Moths in the House

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, May 29, 2005.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2003
    Washington State
    My clothes are being eaten, and I see these tiny little months flying around. I've tried cedar shavings and lavender bunches with no result, and I don't want to use anything that's toxic. Any ideas for ridding the house of these pests?
  2. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    Carthage, Texas
    ...are they small moths? and in the kitchen??? You might have mealy moths, and if so, the only way to rid yourself of them is to toss everything that's not in glass or metal containers...and then clean and sterilize every little nook and cranny of your kitchen and cabinets...

    I've had moth damage in clothes and hats, and never ever saw the moth's doing the damage...

    I've got mealy moths right now...going to have to scour the kitchen again, and put out the sticky strips...

    good luck

  3. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2005
    Texican is right - you should check to see if this could be a pantry pest. If you can't figure out what the pest is, collect a few and take them to your County Extension office. They may have staff who can help you figure it out.

    As for the fabric pests, you won't have the results you want with cedar shavings and lavendar for fabric pests (clothes moths or dermestid beetles - the beetles are more common where I live) - but your clothes will smell great!

    For fabric pests, washing/drying, drycleaning - Putting items in the freezer - kill the pests. Vacuum - shake things out - move things around - all help. Personally, if there is something I'm going to store for a long time that I really care about, I use mothballs - not worth taking a chance! Fabric pest info - I'm sure there's lots on the web but here is ours'

    If you want to see the Indian Meal Moth, got a photo and info at

    Most of us will get this pests at sometime - just so common. You can even have an infestation of both going on at the same time...both can be resolved without using harsh insecticides - just takes a bit of work and time.
  4. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    Baronsmom is right. Clean clothes are less appealing to moths.

    Truly, I had one small hole cut into a coat once and it was stored in a closed closet, but without any covering. I put all my sweaters in a cedar chest that seals well. I put wool blankets in sealed cotton duffle bags after washing them at the end of the season and airing them out well. I make sure the duffle is clean too.

    Personally I do not like mothballs, as I can smell just one in someone's attic. I get sick quickly from them. To each his own. But I do tuck sachets in with my sweaters mostly to keep them from smelling stored when I get them out again.

    And if they are kitchen moths, well, now is as good a time as any to scrub and clean before more serious canning gets underway. I put all meal/flour in the freezer for a few days to prevent infestations from storebought stuff and keep them in glass or tins. It works for me. Haven't seen any in many years, luckily.