How to get rid of moths

Moths can damage your clothes, especially wool and silk garments, but we've got useful tips on how to get rid of clothes moths in your house!

Updated 2 October 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

Cleanipedia UK logo Want to save this article? Create a Cleanipedia account and you'll be able to bookmark and revisit articles. It's free!
Already have an Account? Log in
clothing rail with selection of clothing

Sign up here for new product info and offers!

CleaningSign upCleaning

Clothes moths, or Tineola Bisselliella, are a fairly new problem for homeowners. While they’ve always been around, we’re starting to see them breed in greater numbers, which is causing more noticeable (and costly) damage throughout the home. So have you found yourself wondering how to get rid of clothes moths? 

Unlike other species of moth, they’re not attracted to light and instead prefer dark corners which can make them very difficult to spot. In most cases, you’ll only know you’ve got an infestation once you start to see patches of carpet being eaten bare, and holes appearing in wool and silk garments. This comprehensive guide will give some safer, simpler ways to rid your house of moths.

How to get rid of moths: skip the mothballs

Traditionally, mothballs are what’s used to get rid of moths. You can buy these from any DIY store, and they work by emitting chemicals that naturally repel moths. However, there are problems with these products.

First, let’s not mince our words here – they stink. Mothballs have a smell that’s worse than steamed cauliflower. The smell will be absorbed into all your fabrics, leaving your clothing, and your home, smelling absolutely foul.

Second, they might not be strong enough to kill the bigger moths. Some homeowners prefer to use cedar balls – a more natural, safer alternative – but moths can become immune to the effects of the smell, so you may find this is only a short-term solution.

You will need:

Welcome to #CleanTok™

The home of cleaning on TikTok. Brought to you by Cleanipedia.

TikTokCleanipedia UK

Proud Supporter of #CleanTok™

  • How to get rid of moth larvae through washing

    One of the best methods of removing larvae is to wash your clothes at high temperatures – at least 48 degrees celsius is needed to kill the moths. Washing is also important because moths are attracted to the sweat that accumulates in the sleeves of the clothes, so to remove this entirely, it is necessary to wash any dirty clothes with laundry detergent.

    Of course, there’s a big problem with this – the types of material moths are typically attracted to, such as wools and silks, should not be washed above 30 degrees to prevent damage and shrinkage. So what’s the solution?

    1. 1

      Put clothes into plastic bags

      When looking at how to get rid of moths, some homeowners have found that freezing clothes is just as effective as boiling them. Simply pop your clothes into plastic bags.

    2. 2

      Place in the freezer for two hours

      Put the plastic bags of clothes into the freezer and leave for two hours.

    3. 3

      Remove and wash in a washing machine

      Remove and wash as normal using warm, not hot, water and following the directions on the care label.

    This method will kill any larvae attached to your clothing, and it should reduce the extent to which moths are attracted to your clothes, but it won’t solve your problem entirely. There may still be moths hiding in your wardrobe that can breed to produce new larvae, and you’ll be back to where you started. 

How to get rid of clothes moths

If you're unsure of how to get rid of clothes moths, you may wish to make some small changes in your home to reduce the risk of moths coming back. Here are some easy ways to help protect your clothing a little better:

Make your voice matter

When buying dishwasher tablets, which of these is most important to you?

0 Votes

Tooth brush arm

Was this article helpful?