How To Get Rid of Moths (and Prevent Them, too)

updated May 11, 2022
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Nothing threatens a closet full of clothes more than moths. And they can invade even the most well-organized closet. These pesky creatures are responsible for holes in your favorite clothing, and oftentimes, the problem occurs completely unbeknownst to you. Like pantry moths and other pests, these silent clothing killers multiply quickly, too, so it’s a problem you’ll want to solve quickly with a good moth repellent. 

Toxic moth balls can be about as dreadful as a moth infestation, so we’ve gathered some natural alternatives you can try if you’re seeing damage to your clothing and linens. 

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Fill your home with cedar.

Cedar is a wonderful natural moth repellent. Add some cedarwood essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water to spread the scent of cedar in your closet. 

Use herbs or essential oils.

Moths, like many insects, simply can’t stand the smell of some of the most aromatic herbs, like  mint, lavender, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and thyme. Use this to your advantage to create natural moth repellents in your home. You could purchase these herbs dry and add them to sachets to hang in your closet, or soak cotton balls in essential oils in order to keep moths at bay. 

Other ideas are to add a few drops of essential oils to water and spray on clothing (but be sure to test for color fastness and fabric safety first), or add the essential oils to a diffuser placed in your closet. You can purchase a basic essential oil set on Amazon

Use sticky traps.

You can easily purchase moth-specific sticky traps on Amazon. These are coated in certain pheromones that are meant to attract the type of moths you’re hoping to eradicate. The moths are attracted to the pheromones but get stuck in the trap and eventually die.

Keep your home as clean as possible

Dust and dirt attract moths, so keeping a clean home is one of the easiest ways to prevent and get rid of moths. Regularly vacuum your floors and carpets, and dust your furniture to cut down on dingy build-up that can attract insects, moths and other pests. 

Hire a pest control company.

Moths multiply quickly and can be challenging to eradicate. Especially if you’re seeing a bunch of moths during the day (which is indicative of a larger infestation) or you aren’t physically able to reach the spots you think moths are hiding in, it may be best to have a pest control professional come and handle the issue. Many companies offer free follow-up services to ensure the problem is truly eradicated at all stages of the insect life cycle.