How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths

A single moth may appear harmless at first, but 20+ can easily lead to a destructive house infestation. That said, whenever you spot the earliest signs of an infestation, you must act quickly.

But how does one deal with a whole moth invasion? Well, we are here to tell you! In this article, you are going to find helpful tips on how to deal with insect infestation the natural way, prevention tips, and more.

But first, we need to talk more about…

The signs of a moth Infestation

The obvious sign of a moth infestation is the damage it causes to clothing, fabrics, and carpets, but there are other indicators, including the following:

  • Small maggot-like larvae;
  • Tubes or ‘cases’ made of silk that the moth larvae live in;
  • A pupa (silk cocoon) that develops into an adult moth;
  • Actual moths;
  • Holes in packaged food.

Caution: Pantry moths cause severe damage to stored food. Any item that looks contaminated should be discarded immediately. You shouldn’t consume any type of food touched by the insects – it’s very unsafe.

Check also: What Damage Do Moths Cause

What do clothes moths look like

Tineola bisselliella, a.k.a the common cloth moth, is responsible for creating holes in fabrics. This type of moth is often associated with destroying clothes, carpets, and other home textiles. It particularly enjoys feasting on natural materials  – wool, cashmere, soft leather, fur, etc.

Small in size and brown in colour, they prefer dark and undisturbed areas. Therefore, attics, basements, secret drawers, wardrobes, and other dark places are good places to find them. These creatures also avoid bright light by hiding in folds and crevices, corners, and cracks.

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How to get rid of clothes moths naturally

Mothballs, which contain toxic chemicals, can be as unpleasant as a moth infestation. To save you the nasty, toxic smell, we’ve provided you with natural alternatives you can use to keep your woollens and other clothing free from the harmful pests:


Although lavender smells lovely to us, it’s extremely unpleasant in the eyes of moths and other insects. To use lavender as a DIY repellent, dip cotton balls in some lavender essential oil or fill a couple of sachets with dried lavender. Place them in your closets, drawers, and boxes with off-season items. It’s best to replace the batches once the scent fades. Lavender oil can also be used to protect cotton or linen cloths. Note that essential oils can stain your clothing, so hang items that are infused oil near your clothes – don’t apply the product directly on them.


Another effective moth repellent is mint leaves. A handful of dried peppermint can be stuffed in a sachet or loose leaves can be placed between your clothing. You can also use peppermint oil. A few drops on a cotton ball are all you need and you can stash them in the corner of your closet. As soon as the smell starts to wear off, add more peppermint oil. Additionally, you can use mint to keep mice away as well.


The moth repellent properties of cedarwood are well-known and that shouldn’t be a surprise – cedar just works against flying insects. Consider taking advantage of cedar-lined closets or chests. As an alternative, you can buy cedar chips or blocks and place them wherever needed. Cedar drawer liners and cedar rings that fit over hangers are also available.

Just clean your closet

The most basic and easy thing to do is to clean your closet. Scrub everything with a kitchen sponge dipped in a cleaning solution. Using rubbing alcohol or vinegar will work as good as a  solution of water and dish soap. Make sure to pay extra attention to any cracks or crevices on the inside, especially the corners.

How to prevent a moth infestation

Having successfully exterminated the clothes moths, it is essential to prevent future ones from appearing. Here is what you need to do:

Make sure to wash and dry your clothes properly

You should ensure that your clothes are thoroughly cleaned and completely dried before storing them. The scent of detergent and perfume can attract moths. By taking the time to correctly wash your clothes, you will also get rid of any potentially existing moth eggs. In addition, cotton garments can also be ironed as a prevention measure.

Store your clothes correctly

Clothes should be stored in sealed containers, such as chests, plastic storage containers, suitcases, etc., where moths cannot enter. Everything that is made from a delicate material or doesn’t get worn often should be correctly stored to keep moths away. Wool coats and suits should be zipped inside garment bags. When zipping up, make sure that the clothes are thoroughly cleaned. On that note, wool socks shouldn’t be kept in your sock drawer during the warmer months.

Clothing should be stored in a dry place in your home, as moths prefer moist conditions. Household fabric items should be stored in the attic or under the bed, instead of in the basement or garage.

Vacuum regularly

Moths are attracted to dirt in carpets and baseboards, so vacuum them regularly. To ensure you’re removing the larvae from your home, if you’re dealing with an infestation, change your vacuum bag or filter frequently.

Things NOT to do when you have moths

Do not use pesticides or products for moth treatment without checking their toxic properties. Treatments with an untested pesticide can make an infestation worse. Also, if these are transferred to your skin through your clothes or bedding, they can be harmful. The majority of types of pets are negatively affected by them as well.

If worse comes to worse…

… you may want to consider seeking professional pest control services. There are times when removal and prevention are just not enough. With this being said, we, at Fantastic Pest Control, offer expert moth control solutions that will have the flying insects out of your property in no time. The service is performed by experienced technicians who work with special products and equipment, is really easy to schedule, and the best part – it’s both effective and affordable. Make a service appointment with us now!


  • The common clothes moth is the most prevalent moth in the UK;
  • It is possible to prevent a moth infestation through various methods, depending on where they are located in your home;
  • To prevent a moth infestation, make sure that you keep your house and clothing as clean as possible;
  • You should throw out infested food, because it isn’t safe for consumption;
  • Never use pesticides or products intended for moth control without reading their label.

Need a Pest Exterminator?

Enter your postcode to view our rates and availability in your area.

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For questions about the services we offer visit our main site or you can always call us at 020 3746 0579

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