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Complete guide to get rid of moths

Updated on November 5, 2016

Isn’t it strange to see butterflies flying within your house which are not even close to butterflies in real? They aren’t butterflies although they lookalike and appear dull. They are moths. They of course do relate to butterflies and that is why it’s easy to get confused. One easy way to identify which one is what, is to look carefully at their antennae, Butterfly antennae are thinner and possess a club, a ball like structure at the end of their antennae while the moths do not have the same thing. This can be your guiding principle.

Moths has varied appearance. Their sizes can vary from species to species. Approximately, over 160,000 species of moths are known. That’s too many! Moths are mostly nocturnal by nature and if you’ve noticed it’s during night hours when you can see them fly recklessly at your house. They present a very low level at the food chain and are common source of food for birds, reptiles, other insects and even plants.

To human, the most destructive activity performed by these moths are running clothing, webbing of cloths, and infestation of pantry etc. These moths are also fond of silk, fur and feathers. Moths avoid openness and thus they always choose dark corners or areas where disturbance is lesser. They can be usually found at your basement, in dark corners and even within the fold of your cloths. The larvae of the cloth eating moth species can bring down havoc to your sweaters and woolen cloths and also to the stained fabrics. The adults are not responsible for nibbling your cloths. Some species of moths are also known to cause heavy damage to forest areas as well as crops.

They can simply fly through your window and start infesting your house. They can also be carried inside home through vegetables or cereals bought from the market. You need to be very careful about them as early infestation is not easily detectable.

Signs of moth infestation:

The symptom might vary species to species. The most common sign is the flying of adult ones within your house. Discovery of feeding damage to cloths might be due to the infestation of cloths moths. They also leave webbing cocoons and droppings. You can find them behind damaged food stuffs. If you find any of these, be confirmed that you’ve got moths.

Of course there are several ways to get rid of moths. Some of these are as follows:

Setting up moth traps:

Moth traps are used to attract the moths towards these and once they come in direct contact to these traps, they find it difficult to escape. Homemade traps can also be made with the help of flypaper and some fish oil. Hang that trap inside your closet or at some strategic location and wait for the moths to get trapped.


Temperature plays a vital role in the lives of the pupae as well as the eggs of moths. When exposed to freezing temperature both the eggs, larvae and the pupae will be killed. You can place the infested cloths in a plastic bag and keep it in a freezer for four to five days. By the time you take it out of the freezer, the eggs and the larvae along with the pupae would be dead. Even machine drying and ironing the cloths can kill the eggs of the moths. You can choose your way to tackle moths as per your convenience.


This is a very handy way to take out moths and larvae from your house. Vacuuming vigorously at regular intervals covering even the unreachable corners is a good way to minimize the probability of moths infesting your house. By this process, even the adult moths could also be brought under control. Moths can feed on pet-hair, silk, dead insects and other waste items. Vacuuming and cleaning all such food sources from your house through vacuuming would be really effective.

Sealing hideouts:

Moths are tiny creatures and they can hide at the tiniest crack and crevices of your house where human reach is negligible and tough. Such tiny cracks and crevices at your pantry or other locations should be sealed off using silicone caulk or putty. In this way, the moths won’t have any secret hideout and thus is more vulnerable and prone to fall prey to other process you would implement like vacuuming etc.

Using diatomaceous earth:

This is food grade insecticide which is not harmful to pets or children at home. This insecticide has to be sprayed over the infested areas or around cloths and food. This can also be sprayed inside tough-to-reach cracks and crevices to ensure the moths do not have any place to hide. This insecticide appears smooth to us but the minute creatures happen to get wounded by the edges of these fine particles. They’ll bleed and eventually die.


Harmful chemicals like pyrethrins and aerosols are widely used to get rid of moths. Besides these, even boric acid plays a very good role in treating moths. These chemicals has to be placed at all possible locations of infestation. These chemicals should preferably be used by experts as these are harmful and toxic to even human beings. Pets and kids should be carefully kept away from these. Severe case of moth infestations are being tackled with the help of these tough chemicals.


After getting these moths, their larvae and the pupae out of your house, the next step is to ensure that they do not come again to infest your house. For that you have to take some precautions after getting your home cleaned. You should try to maintain a clean and neat atmosphere inside your home. Maintain the humidity inside your home. Clean your cloths regularly and iron them. Already ironed cloths should be exposed to sunlight periodically and kept inside. Do not litter here and there inside your home. Seal off cracks and crevices inside your home. All of these could be really helpful to prevent moths infestation at your home.


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