How to get rid of moths

Prolong the life of your clothes & protect your entire home

The severity of your clothes moth infestation will ultimately determine what you need to do, but with any level of infestation and with any type of pest, using a range of methods in combination is much more effective than just doing one thing on its own. The following steps explain how to get rid of moths in your home.


If you think you have seen clothes moths flying about or if you have detected small holes in some of your clothes but aren’t sure, it’s worth investigating further. They could be in your wardrobe or soft furnishing so if you suspect they are in your wardrobe, start by taking all garments out of the wardrobe and inspect them for evidence, this could be small holes as well as white cobweb like strands.

clothes moth holes

Pay special attention to the clothes with natural fibres like cashmere, wool and silk, inspecting them carefully for further evidence of moth infestation. Then check your soft furnishings, this includes the underside of wool rugs, around the edges of carpets, the underside of sofa’s and foot stools and the backs of curtains.

Tip – Moths feed on the proteins found on bodily secretions and skin cells as well as preferring dark undisturbed areas, so when checking for evidence in clothes, look around collars and cuffs, armpits, crotches and areas with creases like pockets and turn-ups. When checking soft furnishings, check the pleats at the top of curtains, the creases in sofas and the underside of sofa’s and footstools.

Monitor clothes moth numbers

If you find very little evidence but are still concerned, deploy the moth trap box. This is a discrete box with a glue-board inside that is impregnated with the pheromone of the female clothes moth. If there are clothes moths about, the males will be attracted to the moth box and stick to the glue board.

Moth box | Total Wardrobe Care

The pheromone lasts for three months so replace with refills at three-month intervals. Catching 1 or 2 moths a week indicates a light infestation, so you may wish to carry out a deep clean, store your clothes (described below) and check the moth box weekly for any spike in numbers. If the moth box fills up with moths in 1 or 2 weeks, then jump into action.

Tip – Place the Moth box in dark areas preferred by moths such as under wardrobes and beds or behind bedside tables. DO NOT put the Moth box inside a wardrobe or cupboard.

Clean and discard

Once you have found evidence of moths, carry out a deep clean. Starting with your wardrobe or drawers, take everything out, and either wash or dry clean as necessary. Vacuum the inside of the wardrobe paying attentions to gaps, cracks and crevices, wash down with soap and water.

Then turn to the room itself. Vacuum thoroughly to remove as much dust as possible. Pay attention to the edges of carpets underneath furniture, skirting boards and don’t forget where dust settles that you cannot see like the tops of curtain poles. You may need to move furniture to vacuum underneath. Send soft furnishing such as curtains and cushion covers to be dry cleaned.

Tip – If the infestation is rife in soft furnishing like sofas and footstools, and you know that the filling is animal based, then you may have to throw it out to avoid it continually re-infesting the rest of your house. If you can’t bear to do this, treat first with Chrysanthemum Moth spray and monitor closely.

Store clothes correctly

Only put clean clothes back in the wardrobe. Even once worn clothes will have picked up skin cells and possibly minute food residues which are attractive to moths. Store out of season clothes and coats in moth proof storage bags for folded items or hanging items.

Knitwear and t-shirt storage bag | Total Wardrobe Care

Use moth deterrents

Once you have carried out a deep clean, prevent moths from returning with a range of products containing natural essential oil ingredients; the aroma of which moths hate but is pleasant to humans. Place hanging sachets in the wardrobe and drawer sachets among folded items and in garment bags. For rooms and soft furnishing, place room diffusers and use a linen spray.

Tip – to maintain protection replace scented sachets every 6 months and spritz the linen spray once a week.

Eliminate clothes moths

For instant knockdown of a large infestation, use the Chrysanthemum moth spray. The natural pyrethrum which kills adult moths, larvae and eggs is combined with the Total Wardrobe Care signature essential oil blend. Spray the inside of wardrobes during your deep clean and spray in whole rooms paying attention again to carpets and curtains.

Tip – Treating a room with Chrysanthemum moth spray takes about 8 hours so plan it in, start early in the morning and follow the instructions on the label.

For a long-term solution deploy the Moth Decoy. This product disrupts the mating cycle and is placed discretely in each room. The tablet is made of compressed wax power, infused with the female moth pheromone, so when male moths land on the tablet, they pick up powder and become confused and are no longer able to find a mate. They also begin to attract other male moths and the mating cycles is broken.

Reduced mating means fewer eggs are laid and over a number of generations the population crashes.

Tip – If your rooms are large enough, use the decoy in conjunction with the moth box. Make sure they are placed at least 5 meters apart. Use the moth box to monitor the reduction in moths over the long-term period.

For a thorough step by step guide on how to deal with clothes moths in your wardrobe, read our guide 5 steps to a moth-free wardrobe and take a look at our blog for industry insider hints and tips on how to get rid of moths but also how to care for, store and prolong the life of your clothes.

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