Group of moths exterminated on a white surface

How To Get Rid Of Moths In The House?

Are you searching for the best way to get rid of moths in your wardrobe, on your carpets, or in the kitchen? Encountering moths can be a daunting experience. 

Let’s not talk about the frustrating holes in your favorite clothes or the trouble they cause in the kitchen. Here, I just want to let you know that you can actually get rid of them. Oh yes, you can!

There are a lot of methods that could help you keep them away and ensure they don’t ever come back. You’ll have to thoroughly clean up, use sticky traps, or make use of certain materials. 

Not to worry, I’ve made it a lot easier for you. Here, you’ll find the best methods to keep those creatures from breeding in your house for a long time.

Identifying the type of moth you have

This is the very first step in controlling a moth infestation. You should know the type of moths in your house. Usually, homeowners deal with just two types of moths – pantry moths and clothes moths

These two moths are attracted to different food sources in the house. The pantry moths go after dry goods and grains such as rice, cereals, and crackers. You might notice icky webbing or tiny maggots inside your snacks, this is a sign that the moth larvae breeds in your kitchen.

On the other hand, clothes moths like hanging around areas like the wardrobe and closets. You’ll notice holes in your clothes, webbings, and insect excrement.

Why is it important for you to know this? The way you’ll deal with a pantry moth isn’t the same way you’ll deal with clothes moths. You want to know where to look out for them and what your focus would be.

Below, I’ve stated procedures for getting rid of both pantry moths and clothes moths. So, Read on!

Clothes moths removal tips: How to get rid of moths in the closets? 

Have you been finding holes in your sweater or webbings in your closet? You really need to read this! Below are easy methods for dealing with clothes moths.

Wash your clothes

When dealing with clothes moths, make a laundry pile first. It’s important you wash every item of clothing in your closet, this would help you get rid of the eggs the moths may have laid on your clothes. 

For the best result, wash your clothes with hot water and dry in high heat to kill larvae. Ensure you wash linens, towels, and other items stored in your closet. Also remove bags, suitcases, and other containers and wash them as well. 

Freeze or iron clothes that can’t be washed or dried hot

Freezing your clothing is another effective method of killing eggs and moths larvae. You can easily place the items that can’t be dried on high heat in the freezer. 

You can even put wet clothes in the freezer for at least a day. As well, ironing helps to kill moth eggs and larvae.

Clean the closet

You’ll also need to thoroughly clean up your closet. You must have taken everything out, so it’ll be easy to clean it from top to bottom. This would help you get rid of moth larvae that might still be hiding there. 

Use a vinegar solution or soap water to clean the floors and walls of the closet. Pay special attention to cracks and crevices.

Clothes Moth Tineola Bisselliella on wool fabric
Clothes Moth Tineola Bisselliella

Keep your floors, and carpets vacuumed and dusted

It’s also important that you clean your home with a vacuum. Ensure that you regularly keep your home free from dust and dirt. This may draw moths into your home. 

Use a high-powered vacuum to clean up the carpet in your closet. While you’re cleaning it, vacuum the bedroom area too. Moths may have also laid eggs there.

Then throw out the vacuum bag after the procedure, as the bag will contain eggs. Finally, scrub shelves and walls thoroughly.

Set out moth traps

If you want to get rid of the moths in your closet instantly, moth traps are the easy option. A pheromone moth trap would attract the moths and eventually kill them once they come in contact with the sticky substance. 

However, you can easily make your own moth traps with fish oil and flypaper. Fish oil attracts moths, so dap some flypaper into it and leave it hanging in your closet. 

Mice traps can also work well for getting these creatures, go for zapper style traps with infrared sensors. This will sense the moth approaching and zap it when it nears the bait.

Simply lay the trap in the closet and kill the moths. The next step is to clean it up and then leave it there as extra protection to prevent them from coming back. 

Methods for preventing future infestations in your closet

Here are some tips to prevent moths from getting into your closet again:

Keep your clothing clean

Keep your clothes and belongings washed before storing them for a long period of time. Moths are mostly attracted to wool, they’ll creep in if your clothing has stains from certain food they like to eat. 

Dry clean wool items before storing them. This ensures that any eggs or larvae in your clothes are killed so that they don’t grow into maturity while they’re in storage.

You can as well brush clothing made from wool, fur, or feather after wearing it outside. Moth eggs can affix themselves to these materials. So brushing them off can help prevent a moth infestation indoor.

Store clothing properly

Store clothes that you don’t wear often in airtight containers, especially wool clothing. Use sealed suitcases and sealed chests to make sure moths don’t get inside your clothes and lay eggs. Don’t leave any tool material exposed to air.

Keep your storage areas dry and well ventilated 

It’s important that your closets are dry. Moths thrive in moist, humid environments.  Don’t store clothes in garages, or outdoor sheds to avoid creating room for clothes moths. 

Ensure your clothes are kept in an indoor closet. You can as well air out your clothing every once in a while. Let your wool items get some heat, especially if you’re taking them out at the beginning of fall or winter after they’ve been in storage.

