Anyone successfully gotten rid of clothes moths?

dedtiredAugust 10, 2013

I have been battling clothes moths for a while. I found some in an oriental rug and got rid of them by vacuuming both sides and spraying with bug killer. Have not seen another on that rug in over a year and I check regularly.

Now I am giving my master closet a super duper cleaning in an effort to get rid of them once and for all. I have had to toss a lot of clothing because of damage. One suit in particular ($500 Dana Buchman) was a heartbreak to lose. I've washed and dry cleaned everything. I put some undamaged woolens out in the sun. I've also used the method of freezing them in the freezer, the putting them in the dryer on high for 10 minutes, then freezing again!

Nothing goes back in that closet that has not been thoroughly cleaned. I store other items in there as well as clothes.

I just ordered pheromone traps and some lavender sachet-repellants.

Today I smashed three of them, although in the hall, not the closet. Arghh! I figure they were escapees from the clothes I removed.

Cleaning out that closet (it was jam packed) has been my summer project.

So, has anyone fought moths and eliminated them? Any tips?

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I put moth balls every where. I made little fabric pouches to hang all over, I bought cedar wood hanging planks that are made like a coat hanger for hanging in a closet. But not much actually will rid you of them.
Here's a funny article about the battle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 2:51PM
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dedtired

That article is funny, and it sounds like the life I am living, although I have no moth infested teddy bears.

I'd rather have moths than use moth balls. First, they stink and second they are toxic to people as well as moths.

I am so determined to win this battle although the odds are against me, it seems.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:04PM
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linda_in_iowa

It is almost comical to sit next to an elderly lady in church when it first starts getting really cold and she reeks of mothballs because her clothes have been in mothballs all summer.
I have never used them, I rely on the smell of cedar to repel the moths, Here in Iowa, I haven't even seen a moth.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:30PM
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dedtired

Maybe I'll send my clothes to Iowa.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 4:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Moth ball fumes are terribly, terribly toxic.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 7:57PM
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dedtired

No one should be using moth balls. Or moth's balls.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 8:55PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Luckily at this house I have not seen any moths so no more moth balls, I hate the smell of them.
The little bags I make I put the cedar shavings you can buy and I had those hanging in there.
I try to keep anything susceptible shut up tight in the cedar chests.

So maybe you need to move too lol. That seems to have worked here. Maybe they just can't stand the heat!

I had the pantry moths also from the bird food, when my bird passed away I got rid of everything related and finally got rid of darn things. They are a real pain.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 12:42AM
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dedtired

Raven, I think I first got moths when we lived in a rented house. Another source may have been clothes from a thrift shop. My mom volunteers at a hospital thrift shop and brings stuff home for me (which I don't want).

I think everyone should move once every ten years just to go through all your accumulated junk and lighten the load.

Last night I spotted a moth on my beautiful handwoven throw from Berea, KY. I nearly flipped. I think it had fluttered there from a sweater that was airing on a nearby porch. I would croak if anything happened to that throw. It was a gift from someone important to me. It is as soft as a cloud and I just love it.

I used to have pantry moths but usually could find the infested item and once it was tossed they were gone.

Friggin moths.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 10:10AM
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silvergirl426_gw

I am battling the same battle. And I was wondering where they came from? I had some in some cashmere sweaters a few years ago, but I seemed to have gotten rid of them from that closet. Then in June, I took out a lambswool and cashmere shawl from a dresser in a different room and found it had holes. Now I see that my Oriental rugs -- folded in a pile are the source of the infestation. I just got pheremone traps, and the spray, altho I hate to use poisons. I will never use mothballs. This is a nightmare, as I have wool in every room of my apartment. But it is not the moths that you see flying that do the damage -- it is the larvae. Sweaters will go to the cleaners, but I don't think I can send every piece of wool I own to the cleaners. I see this as so much money going down the drain. I am really no help -- I have the same question!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Georgysmom

No wonder your dedtired!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:20PM
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dedtired

Oh yeah, this has been a tiring battle.

Silver, I feel for you. It is discouraging. I found them in one of my oriental rugs. I very thoroughly vacuumed both sides of the rug, the the floor underneath it and also steamed the floor. I sprayed both sides of the rug, too. Since then there is no sign of them returning to that rug.

I have thrown out hundreds of dollars worth of sweaters. The moths really love Eileen Fisher. I discovered the Eileen Fisher actually will repair moth damage for free, provided it is not beyond hope.

Are you using the cold, hot, cold method? First freeze the clothes in the freezer for a couple days, take them out and put them in the dryer on the highest temp for 10 minutes (max) and then put them back in the freezer. It also helps to put things out in the sun. In the winter, I have hung stuff in the garage when it is bitterly cold out to freeze the larvae.

The most expensive loss for me is a Donna Karan suit that cost about $600 and was never worn. They also got into two camel hair coats. What a mess. AAARGH.

Along with the pheromone traps (I caught one moth so far), I am using herbal sachets to repel them.

Don't give up! Get those rugs out of your house. If they are worth saving, send them out to be cleaned and moth proofed. I check my rugs weekly for any damage and vacuum often.

Oh - be sure to wrap the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and get rid of it right away. This is war!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 10:38PM
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jemdandy

Put your clothes in the dryer and heat them good, then store in an airtight bag. Next, tackle the closet. While there, inspect for any place the little buggers can enter and plug those holes.

I had one closet in my house that became infested with clothes moths. They went after every scrap of wool, but left all else alone. Some frabrics were only partly wool - those were attacked also. That was an upstairs closet and it had a fireman's access panel that allowed a firefighter to enter an attic space under the roof. The panel was held loosely with 2 nails not driven home. This would permit a fireman to easily remove the panel. Well, that thing did not seal the hole and the moths came in through roof vents, through the under-roof space and invaded my closet. I improved the panel by adding thick foam insulation on the backside and sized it to friction fit into the space, Now, the space is completely sealed and blocks cold air from entering the closet, yet is easily removed if necessary. This effectively blocked the entryway to bugs and reduced heat loss as well.

The final step was throwing away all damaged items and removing all wool from the closet. If you must store woolen items, put those in air tight bags. I did not have a problem with polyesters and cottons.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 12:00AM
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dedtired

I did not know they came in from the outdoors. I always presumed they came on infested clothes. Yes, I've tried the hot dryer treatment. I've tried everything I can find on the internet! I really do think I have them under control, although I am not so naive to think there are none lurking in there.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:06AM
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