mix and put in cheesecloth bags and place in closets or drawers.
Molasses, Vinegar, and Yellow Container - To trap moths, mix 1 part molasses with 2 parts vinegar and place in a yellow container to attract moths. Clean regularly.