Are you having a problem with moths flying around your stored clothes? If so then you’ll need a moth repellent for shirts, shorts, pants, dresses, and jackets. The Smithsonian Institution reports about 160,000 moth species exist in the world. While the moths are usually more annoying than dangerous the main exception is your clothing threads. The female moths are looking for certain animal threads to provide their eggs with one kind of protein found in silk, wool, fur, etc. This helps to explain why moths will try to munch on wool pajamas and not bother cotton socks, for example.
Like other insect repellants, there are various issues to take up when picking moth repellent. They include the form, natural/synthetic, and price. This can help to determine the “best” product based on your needs. For example, you might prefer bug spray or moth traps, natural/herbal items, or budget-friendly products. As always it’s best to know your wants and needs before you start looking for a repellent. It’s even helpful to know the basics about why months would want to munch on stuff in the first place. This will help to determine what kinds of clothes/fabrics you should use repellants on.
Why Do Moths Eat Clothes?
It’s sort of like knowing that female mosquitoes bite humans to supply nutrients for their larvae. This is actually somewhat related to the kinds of clothes/fabrics that moths munch on.
In fact, it’s actually the little larvae that are eating the clothing threads. That’s because grown moths/butterflies don’t have mouths. They only exist in the larval/caterpillar stage. This age usually lasts from the time the insect is 2 weeks to 1 month old.
How do the critters get into clothes, to begin with? It happens when the mother moth deposits lots of fertilized eggs onto one piece of clothing. For example, she picks a cashmere sweater because of the nutrients in the fabric.
The larvae have a very strict diet and this is especially true of the females. They look for animal fibers with keratin proteins like:
If keratin sounds familiar it’s because it’s also found in human skin, hair, and nails. This explains why the moths will sometimes even nibble on hairballs made of human/pet hair.
Since the moths are looking for keratin they won’t bite cotton/synthetic fabrics. The only exception is if they’re in a blend with animal fibers. The simple reason is these materials like cotton t-shirts, polyester pants, and spandex shorts don’t have keratin in them.
The particular moths that cause the most damage known informally as “clothing moths.” They like to hide in dark closets whey they avoid light and deposit larvae.
This also helps to explain why you might have to deal with moths in your home’s closets or pantry, but not around your outdoor clothes drying rack. You should still consider different factors to select the best anti-moth product on the market.
Top Moth Repellent Brands for Clothing
1. Pantry Moth Traps by Dr. Killigan’s
This non-toxic sticky glue trap helps with food/cupboard moths. You can protect stuff like grains, raisins, almonds, and flour from food moths. This product is safe/effective with easy setup.
2. Old Fashioned Moth Balls by Enoz
“Mothballs” is an oldie-but-goodie option for dealing with moth eggs, larvae, and adults. They also take care of carpet beetles at the same time. This product also treats a maximum space of 75 cubic feet. This is a plus so you can use the same mothballs to cover a big area.
It’s been said that the old ways are the best ways. Mothballs not only is effective but this product is in the under-$20 range. You can also pick from 16, 24, and 32-ounce options.
2 Cedar Fresh Clothes Protector by Household Essentials
This is one of the best options because it’s a whole system of 70+ pieces. You get lots of stuff like sachets, cubes, rings, and hang-ups. This is everything you need to help keep moths at bay. Besides that, all the pieces are 100% natural and eco-friendly.
The pieces are also long-lasting. For example, you can just shake the sachets or sand cedar to bring back the scent. This adds value to the product since you won’t have to replace them sooner rather than later.
3. Cedar-Scented Spray by Reefer-Galler
This product is effective because it zaps clothes moths, as well as their eggs/larvae. This is important because if you just kill the larvae the moths could keep dropping eggs in your clothes and still cause damage.
This product provides some key benefits. It won’t stain your clothes and leaves a fresh scent. You can help to protect different clothes including wool and cashmere. Besides fighting moths it also helps with other critters like ants, roaches, bees, beetles, and spiders.
Top Natural Moth Repellents
This is a great option not only for iced/hot teas but also as an anti-moth remedy. Just put some dried peppermint into a sachet or put loose mint leaves around some clothes.
Another option is to spray some peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball. Then place it in your closet. Add more when the smell gets weak. This remedy also works for mice.
These aren’t just popular cooking herbs but also can help keep to keep moths away. Fill up a sachet bag with a combo of the three herbs. This will often help to keep the moths away for several months. Make sure to replace the herbs after 6 months or when the fragrance becomes weak.
You can even make this option budget-friendly by purchasing bulk herbs at your local supermarket. You can also find them at stores that feature natural/whole foods.
This wood is ideal to help keep away moths. If you have a cedar closet or chest then this is a great option for storing clothes/linens that moths would want to munch on.
Don’t have cedar furniture? Just add some cedar chips/blocks wherever you want to keep the flying insects away. Another option is cedar rings and drawer liners that you can place over clothes hangers.
After a while, you’ll have to bring back the cedar scent. Just add some cedar oil to the wood or lightly sand it. This will help to bring back the cedar scent and thus moth repellent features.
This plant is relaxing/calming for humans but the essential oil can be used as a moth repellent. You can place sachets in popular moth-infested areas like closets, boxes, drawers, pantries, and chests. Various insects including moths don’t like the smell so it functions as one of the best moth repellents.