How to Get Rid of Moths Without Touching Them

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Moths can ruin your clothing.
Moths can ruin your clothing. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When moths get into your home, they can wreak destruction on many different kinds of textiles, including your clothes, making them, possibly, a very expensive and damaging infestation. Many people, however, fear touching moths as much as they fear touching many insects. Though touching moths won't hurt you, there are a variety of other less unpleasant ways to get rid of these fluttering visitors.

Turn off your light if you simply have moths clustering around a light bulb or lamp near you. Moths are drawn to light, so turning off lights will direct them away from you.

Open your closets and drawers, as well as your windows. If your moths have made their way into your home, you will want to get rid of them by letting some escape. However, this method will not remove all moths.

Take your clothing and rugs outside and shake them. Hang them out for 24 hours; moths hate light, and will leave. Shaking the cloth will allow any larvae present to fall out of the fabric.

Dry clean or wash your clothes at a temperature above 120 degrees to kill remaining moths and larvae. If you cannot wash an item, freeze it.

Place mothballs in drawers and closets that have previously been infested with moths. These balls should be placed in airtight surroundings, like closely sealed drawers, to be most effective at preventing the return of moths and killing any who remain. Mothballs can be poisonous in high quantities and are hazardous to handle; if you choose to use them, make sure to thoroughly clean any fabrics stored with them before wearing them, and keep children and pets away from mothballs.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you choose to use mothballs, use them sparingly and in areas where you do not spend much time. Keep children and pets far from mothballs, which are poisonous when ingested and act as carcinogens when present in large doses even when not ingested. Always clean fabrics that have been stored with mothballs before using them.

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