Destroying Moths – the MCS friendly way!

by Claire

I love woolen clothes – but unfortunately I’ve discovered that moths do too. While all my woolen tops were bundled neatly in the drawers over winter, the moths moved in and have destroyed nearly all of my beautiful woolen tops.



Tiny holes of sadness riddled all through my tops.


I am devastated, and also have nothing to wear now that the weather is rapidly cooling. I am royally pissed off, and am actually looking forward to unleashing hell on the unsuspecting parasites.




Step One – Kill Them All

Wash: The entire set of drawers where I keep most of my clothes is going through the wash. Temperatures above 60 degrees will kill the moths, eggs and larvae – so all my clothes that won’t be totally destroyed by this treatment are going to go through a hot wash.
Shake: Anything that won’t stand a hot wash will be thoroughly shaken or brushed to dislodge any eggs or larvae.
Freeze: Then the shaken and brushed clothes can go into the freezer for 12 hours. If you’ve got soft toys or pillows that you think are infested, then freeze them as well!
Vacuum: We don’t have carpets here for MCS reasons so the clothes moths are less likely to be anywhere except my drawers, but vacuuming EVERYTHING (including the chest of drawers) will just make sure that none escape my wrath. Pro tip – the moth eggs can survive in the vacuum cleaner, so empty it after every use, especially if you store it in the linen closet like we do!

Step Two – Never Again

Lavender Wipe Down: Lavender seems to be the best natural deterrence for moths. They won’t kill or disperse an infestation, but it will deter them from coming back. I will put a few drops onto a damp cloth and use this to wipe down the interior of the chest of drawers. Do this every few months to refresh the scent.
Sachets: Again, the best ingredient seems to be lavender, but wormwood, tansy, patchouli, santolina, cloves, rosemary, cinnamon, and cedar shavings are also good deterrents. You can turn anything into a sachet, from an old stocking to recycled sheets. They do need to be refreshed, wither with new contents or with a few drops of essential oils every so often.
Storage: Woolens and silks are the ones that the moths seem to go for, (although they have had a good go at my linen sheets too) so these can be stored in sealed plastic bags. Wrap a cotton cloth around them to stop any condensation that might happen over summer, and if you are just using a clothes bag without an airtight seal, then put a sachet or two inside.
Distrust Op-Shops: Op-shop finds get washed  IMMEDIATELY – none of this putting them in the laundry hamper to go into the next wash. Blast them with the highest heat or shake and freeze for 12 hours.
Summer Vigilance: Clothes moths slow down and stop breeding when the temperatures drop – so not heating you closet/bedroom is a good idea. This is not a problem in the ice-box that we rent so I am anticipating a moth-free winter. During the hotter weather however it’s a good idea to make sure that you do a moth prevention every month. Wipe down surfaces with a little lavender oil and check that the sachets are still potent. Shake out and brush any heavy coats and any wool/silk/linen that isn’t in an airtight bag.

Photo Credit 1 – evil moth larvae.
Photo Credit 2 – Chris Eyles/