How to kill moths & larva

Updated April 17, 2017

Moths come in more than one variety, and can do a great deal of expensive damage. Most of us are familiar with moths that eat various types of fabric, which are called "clothes moths," according to ePet Supply, but some also eat stored food items and are called "grain moths." Both types and their larvae can be a challenge to deal with once infestation occurs, but pesticides and traps can be effective, depending upon the type of moth.

Buy traps for moths that infest stored foods in the kitchen. Pesticides are not necessary, according to Pest Control Solutions, and are dangerous to use in the kitchen. Lures and traps are a better solution. Pest Control Solutions suggests one of three types of traps, depending upon the location and severity of the infestation: the allure trap, the moth suppression trap and the pantry patrol trap.

Open the traps. Do this for all varieties by pulling in the opposite directions along the tops and bottoms of the seams, to form open-ended rectangular tubes. Bait each glue trap by placing one male and female attractant wick -- pheromone or egg-laying attractant lure -- on the glued surface, according to Pest Control Solutions.

Attach hangers to the traps and place them about head-high. Place the traps at intervals of one to two traps per 1,000 feet. You can also use traps outdoors. Pest Control Solutions recommends placing them about 50 to 75 feet away from the building.

Sanitise areas infested by moths that feed on cloth. According to The Bug Clinic, this may involve vacuuming carpets and having clothing dry-cleaned or storing them in sealed plastic bags or totes. This removes sources of food for the moths. Using totes with lids eliminates the need for mothballs or flakes.

The Bug Clinic advises using a spray insecticide such as Allpro to treat edges and corners of clothes closets, closet shelves and any crevices. Buying pheromone traps can also aid in monitoring clothing moth infestation, but The Bug Clinic considers this a conservative measure.

Use non-residual spray for spot treatment, says e-Pest Control. In cases of furniture infestation, it is better to use a dust application, such as TriDie. This provides long-lasting control and will not require time to dry.


Use tweezers to handle lures to avoid getting attractants on your fingers. Use dust only on furniture cushions and padding, where no one will come into direct contact with the insecticide.


Do not ingest any form of pesticide. Wash hands after using any form of pest control. Keep all forms of pest control away from children. Attractant wicks used in traps are flammable. These should be stored in closed jars in the refrigerator. Dispose of used containers, wicks and traps in sealed bags.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust, contact spray or aerosol insecticide
  • Moth-suppression traps or lures
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About the Author

Cathy Moeschet has been writing since 1988. Credits include a public affairs show for WLFL-Channel 22 in Raleigh, N.C., a video for the Handicapped Student Services Office at North Carolina State University and short fiction in Jackhammer II and Planet Relish e-zines. She holds bachelor's degrees from NCSU and Western International University. She is pursuing a Master of Education from Grand Canyon University.