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What Are the Best Ways to Kill Moths?

By Thomma Grindstaff
Updated May 16, 2024
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Moths can be exterminated from the home in a variety of ways. Pheromone traps attract moths and incite them to fly into sticky material. Moth-infested clothing can be placed inside a freezer to kill moth eggs and larvae. Pantry moths can be killed with glue traps placed strategically inside pantries or cabinets. Regular vacuuming also helps kill moths because it gets rid of their food sources.

Pheromone traps work to kill moths by attracting them with synthetic pheromones. These duplicate the chemicals secreted by female moths to attract males of their species for mating. When male moths sense the synthetic pheromones emanating from the traps, they will fly straight at them. Instead of finding female moths, the males will run into sticky glue boards from which they cannot escape.

Either cold or heat can be used to kill clothes moths. Infested clothing can be sealed tightly in a plastic bag, then placed inside a freezer and left there for at least four days. The cold will kill both eggs and larvae. Ironing clothes thoroughly will get rid of clothes moths by eradicating their eggs and larvae through the use of high heat.

Food contaminated by moth eggs and larvae can be placed in a bag and heated in a microwave oven. A regular oven will do the job if the food is left to bake for three hours at about 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Storage of food in refrigerators and freezers will prevent moth infestation. Glue traps get rid of pantry moths. They can be placed anywhere in cabinets or pantries where moth infestation is a problem.

Vacuuming is a great way to kill moths. Since moths feed on substances that commonly get stuck in carpet, such as food crumbs, skin flakes and hair, regular vacuuming not only eradicates food sources for moths but also catches and kills adult moths, eggs and larvae. To kill moths, vacuuming must be as thorough as possible and include areas of carpet in corners, under furniture, and any other places that are difficult for people but easy for moths to access.

Insecticides such as moth crystals, strips and sprays can be used to kill moths on contact. When using pesticides, it is important that people avoid too much exposure. Sprays can be applied to carpet and furniture. Moth crystals and strips can be hung in closets along with clothing.

To get rid of moths, repelling them is an important part of the overall strategy. Cedar is a natural moth repellent, so blocks of cedar can be placed inside drawers where clothing is stored. Musty old clothes attract moths, so regular washing and dry-cleaning will keep moths away. They are repelled by the chemicals found in fresh detergent.

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