Are you struggling with moths in your home? They can be a real nuisance. While moths are generally harmless creatures, their larvae can wreak havoc on your favourite clothing items and other fabrics around your home. So, how do you get rid of moths and prevent them from becoming a problem in your home?

To help you understand everything you need to know about getting rid of moths, pest control expert Matthew Dickens at has created this guide on the best ways to identify and prevent moths from being an issue in your home. Read on to learn more.

Identify The Moth Culprit

Before getting started with controlling the issue, it’s best to identify the type of moth that you’re dealing with. Clothes moths and pantry moths are the most common types of moths in UK homes. Clothes moths tend to be smaller than pantry moths. Knowing which mot you’re dealing with will help you choose the most effective battle plan. Here’s a breakdown of these two most common culprits:

  • Clothes Moths: These tiny terrors, usually measuring less than an inch, come in various colours, but the most common are webbing clothes moths and brown house moths. Keep an eye out for small holes in your clothes, particularly natural fibres like wool, cashmere, and silk. Another telltale sign is the presence of webbing or silken casings, often hidden in corners of drawers or wardrobes. It’s like finding a miniature spiderweb – that's a red flag for clothes moth activity.
  • Pantry Moths: These larger moths, often reaching an inch or more in wingspan, are typically millers or Indian meal moths. They're drawn to dry foods like cereals, grains, nuts, and dried fruit. Signs of a pantry moth infestation include webbing around food containers, frass (insect droppings that look like a sprinkle of coarse pepper) in your pantry, and, of course, the presence of the moths themselves or their larvae. These are tiny white worms that wriggle around your food stores, looking for their next meal.

The Detective Work

Moths don't just magically appear – they're drawn to attractive breeding grounds. Here's where some detective work comes in:

  • Clothes Moths: Inspect wardrobes, drawers, and anywhere you store textiles. Look for holes in clothes, webbing, or moulted skins – telltale signs of a moth infestation. Pay particular attention to areas where you store seasonal items like woolly jumpers or delicate scarves that may not be used frequently. After all, moths love a good forgotten textile haven.
  • Pantry Moths: Check dry foodstuffs like cereals, grains, nuts, and dried fruit for signs of moths or larvae. Examine pet food storage areas as well. Don't forget to check out-of-the-way corners and behind appliances where food crumbs or forgotten teacakes might be attracting unwanted guests.

Banish The Moths

Now that you've identified the enemy and their hideout, it's time to take action. Here are some effective methods to eradicate both clothes moths and pantry moths, ensuring your home becomes a moth-free zone:

  • The Big Clean: Wash all potentially infested clothes in hot water (at least 50°C) to kill eggs and larvae. Dry them on high heat for added assurance. For delicate items that can't withstand hot water washing, consider dry cleaning. Vacuum thoroughly, paying attention to corners, crevices, and upholstered furniture. Empty the vacuum cleaner bag outside to prevent re-infestation.
  • Natural Repellents: Sachets filled with lavender, cedarwood, or cloves can help deter moths. The strong scents of these natural moth repellents disrupt their sense of smell, making it harder for them to find food sources and mates. Place these sachets in drawers, wardrobes, and pantries.
  • Freezing: Moths and their eggs don't fare well in the cold. Place infested clothes or fabrics in airtight bags and pop them in the freezer for at least 48 hours. This will kill any moth life stages present.
  • Sticky Traps: Pheromone traps specifically designed for moths can be a helpful tool to monitor and capture adult moths, helping to break the breeding cycle. These traps emit a scent that attracts male moths, effectively trapping them and preventing them from reproducing.

Preventative Measures

Once you've banished the current moth invasion, it's crucial to prevent their return. Here are some tips to keep your home moth-free:

Store Clothes Properly: Wash clothes before storing them for long periods. This removes any food sources, like sweat or crumbs, that might attract moths. Store clean, dry clothes in airtight containers or sealed bags.

Declutter Wardrobes and Drawers: Regularly declutter wardrobes and drawers to prevent moths from finding forgotten textile havens. Get rid of old, unused clothes you no longer wear.

Air it Out: Ensure good airflow in wardrobes and pantries to prevent moisture build-up, which attracts moths. Consider using a dehumidifier in particularly damp areas.

Dry Food Storage: Store dry food in airtight containers, ideally glass jars with lids. This will prevent moths from accessing your food supplies and setting up camp. Discard any infested food products quickly and effectively.

Final Thoughts

Moths, while not inherently dangerous, can certainly be a nuisance and a threat to your belongings. But fear not! With a little detective work, some cleaning power, and a few preventative measures, you can keep your home a moth-free zone. Remember, vigilance is key. By regularly inspecting your clothes and pantry, maintaining a clean environment, and utilising natural repellents, you can prevent these fuzzy fiends from taking up residence in your home. So go forth, conquer those clothes moths and pantry moths, and reclaim your home as a haven of peace and, most importantly, moth-free bliss!