Moth repellent

Updated February 21, 2017

If moths have made a meal out of your favourite sweater, get revenge. Female moths may lay eggs on wool or other clothing, and then the moth larvae will feed off of the wool. Once you see a few moths in your house, they may be tricky to get rid of. Use store-bought products and natural remedies to keep moths out of your home and away from your wardrobe.

Before Using Repellent

Before you try to repel moths in your home, eliminate the eggs and larvae from your clothing. Place all infested clothing in a freezer bag and then press on the bag to remove as much of the air as possible. Seal the bag with a twist tie or tie it in a knot to keep it as airtight as possible. Place the freezer bag full of clothing in the freezer for at least 72 hours to kill the larvae and eggs.

Natural Repellents

Use natural moth repellents to keep moths out of your closet without using harsh chemicals or insecticides. Moths hate the smell of cedar, so putting your clothing in a cedar chest may be effective in keeping moths from laying larvae in your clothes. However, cedar chests that are older than three years old may be ineffective because the cedar oil has rubbed off.

Moths also hate the smell of oranges. Peel an orange and allow the peels to dry for several days. Placing these peels in your drawers may keep moths away. (Reference 3)


Southernwood, wormwood and lavender have strong scents that naturally repel moths. Place small satchels of dried lavender, southernwood or wormwood in your drawers. Every few weeks, squeeze the satchel to release the scent. Keeping a bowl of potporri in your home that contains these herbs may also keep moths from venturing out of the closet and making themselves at home in your living room.

If moths fly around your yard, planting lavender, wormwood and southernwood may help steer the moths out of your yard and into someone else's. (Reference 2)

Store-Bought Repellents

If natural remedies are ineffective, try moth balls or moth crystals, available at hardware stores and drugstores, to eliminate moths. Moth balls and moth crystals contain chemicals that emit a strong scent, repelling adult moths. These products will not get rid of moth larvae or eggs but they may prevent adult moths from laying eggs in your clothing. Fill a sock with moth balls or moth crystals and hang them from the ceiling of your closet. The scent will fall down toward your clothing, making them more effective.

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