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How Do I Get Rid of Moths?

Moths.
Inchworms are the larvae of the geometer moth. Getting rid of the larvae can help eliminate the moths.
Moth balls.
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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 12 March 2014
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If you are trying to get rid of moths, you should generally start by figuring out exactly what kind of moths you are dealing with. There are some moths that will infest people’s clothing, while others tend to get into food, and there are a few that do a little bit of both. Once you have a handle on the species of moth you are facing, you might consider purchasing some traps that use species-specific pheromones to attract the adult moths. After that, it will usually be necessary to clean everything to get rid of larvae and remove the things that attracted moths in the first place. Some people also buy a dehumidifier and put it in a strategic area, and others may try herbal repellents like lavender oil.

Different moth species have different dietary requirements, so the process of sanitizing your house can be very different depending on the species in question. For example, if you are trying to get rid of moths that eat clothing, it may be necessary to wash any unused linens thoroughly to get rid of larvae. When dealing with food moths, it can involve throwing away a lot of food and protecting as many food items as possible with airtight containers.

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Whatever kind of moth you are dealing with, vacuuming will generally be a part of your cleaning process. The dust around a person’s house is made up of all kinds of stuff that moths like, including dead skin and particles of hair. Getting rid of this stuff will make your house a lot less enticing for moths, so most experts recommend vacuuming the whole house and doing it more often than usual for a while after the initial cleaning session. Moths also like very humid environments, so keeping everything dry can be very beneficial. For this reason, a dehumidifier can also be useful in keeping moths from coming back.

In any situation where you’re trying to get rid of moths, the real problem is usually the moth larvae. When they’re first born, the caterpillars are so small that they can be very hard to see. Many people may notice cocoons in the clothing or linens that they've stored away, and the moths can also show up in food if you’re facing a species that infests the kitchen.

If none of these suggestions work, you might choose to consider using some kind of poison to get rid of moths. There is generally no doubt that poisons can be effective, but many experts caution against their use because of potential dangers. For example, there are actual cases of people and animals becoming seriously ill from exposure to the poison in mothballs.

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