What is the best method for getting rid of Moths?

MitzEclipseAugust 23, 2004

Hi All,

I have noticed a significant number of months in the past couple months (probably 5-6). I'd first like to know what the root of the problem is. I've done some google searches and everyone suggests cleaning clothes, getting rid of standing water, etc. I'm pretty much a neat freak and everything is cleaned/washed all the time. I'm still not sure why there are some moths that appear.

Some of the products that get rid of moths produce a smell (ie: moth balls, moth biscuits -(really stunk)

Does anyone have any solutions?


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Cedar chips or a cedar block in the closet will prevent them from doing a number on your clothes, plus it smells great. Replace every 6 months for maximum effectiveness.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 4:39PM
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First you need to figure out what kind of moths... Most likely they're Indian meal moths, if you're finding small brownish moths in your kitchen cupboards or pantry. They tunnel into boxes and bags of grains, flour, etc. and gum up the contents with stringy webs and cocoons. I get them every summer in the room where I keep my canaries and finches (they get into the birdseed.)

If they are meal moths, you can get very effective glue traps for them online or in hardware stores (but not Home Depot, for some unknown reason.) I just googled "Indian meal moth traps" and found a ton of links.

The traps work great. I set a new one out in the bird room last week and caught 20-30 moths in about 15 minutes.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 3:43PM
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I don't know if cedar works on Moths but if you try the cedar block you can just lightly sand it ever so often and it will renew the essence. This is hard to do with the chips. ;)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 3:43PM
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I had a severe moth problem in my kitchen cabinets. Moths would fly about and my Rottie made a game of catching them (6-10 a day). I don't recall how many times I threw out three-week-old bags of flour, rice, almonds, cereal, corn meal, etc. I scrubbed out little white sacs of worm eggs, sprayed bleach, insecticides and scrubbed some more with bleach. Purchased new groceries only to repeat the process 3-4 weeks later.

Indian meal moths were the culprits. I deduced that the infestation occurred after receiving dry goods (rice) from a food pantry when we were in need after long term layoffs (the bag had a gritty web thing in it and I threw it out after about a week of storing it). It was so bad that they got into the plastic zipper bags and containers that I tried to store the new groceries.

I eventually rid my house of these pests by making sachets of pantyhose stuffed with bay leaves. I cleaned my cabinets as usual, threw out all dry goods and placed at least two sachets on each shelve, in the dry dog and cat food, bread drawer, behind the toaster...everywhere! I have not seen an egg sac, worm, and to my Rottie's dismay, a moth.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 2:09PM
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5-6 in the past couple of months is not many at all so I doubt they are from anything in your cabinets.

My first thought, we have had about that many and they were sneaking in when we opened the patio door to let the dog out. We changed the outdoor bulb to a yellow bug bulb and haven't had a moth come in since.

Susan if you put the bird seed in the freezer for a few hours when you first bring it home, it kills the moth eggs and costs less than traps. :)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 4:23PM
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I need some advice too on this! :)

I've noticed small cocoons hanging from the ceiling (a few here & there -- not in any area in particular). I've also noticed a few little moths flying around & recently, holes in some of my clothes.

Advice on how to get rid of these little pests? Just knocking down the cocoons doesn't seem to be enough.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 10:11PM
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vacum up the cacoons and put moth balls around.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 11:56PM
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Moth balls are very dangerous to your health! You don't want to be breathing that stuff. We purchased (you can find this online) some moth traps - depending on what kind of moths you have, and they work GREAT. Go to Insectslimited.com and read about which ones you may need. They are a little pricey but if you have to have reweaving done to any expensive garment or throw out an expensive sweater, the price is worth it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 9:44AM
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Do you have any new floral arrangements that contain dried/preserved flowers, including eucalyptus? I used to make arrangments as a side business, and those darn things became a nuisance. One suggestion was to put any materials I purchased into a dark garbage back, seal it up tight and leave it for a week. One store owner said she put any supplies in a sealed plastic bag and put it in a freezer overnight prior to use. If you just got an arrangement/wreath in recent months, they might be at their life cycle now where they are mature and visible. Try the freezer method.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 9:02PM
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I have tried the traps for meal moths and they do indeed work at catching them -- but they keep on coming if you don't find the source.

I had both kinds of moths last spring and summer and and it was a complete nightmare. the clothing moths were the biggest problem. I cleaned every square inch of my NY apartment at least three times, and washed or dry cleaned all clothing that moths might be attracted to. In the end, I spent more than $1000 on rug cleaning, dry cleaning, moth traps etc. I had in three different exterminators none of whom could help. The moths finally died out when the cold weather came in. Then, yesterday, on one of the first warmish days of 2008, I saw two clothing moths. I am at my wits end. I think i would rather move than repeat last summer! I am convinced the moths are coming in from outside my apartment. Has anyone had this happen? I know moth balls would work but as far as I'm concerned, they are as bad as moths. Once that smell infests your clothes, you might as well toss them out. has anyone had the clothing moth problem this badly? If so, were you able to find a solution?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 4:33PM
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Just ask them to leave.
Show them the front door.
Send them an eviction notice.
Get a watch dog.
Sorry, but I guess there's always a smart aleck in the crowd. Guess I'm it. Sorry, just couldn't resist! But I did learn some helpful hints, just the same.
Emma in SC

