The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ certainly rings true when dealing with clothes moths as it does for any pest for that matter. Like all living creatures their aim is to reproduce and to do that successfully they seek a sheltered spot, where their young can develop away from harm with a food source on tap. A wardrobe full of once worn clothes and rarely worn items at the back or an unused room with wool rugs or carpets and plenty of dust and detritus provides a veritable buffet for clothes moth and frankly you can’t blame them for wanting to move in.
So, if you don’t have clothes moth and want to make sure they stay away or you’ve beaten an infestation and want to stop them from returning, you need to make your house and wardrobes as unsuitable a home for them as is possible. There are several ways of doing this and it’s best if you do all of them at the same time. It’s a bit like turning your Wi-Fi off when you want your grown-up children to move out!
Remove the food source
Moths feed on the protein keratin, which is found in natural fibres like wool and silk. Keratin is also present in food residues and bodily secretions like sweat, as well as human hair and skin cells which we shed on the clothes we wear. Dust provides a source of keratin too. It consists of particles from outside such as soil, as well as skin cells, hair and pet dander.
Can you see where I’m going with this? Yes, cleanliness is the first step to stopping clothes moths. Keeping things clean removes their food source so following basic steps like only putting clean items back in your wardrobe and vacuuming regularly, even inside your wardrobe to keep dust at bay, are simple, achievable measures.
Use a physical barrier
It is only the clothes moth larvae that have the mouth parts capable of chewing through fabrics, the adult moths do not feed and of course you don’t see the larvae unless you really look for them. A useful way to stop them eating your clothes is to create a physical barrier with storage bags that either sit on a shelf or hang on a coat hanger. Our clothes storage bags come in either washable cotton if you want to use the items regularly but keep them protected from dust, or a protective non-woven material which is too tough for the moth larvae to eat through. These are advisable for long term storage. It’s important to use breathable fabric for storage and not plastic boxes because if fabrics cannot breath they become mouldy. If you’ve stored out of season clothes in plastic boxes before, you will know the sweet musty aroma that greets you when you open the box. That smell signifies mould.
Create an invisible barrier with fragrance
Adult clothes moths are repelled by strong aromas; it’s no coincidence that ancient civilisations have used the natural ingredients available to them to keep insects including clothes moths at bay. The ancient Greeks would put Lavender between their sheets to ward off insects. The Romans used a range of herbs again including Lavender, Rosemary and Laurel. In India, dried patchouli was packed away with silks to prevent clothes moths damage in storage and export.
Filling your wardrobe with an aroma that is unpleasant to adult clothes moths will deter them from choosing it as an egg laying site. This is important because one female clothes moth can lay up to 300 eggs if the conditions are right. With that in mind we have developed a range of products specifically to ward off adult female moths from laying their eggs, using the natural ingredients that our forebears used, which of course smell delightful to us.
Our signature scent uses May Chang, Lavender, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Laurel, Rosemary, Thyme and Clove bud. This blend is unique to us and produces a rich, sumptuous aroma which clothes moths detest. We have infused the blend in a range of sachets, diffusers, draw liners and more so you can select your preferred method to fragrance your cupboards.
Essential oils like all perfumes naturally fade over time so we have paid particular attention to designing our products so that they provide as long lasting an aroma as possible. For this reason, we use 100% natural essential oils (not synthetic) and we use quality materials which hold on to the fragrance. Our Drawer and Hanging sachets, for example, use a mix of the essential oil blend in a stone powder (not cardboard), which enables them to last for up to six months. Our Pot pourri cone is made in the traditional way combining dried herbs with our essential oils. We purposefully make it in small batches to ensure the exact composition of the blend and you just need to squeeze it every now and again to revive the scent. I’ve had mine for years and its still going strong.
Making life difficult for clothes moths is a simple and effective way to convince them to look elsewhere for a home. Now go forth; clean, store and fill you home with fragrance!