How To Moth-Proof Your Wardrobe
The Debrief: Here's how to get rid of the little bastards for good
Can you spot tiny holes in your expensive jumper? Do you open your closet door to the sound of fluttering insect wings? Yep, you’ve got moths. With a little luck, moth infestations don’t have to be the death of your wardrobe – and I know, because I once had an outbreak so bad that I briefly considered burning all of my clothes just to get rid of them. Here’s a few life hacks to help you exterminate the little buggers without spending too much money.
Vacuum your whole room, including the inside of your wardrobe
Moths thrive in dark, cool corners of absolute filth, so that pile of dirty laundry stacking up on the floor of your closet is basically their idea of a Corfu holiday resort. Put away your clothes and vacuum your room, thoroughly, including the corners of your wardrobe, shelves and under the bed. You want to be hoovering up every single egg and larvae (gross) that might be lurking in an unmonitored spot of your room.
Wash your clothes as soon as you’re done with them
Moths are attracted to sweat stains and food spills, so don’t just dump your used clothes in your laundry bin for weeks at a time. Washing your clothing regularly will make your wardrobe way less attractive to any moth looking for a home for its eggs. If you’re concerned that your dirty sweatshirt might be harboring fugitive eggs, it’s best to chuck it into the laundry on high heat. Washing items in hot water (anything above 48 degrees celsius) will do the trick. If the item just washable in hot water, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it for 24 hours. Sounds weird, but it essentially kills off any moth babies lurking in your clothes.
Store your most treasured moth-attracting goods in an airtight bag
If you have a cashmere jumper that’s been handed down from your nan to your mum to you, you might want to go with a little extra protection for your treasured goods. Storing clothes in airtight containers or clothing bags will do the trick. These plastic boxes from Ikea are under a tenner and will work great. If you’re especially nervous about moth-proofing your heirloom knitwear, these vacuum-sealed bags from Argos range from £9.99 for pack of four to £14.99 for a 14 piece set. (You can also hack your own airtight bags by just purchasing jumbo ziploc bags from the supermarket.)
Skip the moth balls and go for something less toxic
Moths hate the smell of lavender and cedar, so protect your wardrobe with scented products like these lavender hanging sachets or cedar wood blocks. All you need to do is chuck a few in your wardrobe drawers or hang them off a clothes rail. If you’re the crafty kind, you can even DIY your own moth repellant with dried lavender, which you can mix up with other fragrant herbs like rosemary and mint. There’s a great recipe here. Refresh your home-made sachet by giving them a good squeeze every so often.
Desperate to get rid of moths? Try a moth trap
I was rescued from despair at the worst period of my infestation by these killer moth traps. You hang these pheromone traps in your wardrobe and moths will literally flock to them like, er, moths to a flame, where they basically get trapped and slowly expire. Unlike mothballs, these doesn’t smell at all and you have the sick satisfaction of watching those tiny critters fly to their doom. Plus it costs under a fiver from Amazon and you can keep topping up with refills. Glorious.
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