The presence of a little grey moth in the house may not seem like a big deal, but when you discover one you should take heed. The larvae from moths are ravenous creatures that can do a lot of damage to clothing in a small amount of time. Drawn by the glow of the indoor lights at nights, moths can easily find their way into your house through an open door or hole in a window screen. Once inside, they are attracted to natural fibres and will make their way to the closet where your silk, wool and cotton clothing awaits.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Sealable bag
- Household cleaner
- Lavender oil
- Lavender sachets
- Cedar blocks
Locate where the grey moths are hanging out in your house. When you see one or more moths staying around a certain area, there is a good chance that something close by is drawing their attention. The laundry room, pantry and closets are good places to start your investigation.
Find the infested item or items. Moths are not only attracted to clothing, but also eat items that contain grain, such as cereals, dog food and bird seed.
Remove the infested item from the area. If it is a type of food, throw away the item and packaging.
Place smaller clothing items in a sealable bag and toss them into the freezer to kill attached moth larvae.
Launder the clothing items in hot water to kill moths and remove larvae. Use a dry cleaning service or professional cleaner for items such as silk shirts and fur coats that cannot be cleaned in a washing machine.
Use a household cleaner to sanitise shelves or around the area where the item was stored. Check in corners and dark areas of the room for additional moths and cocoon debris.
Burn lavender oil to discourage lingering grey moths from returning to the area. Place lavender sachets or cedar blocks in closets or on shelves to naturally repel the grey moths. Consider the purchase of a cedar chest to store clothing in if moths continue to be a problem.
Tips and warnings
- Although traditional moth balls made from the chemical naphthalene are effective in controlling grey moths, the balls small size can be tempting to children and poisonous if ingested. The scent from moth balls may also cause health problems for people who have breathing issues or are sensitive to chemicals. If possible, use natural, environmentally safe repellents instead.
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