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How To Get Rid of Moths in the Closet

Updated on October 14, 2012

Closet moths, also known as the fabric-eating moths, are among the pesky insects that every homeowner hate. They damage clothing beyond repair and are just eerie to take a look at. Although the number of closet moth infestation cases are already becoming lesser, it doesn't mean that your own closet won't be a victim, and if that comes, below are the steps to get rid of them from your closet.

What You Will Need

  1. Somebody that can help you out with the task. It can be a partner or the kids. You can either ask them politely or just coerce them. However, if either of that doesn't work out, you don't need to worry. You can still do it on your own, although it would take longer to finish the task.
  2. A vacuum cleaner
  3. A soft brush
  4. String or a nylon cord or any similar item
  5. Three (3) trash bags or Three (3) carton boxes or just about anything that can be used to hold lots of clothing items. On a side note, depending on the size of your wardrobe, you may need more or less than three (3).
  6. Some cash (just in case, but we'll get to that later)

How To Get Rid of Moths in the Closet - The Steps

  1. First, remove everything from the closet. This preps up your closet space for the vacuum cleaner. It may sound like a monstrous job, especially if your closet is a big one, but you can't be absolutely sure whether or not the adult moth has already laid its eggs in other clothing in the closet. Remember, the eggs and the larva are very tiny, and there will be a good chance that you'll miss seeing some of them with your naked eye.
  2. As you remove the items from the closet, promptly put them in the trash bag or carton box. This way, you'll prevent some eggs and larva dropping onto the floor and anywhere else. What you want to achieve is to keep them contained inside the trash bag or carton box. Try to be gentle when removing the clothes and transferring them to the trash bags or carton boxes.
  3. Take the trash bags or carton boxes out of the house. You can put them in the garage or anywhere, just as long as they're outside the house.
  4. Go back into the room and start vacuuming the heck out of every inch of the closet. I mean every inch of it. Include cracks, if any, crevices, shelf joints, rod joints, and every nook that would possibly harbor any moth larva or eggs.
  5. Go back outside or to wherever you've placed your trash bag or carton boxes full of clothes. Our aim for this step is to try to dislodge any clinging eggs, adult moth, and larva. You don't want to do this inside the house, hence, the reason why we are doing it outside the house. Use the soft brush and gently scrub every clothing taking more focus on the armpits, collar areas, creases and other clothing areas that are possible to be used as hiding places of the larva.
  6. Vacuum up all those clothes. It can be time-consuming, but it's worth doing it.
  7. Using your string, make a makeshift clothes line that can be used to hang clothing. You can also improvise by using a clothes rack. What we want to do now is to do some sunning job. We'll expose the clothing to the sun. It's basically subjecting the clothing to heat and light which will draw out any remaining larvae that are still hiding in clothing sections which you may have missed. Furthermore, if we subject them to the heat of the sun continuously for 6 long hours, we may be able to raise the temperature high enough to kill any remaining larva and eggs.
  8. Vacuum up again all clothing you have been hanging. Sounds like an overkill, but we don't like to take any chances.
  9. Wash the clothes with a good laundry detergent to keep them clean again. Dry them up, and then you can now put them back into your just cleaned up closet area.

Other Options (But you'll need some cash)

  1. If you think that you haven't got the time to do all of the steps above, then you can just do Steps 1 to 4, and then take all the clothes to a professional dry-cleaner. Solutions used in the dry-cleaning process will kill the moths in all its forms (adult, larva and egg, cocoon).
  2. If you think that you are not up to the task because you dread seeing moths or just getting near them makes you uncomfortable, then you can always call your nearest friendly pest control company and let them do all the job for you.

Some Final Notes

I prefer to do this some place outside the house where my neighbors wouldn't see me doing my stuff. I don't want to cause uneasiness or panic among them when they know that I've got closet moths! But that's just me.

Also, the steps above have worked really well for me and my partner. However, I can't guarantee that they will also work for you. If you've got some other tips that also worked well, I'd appreciate you sharing them here.


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