Moth larvae infestation on a white cloth
Moth Larvae Infestation Inside Closet

Use cedar in your closet

Moths are repelled by cedar. So, it’ll be great to hang wool items on cedar hangers. Alternatively, you can purchase ball-shaped pieces of cedar to hang in your closet. 

Place cedar-scented items in the pockets of your wool materials for extra protection.

Another option is to dilute cedar oil with water and use it in a spray bottle. This can help to spread the scent of cedar.

Try mothballs and other natural alternatives

Mothballs are effective options for deterring moths in your closets. However, they can leave a very strong scent on your clothing that can be toxic to humans. 

Now there are other natural items you can try out to repel these flying creatures. There are moth repellent sachets made with dried rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender, or bay leaves which are available in the market. 

Fill a small cloth bag with these ingredients, and tie it and hang it up in your closets. You can sprinkle them in your closets as effective moth repellents, as well.

How to get rid of pantry moths in the kitchen?

Did you discover full-grown moths in your pantry? Have you seen light webbings around the bags in your pantry? Are your food items sticky due to moth secretion? 

If your reply to any of these questions is yes, then you surely have pantry moths around. Check out procedures to get rid of them!

Eliminate the main source of the infestation

You’ve got to find the source of your pantry moths. Check through everything you’ve got in your kitchen and find out which package brought in the moths. 

If you eventually find infested items, don’t hesitate to wrap them up in a plastic bag and throw them away. Moths can eat through cardboard boxes. So if you find tiny holes in pantry items, throw them out.

Indianmeal moth larvae infestation inside almonds
Indianmeal Moth Larvae

Clean your kitchen thoroughly

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the source of your infestation. It’s now time to clean up your kitchen thoroughly. Pay special attention to the pantry. 

Also ensure you clean the drawers, cupboards, and any other place where you’ve kept food materials like grains.  

When cleaning, use a soapy water solution or vinegar solution. Dip your scrubber into the solution and scour both the pantry and other cracks in your kitchen. Scrub the surfaces well, this would get rid of the eggs left by the moths.

Trap the moths

This would work perfectly to get rid of the moths you may have missed with all these other procedures. A pantry moth trap will emit an attractive scent that would lure the moths and get them stuck in a place. Ensure you dispose of these traps once you’ve caught all the moths in your kitchen. 

Use essential oils

Essential oils are great repellent for pantry moths. You only have to add a few drops of essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, or citronella to specific areas of your kitchen.

Methods for preventing future moth infestations in your kitchen

Here are methods you can use to keep these creatures out of your kitchen:

Examine food items before purchasing

Pantry moths get into the house through infested food. Examine the food items you get from groceries before bringing them into the house. 

When you are shopping, take the time to check the package, ensure there are no webs around. From time to time, check out bulk food items in your pantry, like dried grains and nuts.

Place your food items in the freezer or heat it up

Even after examining food items, you intend to bring in, chances are that they still contain moth larvae. Placing your food items in the freezer would help kill any eggs that might still hide on the items. 

So, ensure you clear a space for this item and store it in the freezer for 3-4 days before using it or placing it in your pantry. You can also treat food items by popping them in the microwave on high heat for 5 minutes or baking them in the oven for one hour at 140° F or higher.

Store food properly

This is an effective preventive measure. Make use of containers with strong seals or glass jars to seal your dried items.

Be aware that moths can eat right through cardboard and light plastic. So, don’t use plastic bags or zip lock bags! Pour remaining food into sealable containers. Leave no food source open.

Control temperature and humidity in the kitchen 

I’ve mentioned that moths thrive in humid areas. So, you want to ensure you aren’t creating an inviting environment for them. It’s a good idea to shut your doors and windows when you’ve got your air conditioner running. 

Seal cracks and crevices

Cracks in your kitchen are effective hiding places for pantry moths. Ensure you seal off the areas you can’t clean on a regular basis, do this before the moths start laying eggs there. 

Use bay leaves

Bay leaves are natural moth repellents due to its pungent smell. Simply place fresh or dried bay leaves in certain areas of your pantry that are prone to moth infestation. You can hang a bouquet in your pantry, as well. The scent would do the magic!

When should I consider calling in the pros?

Sometimes, removal and prevention techniques might not get them out completely. If moths reappear after you’ve taken these measures, you’ll have to reach out to pest control professionals. 

For severe moth infestation, it may benefit you more to call an exterminator immediately. While the procedures I’ve stated might control the situation, you may not practice them effectively. Call in a pest control professional who will use heavy-duty products to get rid of the problem.

Call in an exterminator if you can’t identify the source of the problem. A pest control operator would help with widespread infestations or hard-to-clean items like moth-infested furniture or rugs.

Final thoughts on moths in the house

Most times, just a few species of moths are responsible for all the trouble in the house. You’ll find them in your closets and/or food pantries especially those full of grains, bread, and pasta, or just generally throughout the home.

While moths aren’t the most harmful pests you can find in your house, they can cause plenty of damage to clothes, food, and other belongings. 

Getting rid of these creatures can be so time-consuming and stressful that you’ll never want to have them get back again. I hope you use the methods and prevention tips I’ve stated in this article to ensure they don’t disturb you ever again.

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