How to Get Rid of Moths in the House & Clothes

Updated February 21, 2017

Moths can cause a great deal of damage to food and clothes if they find their way into your cupboards or closets. The larvae will eat through your clothes, especially wool clothes, as well as eat food in your pantries. Adult moths can eat and destroy decorative plants in your home or outside in your flower garden.

You can take several preventive measures to keep moths from taking hold in your home, but if you already see signs of moths, there are steps you can take to get rid of them.

Empty cabinets and closets. If you see signs of moths in your clothes or cupboards, empty out the closets, drawers, or pantry completely. Throw away any food that might have been exposed to the moths because moths often lay eggs in grain-based items such as flour or cereals.

Vacuum thoroughly to eliminate crumbs of food that might attract the moths, eggs that may have been laid in the closet or kitchen and live moths. After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum cleaner bags to ensure none of the eggs end up back where they came from.

Cleanse the cabinet, closet or drawers to eliminate any additional eggs that might be left behind.


For places where food is to be stored, vinegar is a good option for a cleaner. For areas where clothing is stored, bleach is also appropriate. Store out-of-season clothes in airtight containers with cedar chips or blocks. Store food, especially grain-based items such as flour, in airtight containers. Ironing clothes can kill any eggs present in the fabrics. Dry cleaning treatments can mothproof clothing.


Traditional moth balls contain toxic substances and should not be used unless they are in an enclosed space far away from both pets and humans For very serious moth problems, professional pest control might be necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrubbers and sponges
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Vinegar for kitchen cabinets
  • Bleach for closets and drawers
  • Cedar blocks
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About the Author

Katriena Knights is an experienced author of fiction and nonfiction, including several novels and novellas and numerous articles and website content. She currently works for wiseGeek, Internet Brands and Page1 Solutions in addition to Demand Studios. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature and also works as a professional editor. Her interests and knowledge are wide and varied.