How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths

Photo: Lumina/Stocksy

Having the perfect wardrobe is a lot like dating: The first step is getting what you want, and the second step is maintaining it. And when it comes to your most beloved clothing items, nothing is more important than protecting them from the elements. Hands down, one of the worst threats to your closet is clothes moths, which can infiltrate your wardrobe with disastrous results. Fortunately there are a few simple ways to deter these pesky creatures and keep your clothing in top form. Get rid of clothes moths with these five essential tips.

1. Keep It Clean

Like many of nature’s most destructive culprits, moths thrive on dark, dank, and not-so-clean environments. Warmth is another factor, and some areas may see a seasonal spike in the presence of moths. To get rid of clothes moths, first remove everything from your closet; then wipe down every surface and corner with a clean cloth. Launder all of your clothing while you allow the closet interior to thoroughly dry, after which it’s safe to put your clothing back inside. This step may be time-intensive, but if you’re not sure of the last time your closet was properly cleaned, it’s definitely worth the effort.

2. Use Sealed Garment Bags

This tip is essential for higher-end items you don’t wear year-round (and to which moths are especially likely to be attracted), like that wool sweater you won’t see for another eight months. Use garment bags that zip to keep clothing protected, and opt for variations that are specifically designed to deter moths.

3. Hang Smart

Not all hangers are created equal, and opting for cedar wood rather than plastic can be a helpful step in keeping moths at bay. As an added incentive, cedar hangers do a lovely job of smoothing shoulder lines on blouses, jackets, and sweaters.

4. Out With the Old

No wardrobe is complete without a few fabulous vintage pieces, but be sure to thoroughly launder them before hanging them in the closet. Older clothing items are some of the worst offenders when it comes to dust and residual particles, which can create a breeding ground for clothes moths.

5. Fight Dirty

If all else fails, the best way to get rid of clothes moths may be to use an approved insecticide. Opt for a product specifically geared toward moths—ideally one that minimizes vapors, such as the No-Moth Closet Hanger. While this option may not be ideal for moth prevention, it’s a strong solution for addressing a current infestation—and a good method to try before calling in the fumigators.