What Is The Best Natural Moth Repellent?

a woman in a sunhat pruning a rosemary bush

Whether you are doing some heavy-duty spring cleaning or simply tidying up around the house, ensuring your clothes are protected from moths is essential. Clothes Moths are a common nuisance across America. They love natural fabrics like silk, cashmere, and other expensive things that you definitely don’t want to be damaged! So what can be done?

If you want to prevent Clothes Moths but also don't care for harsh chemicals, there are many awesome natural moth repellents to choose from! Below, we'll go over everything you need to know about natural moth repellent for clothes and more!

What is a natural moth repellent?

Natural moth repellents implement naturally occurring herbs, plants, aromas, and other similar materials, without adding harsh chemicals or heavily processed ingredients. These natural repellents are great for those who prefer holistic cleaning and insect deterrents. The best natural moth repellent will keep moths away while also serving as a safe, environmentally-friendly solution.

Natural Moth Repellents Often:
• Implement herbs and plants found in nature
• Have a pleasing aroma
• Are safer for homes with pets and children
• Can help prevent moths in your home

lavender growing in a galvanised bucket

About Natural Moth Repellent for Clothes

For protecting your clothes, natural moth repellents can be used in closets. The goal with these kinds of natural repellents is to keep moths from damaging your clothes by making your closet a place they aren’t interested in visiting.

Clothes Moths love to visit dark, quiet closets full of natural materials. Here, they lay their eggs. These eggs then hatch into larvae that consume the fabrics for sustenance. This can leave unsightly holes in your favorite sweaters, shirts, and high-quality materials.

One of the best ways to keep your closets, wardrobes, chifferobes, and chests free of moths is to prevent them from entering those spaces in the first place. This is where moth repellents come in! Many people use mothballs and other chemical sachets to keep moths away. These are highly effective! However, natural moth repellents such as lavender, cedar, and rosemary may also deter moths from moving into your closet space.

Natural Pantry Moth Repellent Options

Pantry Moths, also known as Meal Moths, are small moths whose larvae feed on grains, dogfood, nuts, flour, and other exposed dried goods kept on shelves. The adult Moths need to lay their eggs in flour, cornmeal, and cereals to keep the larvae well fed when they hatch. It’s the larvae you then see hanging out in your food. Gross!

Since these moths are in your food storage areas, you probably don't want to use harsh chemicals to remove them. Obviously, keeping them away in the first place is ideal. To naturally repel these little insects, keeping a clean pantry is the best thing you can do. Natural moth repellents for food storage areas are another great solution.

a selection of nuts and dried fruits

If you already have Pantry Moths, simply repelling new visitors will not be enough. First, remove all food items from your shelves and pantry. Inspect opened items (especially those that contain grain) for larvae.

Now, wash your pantry with a mixture of water and white vinegar to kill any eggs. White vinegar may help repel future moths as well. Clean every nook and cranny of your pantry. Even the little peg holes of your shelves or drawers! You may need to use a toothpick to get in every crevice.

After completely cleaning out your pantry, you can now use natural repellents to prevent re-infestation. Peppermint oil has been known to effectively repel Pantry Moths. So, you may want to wipe down your shelves with this fragrant oil. Rosemary, clove, lavender, thyme, and Eucalyptus may also be helpful. Each of these natural repellents for pantry moths is safe to use around food items!

a variety of fresh herbs with essential oils

Natural Moth Repellent Effects on Adults VS Larvae

It is important to understand that natural moth repellents are rarely effective on existing infestations. So, if you already have moths in your pantry or closet, you will need to remove them first. Simply hanging up a lavender sachet will not solve your problem. Adult moths may be repelled by things like natural moth repellent sachets, but these little sachets will have no effect on larvae.

What to do before using a natural moth repellent?

So what can you do to get rid of moths before proceeding with a natural repellent? Firstly, you must confirm the source of your infestation. Are the moths in your closet? Are they coming in from the outside through a window? Are they coming from somewhere in the garage? Clothes Moths love quiet, dark, undisturbed places.

Next, it’s time to treat the infestation. For this process, you may want to use a proven chemical moth removal treatment. Sprays, moth bombs, and other products are safe and effective. Just be sure to follow the instructions thoroughly. After the moth eggs and larvae are gone, you can effectively use a natural moth repellent.

Best Natural Moth Repellent: Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let's go over some of the most frequently asked questions on natural moth repellents and how to use them properly!

What scent keeps moths away?

cedar blocks with holes in the center for placing on hangers

Moths tend to dislike lavender and Cedar. Although lavender smells great to humans, it is highly repellent to insects like moths. Cedar is another great choice. Cedar masks the smell of natural fabrics and also gives clothing and linens a fresh, fragrant aroma.

Can you naturally remove Clothes Moths?

If you really don't want to use chemicals to remove moth eggs and larvae, you will need to completely clean the infested space from top to bottom. This can be difficult and is sometimes impossible. Moth eggs are very tiny and can be hard to find. You will also need to freeze all clothes and fabrics to kill any remaining eggs. Keep fabrics in the freezer for a minimum of 72 hours. This can be an arduous process! For this reason, many people prefer chemical treatments.

What is the most effective moth repellent?

The most effective natural moth repellent is likely a cedar. Cedar has been used for centuries to keep moths away. In fact, the ancient King Solomon spoke of building his palace with cedar! Natural scents like lavender are also sometimes effective at keeping away flying adult moths but, as with all natural moth repellents, they don’t have any effect on moth larvae. After cedar, the next best option is lavender, followed by bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and thyme.

Does vinegar keep moths away?

White vinegar is a fantastic cleaning solution for those seeking natural, holistic alternatives. Vinegar changes the pH balance of any surface it interacts with. As such, it can kill moth eggs and larvae. If you want a natural solvent option, vinegar is a good choice.

 a collection of different shaped bottles containing white vinegar

With that in mind, vinegar doesn't necessarily keep Clothes or Pantry Moths away. Instead, it gets rid of the moth eggs and larvae that are already there. Some believe that the pH-altering properties of vinegar may also remove any pheromones left by previous moths, thus preventing re-infestation.

Natural Repellents for Moths: Wrapping Things Up

So there you have it! Hopefully, some of these natural moth repellent alternatives will be ideal for your applications. Without a doubt, Cedar is the best natural moth repellent, followed by lavender. Just keep in mind, you have to first get rid of an infestation before you can prevent future moths. Otherwise, you'll just be hanging up Cedar and lavender sachets as decorations for the larvae to enjoy.

Monitor Pantry Moths with our Pantry Moth Traps

Pantry Moth Traps

Pantry Moth Traps

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About MothPrevention®

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.

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