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 7:47PM
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I'm inundated with those stupid moths too.
Usually, every time I bring ANYTHING grain related home, I immediately put it in the freezer for 24 hrs to make sure any and all critters eggs are dead. (used to be just weevils, now it's those stupid moths)
Most of those critters come in the food from the manufacturer.
I too was on the austerity program and had to purchase food from the food bank.
Usually, if I DO see any critters in a bag, I put it in the freezer before putting it in the trash.
I went to open a box/inner bag of cereal and it was loaded with those nasty moths. I just threw the bag in the trash and I have regretted not putting it in the freezer ever since. They are an infestation now.
I took everything out of my pantry and put it in the freezer THEN I threw them out.
I put borax,which does kill them, all around my pantry left it closed for a few days then vacuumed the dead moths out & now the pantry is free of moths. I thought AWESOME!!! the fight is over or so I thought.
Then I went into my coat closet and just happened to look up & there were about 20 of the cocoons in there. I took my broom and squashed & swept them all away. (BTW: I have one of those broom & dustpan kits where the broom fits into the dustpan & clips onto the handle. I put borax in the dustpan, so if the moths or cocoons are still alive after sweeping & squishing them, it will kill them, which it does).
I was seeing baby moths flying all over. Since I saw the cocoons in the 1 closet, I decided to look in the ceiling of the rest of my closets. There were some in the linen closet.
Then I went into the spare bedroom, to check the closet in there (which we keep the a/c vent partially closed and the lights off.)
I almost had a heart attack. There must have been 100 of those cocoons hanging all around the edges of the ceiling and in the closet.
There was no way I was going to be able to get all of them without dragging the ladder in & sweeping/squishing all of them.
Well, I said all this to say: Is there anything I can just spray up there & kill all the moth cocoons before they hatch?
I was thinking about using wasp spray, the stuff that shoots 20 feet. It says on the can that it also kills caterpillars. Which turn into butterflies.
Moths are the devils version of butterflies. Butterflies are harmless and beautiful. Moths are ugly and very harmful.
"Don't store up treasures here on earth where MOTHS and rust corrupts...
Any comments?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 3:52PM
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I had a problem with Gypsy Meal Moths before & I had to call in an exterminator to rid us of the moths. It turns out that they got into our house inside of a bag of birdseed I had bought at Walmart! Walmart was having a bad problem with those moths at the time. Now I know to look for that stringy web stuff inside the bags of birdseed before I buy them. Never again!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 12:55AM
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We'll, I don't have a solution but my problem does not just happen in the summer time but winter as well in VA. It defintely has something to do with the food and I suggest you put your meals, grains, cereal, cake mixes (they love cake mixes), pancake mix, and basically anything away or in containers. I am ready to move but once you have the problem, you can not get rid of them. I have tried the traps and I'm ready to move on to the moth balls and borax. Thanks for the suggestions all.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Use a dangus they work really well. Within days they will perish

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:55PM
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We currently have a horrible moth problem. It mainly occurs in the summertime, and now that its hot here in Colorado, they've begun to come out. Last night there were easily 25 moths flying wildly around my kitchen, and 10 more in th garage. I don't believe we have problems with our food because of the moths, they just come in and fly around obnoxiously. I'm tired of these damned things. And if they're not getting in via food, then what? Why do I have a million moths in my home and how do I get rid of them?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 4:10PM
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We have a terrible problem with these moths! I am sucking up 50 or more a night in the vaccum. Its awful! I know it has nothing to do with our food as we only get a few strays in the kitchen. After reading alot of these posts Im convinced its the bird food and the cedar bedding we started using has increased the problem. The second you bump his cage they're flying all over the place. We've tried taking the cage apart and cleaning it really well, not an easy task because it is huge, yet the problem continues. The food has very little seed in it but has alot of dried fruit/vegis, nuts etc. I have never opened a bag and noticed any bugs or anything stringy. When the problem first started we found a few inch worms crawling on the cage a few days after we cleaned it, then the moths started coming. As the summer weeks have passed and the temperature has increased, the number of moths has increased. I threw out the bag of cedar bedding and bough the paper stuff. I'm going to buy a new bag of his food and stick it in the freezer. Do another complete scrub down of the cage. Any other bird friendly suggestions for keeping them away or killing them? I dont want to use moth balls. If they arent healthy for humans it isnt healthy for Dakoda either. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:56AM
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Moths fly in to my room every night without fail there will be about 2-3 just flying around. I know they're from outside but it is tooo hot to leave the window closed, is there anything I can put on the window sill to repel them? Also there is a light directly under the window, will this attract them? And if I change it to a bug bulb will the problem cease?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 7:58PM
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