Getting Rid of Moths Naturally

Home Remedies for a Clothing Moth Infestation

Get rid of moths without the use of moth balls and other store-bought products. Here are several time-proven home remedies to try:


Dried Lavender
Dried Lavender. SV Giles/Moment/Getty Images

Fill sachets with dried lavender, or dip cotton balls in lavender essential oil. Then, place them in your closets, drawers and boxes of off-season clothes. Lavender smells great to us, but it's highly repellent to moths and other insects.

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Peppermint. by ale_flamy/Moment/Getty Images

Mint leaves are another effective moth repellent. Place a handful of dried peppermint in a sachet, or place loose leaves among your clothes. Peppermint oil works well, too. Just apply a few drops to a cotton ball, and tuck it in the corner of your closet. Add more peppermint oil when the smell starts to wear off. Mint is also good for keeping mice away.

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Cedar Closet
Cedar Closet. RASimon/E+/Getty Images

Cedar wood has long been recognized as a moth repellent, and for good reason – it works. If you're lucky enough to have a cedar-lined closet or chest, be sure to make use of it. Otherwise, pick up some cedar chips or blocks from the store, and place them wherever they're needed. You can even buy cedar drawer liners or cedar rings that fit over hangers.

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Note: Cedar loses its scent (the repellent aspect) over time. To bring the scent back, sand the cedar lightly, or purchase a bottle of cedar oil, and apply it to the wood.

Cloves, Thyme and Rosemary

Whole and Ground Cloves
Whole and Ground Cloves. Maximilian Stock Ltd./Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Fill a sachet bag with one or a combination of these four herbs to keep moths at bay for months. While moths don't like the smell of these herbs, humans sure do. Replace the contents of your sachets every six months, or whenever they begin to lose their fragrance. To save money, buy you herbs from the bulk bins at the grocery store. Most natural food stores have them.

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Warning: Be sure to keep all herbs and oils out of the reach of children and pets. Natural doesn't necessarily mean harmless.

Clothing Storage Tips

Wool Sweater Close Up
Wool Sweater Close Up. Katsumi Murouchi/Moment Open/Getty Images

While mint, cedar, lavender and all the other herbs mentioned can go a long way towards preventing a moth infestation, or ridding your home of an existing infestation, how and where you store your clothing is just as important. Here are some tips to make sure you're storing your clothes properly.

Clean Clothes Before Storing

Folded Laundry
Folded Laundry. Dori OConnell/E+/Getty Images

Wash all clothing, and dry it in the sun before packing it away at the end of the season. This will help to kill any larvae that may be present in the clothing. Cotton garments can also be ironed as a further deterrent.

How to Clean Wool with Vinegar

Store Clothing in Sealed Containers

Storage Bins
Storage Bins. Don Nichols/E+/Getty Images

Store clothing in sealed containers—chests, plastic storage containers, suitcases, etc.—where moths can't get to them. Zip wool coats and suits inside of garment bags. Have wool socks? Be sure to move them out of your sock drawer during the warmer months.

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Store Clothing in a Dry Place

Attic. J. Ronald Lee/Moment/Getty Images

Moths prefer moist environments, so store your clothes in a dry area of your home. Storing clothes in the attic or under your bed, is definitely preferable to storing clothes in the basement or garage.

Vacuum and Freeze

Vacuum. Ritimages/Getty Images

Moths gravitate towards dirt, so vacuum your carpets and baseboards regularly to prevent an infestation or eliminate an existing infestation.

Note: If you're dealing with a current infestation, change your vacuum bag regularly to ensure you're getting the larvae out of your home.

If you find moths on clothing, place the affected garment in the freezer for 24 hours to kill any active larvae.