A friend of mine is having a big problem with moths eating everything in her closet. Cedar boards didn’t help. Other than mothballs, is there any way to get rid of these pests?
There are two myths about moths and clothing. The first is that adult moths feed on textiles; the second is that they eat only woolens. Actually, it is moth larvae that nibble holes in our clothes, and they have diverse tastes, feasting on not only wool but also cotton, fur, feathers, and even many synthetics. If your friend uses the closet to store seasonal clothes, everything should be spotlessly clean, because the larvae feed on dirt and then move on to the clothes. Starched garments should not be stored because starch is a food-based product (usually corn) and it’s so tasty that the larvae will keep nibbling right into the cotton or linen. One solution is to store clothes that are being worn regularly in the closet, because the circulation of air and the constant movement of the garments will discourage moths. If all this doesn’t work, a cedar chest or mothballs are the only answer.