A Guide to Moth Prevention When Storing Clothes and Food
Moths can be surprisingly destructive, their larvae causing damage to clothing items, natural fabrics, and dry food goods. Luckily, keeping moths out of your home, closet, garage, storage unit, or pantry is fairly easy with the right tools. Here, we will discuss moth proof storage solutions to prevent these pesky pests from destroying your belongings and snacks.
Understanding Why and How Moths Destroy Your Stuff
Before we can get into protecting your clothing or food items from moths, it can be helpful to know why these insects invade your home in the first place. There are a few destructive moth species in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The most common destructive moths are Clothes and Carpet Moths and Pantry Moths.
- Clothes Moth Larvae eat fabric and natural fibers like wool, silk, feathers, and fur.
- Pantry Moth Larvae eat dry goods like flour, cereals, grains, birdseed, rice, pet foods, etc.
While adult moths do not have mouths and therefore do not eat, , they will lay eggs that hatch into hungry larvae. The larvae are responsible for doing most of the damage to your food and clothing items. Adult moths look for dark, concealed places near a food source where they can lay their eggs in peace. Places like your closet or pantry are prime real estate for these pesky insects! For this reason, prevention and deterrents are key.
How to mothproof food storage containers?
Mothproofing your food storage containers is a fairly easy task. Moths can not break into sealed containers. Instead, they squeeze through tiny gaps and can get into tight spaces. If a gap is large enough to slide a piece of paper through, a moth could potentially get in as well. As such, airtight storage is recommended.
To keep moths out of your pantry goods, it is best to use solid glass or plastic containers with sealable lids. Make sure that all of the lids have an airtight or rubber seal. This will prevent moths from being able to squeeze through. Plastic zipper bags can also be used for food storage. Make sure that your pantry is clean as well. Spilled grains, flour, or sugar can attract moths to your pantry or a food storage space.
If you must store edible dry goods for an extended period, vacuum sealing is wise. This will keep your food fresher and prevent moths from getting in. Moth Traps and thyme sachets can also deter moths from entering your pantry. Finally, consider storing some dry goods (like flour) in a sealed container within your deep freezer. This will keep goods fresher for longer and keep them out of the moth's reach.
How to moth proof clothes in storage?
To keep moths from getting into your stored clothes, cedar closets, trunks, and shelves are fantastic. However, using storage bags is also a smart move. You can also hang moth deterrents in a closet or storage unit. Sticky Moth Traps can catch active adult male moths and help stop the breeding cycle. You may also want to consider hanging moth repellent sachets. Still, to be safe, moth proof storage bags may also be needed.
When should you use moth proof storage bags?
If you will be storing your clothes for a long time, it is best to use moth proof storage bags. Moth Proof storage bags are great for storage units, attics, garages, or other rarely visited, off-site places.
Unlike Moth Traps, mothballs, or insect-repelling sachets, moth proof storage bags do not need to be switched out or attended to. They work as a one-size-fits-all solution that can be left alone for months, or even years, at a time.
Just be sure to use storage bags that are actually moth proof. Some bins and boxes protect from the elements and help you with organization, but are not moth proof.
Tips for Moth Proof Clothes Storage
For precious garments made of leather, silk, satin, wool, or other natural materials, moth proof storage bags are the best solution. These storage bags are usually inexpensive and do a great job of keeping moth larvae from snacking on your pricey clothing. They come in many shapes and sizes, with varying levels of protection. Some moth proof clothes storage bags are completely airtight. Others are breathable with durable zippers.
Breathable moth proof storage bags create a physical barrier to keep moths from accessing your garments. Airtight moth proof storage bags protect against moths, moisture, and mold. Choose the option that best fits your storage needs and budget. Remember, even the best moth proof storage bags may not be 100% full-proof. Tears, rips, and corrosion can happen. For added peace of mind, you may also want to toss in a moth repellent sachet or two. This will keep your clothes protected and smelling fresh!
FAQs About Moth Proof Storage
Here are a few frequently asked questions about moth proof storage!
Are plastic bins mothproof?
It depends. However, most plastic bins will not keep out moths. Plastic storage tubs or cardboard boxes are not generally airtight enough to keep your clothes safe from moths. Instead, you should implement a combination of moth proof storage bags and scented, moth deterring sachets.
Do vacuum bags protect against moths?
Yes, vacuum-sealed clothing storage bags can protect your garments from moths. However, you should be sure that there are no existing moth larvae on your clothes before vacuum-sealing them in a bag. Wash or launder all garments before their storage, if possible. If you can not first wash clothing items, you can freeze them for 72-hours to kill any hidden moth larvae or eggs.
Final Thoughts on Moth Proof Storage
If your clothing items or expensive garments will be stored for an extended period, moth proof storage bags are recommended. In addition to using moth proof storage bags, scented moth deterrent sachets can be quite effective. Be sure to clean or launder any items before storing them. To protect dry pantry goods, glass jars, sealed containers with airtight lids, and plastic zipper bags can be helpful. Your freezer is another great tool for keeping moths out of your food items or clothing!
MothPrevention® speak to customers every day about their clothes moth issues - clothes moths are a species that are ever increasing and that can cause significant damage to clothes, carpets and other home textiles.
To date, we’ve helped over 150,000 customers deal with their moth problems. We have developed professional grade solutions including proprietary pheromones, not available from anybody else in the USA, and engineered in Germany to the highest production standards.