Traditional mothballs have been pulled from many shelves and discouraged for use by consumers because of proof that their active chemical, naphthalene, is highly carcinogenic. According to a study done by University of Colorado, the chemical blocks the body's cells' ability to naturally die when they begin mutating. You can avoid the toxicity and the unpleasant smell of mothballs by using natural moth repellents.
Believed to keep away not just moths but also spiders and scorpions, lavender is a pleasant-smelling herb that will get the job done without toxic chemicals. Lavender is also a popular herb for cooking and using in teas. Simply fill sachets with dried lavender leaves and flowers and place them wherever necessary.
A clove apple is created by wrapping a ribbon around a winter apple, pressing whole cloves into the apple's surface until the entire apple is covered, rolling the apple in cinnamon, ground cloves and orris root and then leaving it to dry out wrapped in a piece of tissue paper. As the apple shrinks, its pores will tightly hold the cloves, and the scent will ward off moths through the summer. Hang the apples in coat closets or place them inside drawers and chests.
For those who enjoy the scent of wood, cedar is a suitable choice for keeping away moths. You can either store your winter clothes in a cedar chest or hang some cedar blocks and hangers in the closet. To protect clothing in drawers, place some cedar shavings in a muslin bag and tie it tightly closed.
If herbs are not your forte, then consider using basic cleaning and storage principles to keep the moths away. Wash and dry all clothing well before placing it in storage. Place all garments in sealed plastic bags. If you are looking to save space, use vacuum bags and remove any air from the bag to compress the clothes.
Killing Existing Moths Naturally
If moths have already infested your home, you'll need to kill them before using any repellent. To kill moths naturally, place any moth-infested clothes into plastic bags and seal the bags. Then place the bags in your freezer for three days. This kills all existing moths and larvae. Finally, wash or dry-clean the clothes to remove any remaining moth eggs.
Effectiveness of Natural Repellents
Herbal moth repellent methods are as effective as chemical methods for one year. After this time, the herbs begin losing their strong smell. Ceder chests remain effective for as long as you own them. Ceder chips, on the other hand, are effective for only one year, as the chips' oil dries out.
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