closet moths help!

carlisaAugust 29, 2006

Small brown moths in one coat closet - any advice on how to get rid of them? If I clean the items in the closet, vacuum everything in there and spray, is that enough, or do I need to call a pest control company?

And what about things like leather coats - can I seal them in a plastic bag for a while instead of having them cleaned to get rid of the moths? I had this same problem about 10 years ago and went the pest control route - will do it again if I have to - sigh. Thanks.

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What about good old-fashioned mothballs? Put them inside and close the door. I'd take the leather coats out first. You could air them outside in the shade. Do they have wool linings?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 11:26AM
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I'm very allergic to moth balls, so that wasn't an option. After more investigation, this is what I ended up doing:
- Washed all washable clothes, dry cleaned woolen coats, put all other small items and leather items in plastic bags and then put them in the freezer (now the 6th day, guess they can come out).
- Cleaned everything else out of the closet and either rinsed it off, removed any larva (yuk) and put those things in the garage, or threw them out.
- Destroyed as many larva as I could find, then vacuumed the closet floor, outside the closet etc.
- Looked for moth evidence where the ceiling and walls meet - removed anything I found.
- Covered the aquarium with a thick bath mat (towel), then sprayed the closet and hallway baseboards and shelf crevices with an indoor insect spray, then shut the closet door and sealed it at the bottom with a blanket.
- Did the "moth and moth larva hunt" in the closet and hallway twice a day for the next 5 days. Sprayed again the second day. Today (day 6) was the first day I didn't find moths or larva - thank goodness!
- Also, bought diatomaceous earth to spray into the crevices near the baseboards, but haven't found a small applicator yet.

I'll continue the moth check for the next several weeks, and then put the clothes back in the closet. I've heard that bay leaves work as a repellent, so that will be next.

Also, now speaking from experience - finding one clothing moth in the house means there are probably more - I wished I had looked in the closet when I found that first moth about 2 weeks ago!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 12:21AM
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Oh my gosh that was a lot of work! Do you think this is the kind of moth that eats holes in your woolen things? If so, keep the woolens stored so no insects can get in.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 11:35PM
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I can relate to your moth problem although we had a different kind. About a year ago another member and I felt we were going to lose our minds over them.
If you want to feel better about your situation go back and read the threads Lainy and I started.
Do you know that to this day if I see a moth in the house I go absolutely nuts? I'm not sure there's a cure for this phobia.

Hope you've solved your problem.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 6:21PM
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Socks, Mona, thanks for the support and encouragement. I read the "Moth Experience" postings - omg, you're singing my song haha! No termites here though - I'm counting my blessings. And spiders I don't mind - I trap them in a plastic container and take them outdoors. I like to think they're the first line of defense against keeping bugs out of the house and garden.

I'm going to Target this week to get some plastic storage containers for the scarves, hats and mittens that used to be in an open container on the floor of the closet (that is now on the front porch were I abandoned it two weeks ago - I rinsed it once and then was about to put it away when I noticed webbing and suspicious stuff under the rim, so I left it there - will take care of it today).

I used some Delta Dust for the closet floor around the baseboard and the cracks where the shelf meets the wall. It is supposed to last 8 months. Also bought a moth trap which I'll hang in the closet.

Haven't done today's closet check, but the last time I saw a larva was about 4 days ago, and that was before the Delta Dust treatment which was yesterday. I'm paranoid about the aquarium, which is next to the closet, or I would have applied more pesticide.

The closet had clothes that my kids have outgrown, so I washed everything and will give those items away. I think the universe was giving me a wakeup call - just wish it sent it by email instead of by moths!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 3:06PM
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    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 7:10PM
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My wonderful husband lined all of our closets with cedar. It looks great, and smells wonderful. I hope that stops moths.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 5:49AM
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Moth central update: It's been almost two months since the original eradication efforts began. Knock on wood, no new moths for about a month! The trap has been empty, and I haven't found any moths or larva in the closet, nor on the walls or ceilings. I have company coming on Sunday, so I'm going to vacuum the closet, put the coats (all cleaned) back and keep my fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 7:27PM
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Wonderful news!!!

But don't let your guard down. It only takes one pregnant fertile female to find a quiet spot in your home for the problem to start all over again.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 5:11PM
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Mona, thanks! I learned my lesson - will keep renewing the traps too as an early warning.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 8:42PM
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I've ignored two warning signs about moths. One was SEEING them! And the other was having a sweater that kept getting holes in it. I put lavender and some cedar in my closet but the holes continued.

I called a pest control company and the woman told me there was nothing they could do. She said the only solution was to take every single thing out of my closet and dry clean it or wash it...all at the same time. She also told me that I had to use MOTHBALLS which I know are toxic. I have a new grandson who comes here. Plus I sleep in my bedroom and don't want the smell on me or my clothes. I'm wondering if the holistic methods work to get rid of the moths or they simply repel them.

Has anyone tried using that thing that sucks the air out of plastic bags in which you store things... that is after your stuff is clean?

Also what do moth larva look like??? Why am I seeing them flying around my computer in a room that has very few clothes. And... if you cleaned out your closet, did you do EVERY closet in your house???

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 12:30PM
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I have not seen any moths but definitely have holes in several garments. It is a large walk in closet that I share with my husband. If i dry clean all the wool suits etc do I have to clean everything? Shoes, purses etc. Also my husband has a huge Hawaiian shirt collection that would cost a fortune to dry clean.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 3:09PM
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This is a sad follow-up to my post. I had carpet (synthetic)upstairs. Since I also have two dogs I decided to rip the carpet out and put in wood floors. Lots of $$. Then I had the whole upstairs painted. An exterminator came in before the floors were installed and used a bomb in my attic and garage and pyrethrin based spray around the the moldings in the closets etc. He also steamed all furniture that had stuffing. I sent almost everything out to be dry cleaned, another huge bill.

After doing all that, I put out traps. I found one moth which was dying before it reached the trap. Then in a storage closet (the only place with carpet) I trapped one!!!! Exterminator came back and sprayed the closet. That was about a month ago. Tonight I had a moth fly onto my laptop while I was typing. I hope it was sick. But I'm not so sure.

Wondering how the rest of you are doing.

Very frustrated and poor.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:33PM
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Ton of moths in storag closet that we keep holiday decorations in. A few in my closet I put about 6 ceder blocks in there and bag of lavander. What else can I do I not had time to clean my closet but since I done the blocks and lavander the moths have died down. I killed one with shoe and turns out it was 2 mateing. I guess got 2 birds with one stone on that one. But what is my mom going to have to do I doubt she will want to clean out whole decoration and storage closet.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 3:33AM
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I had moths in a hall closet that was filled with coats and hats. I took everything outside, threw some things away and washed and dryed what I could. Actually I washed them twice and ran them in the dryer twice also. Some things I couldn't wash I put in large trash bags and put in the freezer that I have in the basement and kept them there for over a month. I vacuumed the closet every day and did not put anything back in there for over 6 months. I also hung sticky fly paper in the closet and caught a few moths on there. I haven't seen a moth since I did all that. I think it helped not putting anything back in the closet to soon as I think they hide in the cracks. I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:06PM
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Yes, cedar lined closets do work! I also have cedar lining in the drawers where I keep my sweaters and I've never had a problem.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 5:52PM
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