Mothproofing: The Basics of Keeping Moths Away from Your Home

Are you tired of throwing out moth-consumed clothes? Do you want to keep your favorite clothes safe from moths? Do you want to drive out the pantry moths that chew through the food in the cupboards? Let’s discuss Mothproofing and everything you need to know to help right now.

While studies show the number of household insects, like moths, continue to plummet, they’re still quite abundant to cause trouble.

In this guide, we’ll discuss mothproofing or what you can do to keep moths away from your home. We’ll also discuss what you can do if your home already has a moth infestation. Keep reading to learn more.

What You Need to Know About Moths


If you go to your porch at night to take a look at the stars, you may notice a lot of moths are flying around your porch lights. If you were out, you may have gotten a moth-filled surprise once you arrived home at night. In worst-case scenarios, you may find your favorite pair of pants all chewed up by these uglier cousins of butterflies.

Indeed, moths are often seen as a nocturnal nuisance to our homes. Not all moths are creatures of the night. Some moth species are also active in the daytime.

Did you know that only around 2% of over 100 species of insects live in the average US home?

Many insects tend to pass by your home rather than live in it. Some only need to borrow a tiny bit of space in your back porch to bed down for the winter. Other insects need a place to reproduce.

Moths migrate from place to place. They fly during the night and sleep in the day. If you live in a warm and dry place, you’re in luck because moths will avoid your area.

Did you know that moths are the food source for many animals? Like cockroaches and spiders, moths have a role in the circle of life. Thus, they’re also very important beings—they only need to stay away from and out of your home.

Types of Moths That Are Common in the Home

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Only two moth types are what we see as harmful to our way of life. There are over 160,000 species of moths in the world, which is more than 17,500 butterfly species.

The first and common species of moth that we see as a nuisance is the clothes moth. This is the moth species that resides in your wardrobe and eats your woolen coats. Clothes moths lay their eggs in secluded corners where animal-based materials are plentiful.

They’re very shy so you likely won’t know they’re there until you see the damage they’ve done. Often, you’ll know they’re there if you see holes in your favorite clothes or dark stain in your clothes. Notice that you won’t see any damage in clean synthetic fabrics unless they’re blended with wool.

The pantry moth is the other species of moth that live in cupboards and, well, pantries. Some people refer to them as Indian meal moths as well. They can contaminate and infest places where you package food.

The larvae of pantry moths can bite through plastic and cardboard. They’re also more difficult to remove once they’ve infested an area. They can also reproduce in storage places for clothes, which is why it’s hard to eradicate them.

How to Stop a Moth Infestation, Mothproofing


If you want to get rid of your moth problem once and for all, there are a few steps you ought to follow. Here’s exactly what to do.

Find the Source and Remove All Infested Items

Look for dim spaces in your home that don’t get touched often. That can be spaces between furniture and walls, walk-in closets, or under the corner rug at the far wall. These are places where bugs and critters love to hide.

Once you find the source, throw out infested materials. If your favorite jacket became the unfortunate casualty of a moth infestation, take some minutes to lament it. However, you must throw out infested items with the most damage.

Treat Salvageable Infested Materials

Some items can still get treated if they’re not too damaged. Dry-clean them or launder them. After they’re clean again, place them in sealed boxes or bags.

You can also freeze these clothes to keep moths away from them. Don’t forget to stitch or patch them up before you store them again.

Clean Up

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Regular cleaning can cut off the problem of moth infestation before it becomes too big. You want to keep surfaces in your home free from dust, fibers, and crumbs. It’s also a good idea to do frequent vacuuming so all the pet fur and fixed bits of dirt get cleaned up.

If you do regular cleaning, you’re less likely to see pests or get infestations in your home and this will help with Mothproofing.

Use Sprays

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Remember to do a spot test first if you plan to spray on your carpet. This way, you know to get a different spray if the spray affects the carpet color. If you’re dealing with other pests, get a general pest spray instead.

Note that pantry bugs like small flying insects and moths need a little more care. You don’t want to use toxic chemicals to kill pantry pests. Those chemicals can harm you, too.

Instead, use natural deterrents like cedar oil or crushed herbs. Note that these also work as a way to prevent moths in the closet or pantry.

Use Mothproofing Pheromone Traps

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Sticky traps are a great way to catch small rodents, insects, and pests in the house. Use a moth pheromone trap and keep it in an often-untouched place in your room. Once a moth gets trapped in it, it’ll die after a while.

You can also create a DIY moth pheromone trap if your local store doesn’t sell any moth pheromone sticky traps. All you need is an open container, water, liquid dish soap, and a strip of moth pheromone or light.

Fill the open container with two inches of water and a couple of squirts of dish soap. Slosh the water to mix the solution without creating bubbles. If you have moth pheromone, take a strip and place it over the container.

If you don’t have moth pheromone, place the solution underneath a light source, and leave it on for the night. Come morning, the soap won’t be there, but it’ll instead get replaced by moths in the water. Note that this trap isn’t for pantry moths.

Call for Professional Help

Sometimes, you won’t know about an infestation until it’s too late. This can happen in your home or a vacation home. If a moth infestation is already too bad, call a professional to deal with it.

Adult moths don’t do much harm to people, but their larvae can. Infested foods can cause intestinal diseases. It’s better to leave the mass eradication of these pests to the professionals.

Mothproofing Your Home to Prevent a Moth Infestation

Mothproofing your home has similar steps to resolving a moth infestation. Follow our simple guide below:

Clean Often

The first step to mothproofing your home is to keep it clean and to do that often. Vacuum often, especially if you have carpets and rugs in the home. As we mentioned, a clean home is often a bug-free home.

Brush Coats Outside

Dry cleaning services can be expensive, especially if you only have one coat that needs cleaning. Thus, many people opt to clean their coats by themselves. If you must brush your coats after or for the winter, do it outside the house and under a bright sun.

Make sure you brush well and hard under the collars and along the seams. Moth larvae and eggs are so tiny that you’ll likely miss them. Don’t store your coats until you’ve brushed them well or dry-cleaned them.

Wash Garments Before You Store Them

Never store clothes before you launder or clean them. Always store your clothes after they’re cleaned and dried well. Otherwise, you’re inviting moths and other bugs into your closet.

Remember that food bits and crumbs and dirt hang onto used clothes. Even if they’re only used once, clean them before you keep them. Do the same with clothes made of synthetic fabrics.

Use Natural Moth Deterrents

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Cedar oil is a natural moth repellent and pest killer. Buy cedar oil and mix it with some water in a spray bottle. Apply it to your clothes to keep not only moths but other insects out of your drawers.

Do you have a small garden of herbs? Grab lavender, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and thyme. Set them out to dry, then crush them into a fine powder. Next, put them all together in a small bag and place it in an area where you’ve seen moths.

You can also make a spray form for these herbs as a natural spray deterrent. Apply it to your clothes, linens, and other fabrics. Don’t forget to replace the bag and to apply again after a while.

To combat pantry moths, add cedar lining into your pantry. If you have dried mint leaves, crush them or place them whole in small mesh bags. Hang them in the pantry and replace them often.

Make Your Home Moth-Free

Now you know more about mothproofing your home. We hope these very basic tips will help keep moths away from your house and belongings.

Don’t stop here! If you want to read more of our posts on pest control, we encourage you to continue reading our content. Also, if you encounter trouble with annoying and harmful pests, talk to us and we’ll see what we can do to help.

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