questionsany hints on getting rid of clothes moths?


Ouch. Sorry about your kitteh. I don't know much about moths, but things will get better. Keep your chin up and be on the lookout for happier opportunities.

Don't they say cedar keeps moths away? Maybe woot will sell those cedar grilling planks again and you can line your drawers/closet with them.


So sorry for the loss of your cat. Try Cedar. Mothballs. Sunlight. The climate I live in is too arid for moths to be a problem, but I like the smell of cedar so I use cedar hangers and drawer liners:

There's also these which I don't use as I have too many clothes:


I don't know anything about moths (just use cedar as already mentioned, or mothballs which will smell up your entire place, but might work). Just make sure you really do have an infestation. Maybe it's just one stray.

I do know that I extend my deepest sympathies on the loss of your fur child.

Life is a Crap Sandwich...some days you get one bite, some days you have to have seconds. Hang in there, better stuff is coming your way.


If You don't have a lot of clothes then use plastic sealable boxes to store them in. A bit of cedar would not hurt but do remember that moth balls are toxic and should never be used in proximity of the bedroom.


Cedar boxes can be purchased on line. Mothballs are horrible, and will make you want to throw all your clothes away. You can even use cedar chips in a drawer. The cedar planks that are sold for food have been treated, and are not useful for moths. Your exterminator has not told you that after he sprays for the moths, you will want to throw all your clothes away (so mothballs would be cheaper).

I'm very surprised to hear that they are bothering your cotton shirts. Do you have them on hangers in a closet? Wash them all, clean out a dresser, thoroughly, line it with newspaper (preferably a new one you just purchased), and put some cedar chips in each drawer. You can get zippered clothes bags for your clothes that need to hang in the closet, or at least dry cleaner bags that you can tie at the bottom (and put chips in, first).

[Newspapers are nearly sterile when delivered to the newsstands, and will be bug free.]

I may be back with more, in a while.

(Sorry about kitty, too)


The whole thing makes no sense. I purposely don't own ANY clothes made from animal anything. I never wear my clothing more than once, so it's always put away clean. And I haven't seen so much as a larva--but I have seen two moths, and what else could be poking tiny holes in my clothes?

I honestly feel like I'm being punished.


I use this stuff on entryways and windows. We have a big miller moth problem & this works wonders.

For Immediate Protection Of Clothing and Carpets
Highly Effective
Kills On Contact
Will Not Stain and Is A Water Based Formula


@curli76: That's quite strange indeed. Could it possibly be from the kitty kneading your clothes? Sometimes their nails will create a small tear and then when you wash the shirt the hole expands and becomes large enough to see.


Wondering if the exterminator was trying to make some extra bucks with showing you the moth ?

Anyways, If you do have an issue, check your food. If any boxed goods or flour or sugar or dry beans that sort of thing. If they are ok. That's good. I would keep them from getting into food by wiping eveything down w/ some diluted peppermint oil.
OR put some loose bay leaves in the cupboards. Make sure everything is bagged up well. ( If you have an infestation they will eat through plastic bags, but it is still a deterrent .

As far as clothes, I would wash everything and wipe down shelves/ closets. I have bars of lavender soap in my drawers and closets. Both soap and lavender are deterrents to moths.It is a nice compact way to put something in w/ your clothing and It makes your clothes smell nice too.
I can't stand the smell of cedar ( am allergic ) . Moth balls are noxious and I would never use them.

Condolences for the loss of your cat.


I'm so sorry to hear about your cat.

Regarding the moths, I've never heard of moths that eat anything other than wool and some other animal-origin fibers and feathers. Not cotton. On the other hand, over the years I've had a number of t-shirts, especially older, well-worn shirts, come out of the washer/dryer with pinholes in them; I've always just assumed something snagged them or a thread or two weakened and broke. seems to confirm the issue of what eats what.

And here's some bug experts who also seem to confirm that moths and their larvae don't eat cotton

I'm still thinking you don't have a moth problem at all (one moth does not a problem make!) and that the t-shirt holes are a coincidence.


@magic cave: that first web site you cited has a coupla pages on carpet beetles, which say they eat anything, including cotton. if the OP has roaches I wonder if he mite also have carpet beetles...

no1 no1

@mybestuser1: Do those plastic sealable containers keep moths out for real? I ask because I have glass covers over light bulbs that screw on and moths still get inside somehow. Every year or so, I go around the house and remove the light covers to clean out the dead moths.

I never see alive moths in the house so I don't believe I have an infestation but their dead bodies show that they get inside the house somehow.


I'm very sorry to hear about your cat.

Good luck with the bugs. The moth might have just been a bystander. I'd be more concerned about roaches.

cf cf

First, sorry to hear about your kitty. It's always hard.

Second, (and I'm surprised it took me so long in this thread to realize this) that the holes in your cotton shirts are probably (almost certainly) NOT from months. The U of KY Entomology article referenced abouve does a very nice job describing the life cycle of the fabric moth. They eat animal based fibers. Wool and silk are both, structurally, the same thing: keratin. This is the same stuff that makes our hair and nails: it is a protein, made out of amino acids. Cotton is a fiber which is essentially pure cellulose (same stuff that makes wood). The little beasties want natural proteins, not cellulose (which most things can't eat: it's too hard to break down).

I'm not sure what would be causing the holes in your cotton shirts: maybe how you are laundering them, or just wear. I'm nearly positive, though, that it isn't fabric moths.


@no1: Eeeew. I think we're learning more about entomology than any of us really wants to know.

I followed the link for resources (shown on my first link above) here , and as far as I can tell, carpet beetles don't eat cotton. "Occasionally, severe infestations occur in food products, stuffed animals, woolen fabrics, feathers and other items of animal origin." Carpet beetles seem to share menu preferences with clothes moths, and I couldn't find any reference at all to cotton on that page.

Suggested topic for next week's ad hoc entomology: the Palmetto Bug, the fond nickname bestowed upon the Florida Woods Cockroach, seen here Did I mention they can and do fly?


@magic cave:
I survived a clothes moth/carpet beetle invasion in '07.
And the bedbug infestation of 2010-11 that left me fleeing my apartment and abandoning all my belongings.
And the roaches in my current place who didn't realize the lease had been transferred to my name. (Thankfully, my exterminator has been awesome about killing these guys.)
I've been though enough entomological nightmares for a lifetime.
Although I guess dengue fever from an infected mosquito would be worse.

Anyway, thanks all, for your suggestions. I would like to think you're right; that I don't have these things. But if I do, I hope I can get rid of them fast. I should probably wash all my clothes anyway, not that the cat (to whom I am allergic) is gone.


@curli76: I KNOW WHAT STARTED IT ALL! According to "Science Friday" on NPR, this is National Moth Week!

Or maybe that's just a coincidence.

At any rate, I hope you don't have clothes moths or carpet beetles or any other uninvited six-leggedity beasties in residence and that, aside from relentlessly doing laundry, you have a great weekend!


@cengland0: I store My Wool sweaters in a plastic sealable box and it works so far. I do have cedar lying around My place as well. I have seen sealable plastic boxes that have cedar pieces built in to the lids but I have not bought any.