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Last post I tackled pantry moths. This week I’ll address clothing moths. As temperatures start to dip, it’s the perfect time to take preventive measures to avoid these unwanted pests.

First, treat all clothes as potential targets and wash after every use, since body odor, perspiration and food traces attract these insects “like moths to a flame.”

Mothballs are pretty much a thing of the past—or they should be. They emit toxic chemicals that, while fairly effective at deterring pests, can cause a host of human health problems. Cedar blocks are a great option, but they cost a pretty penny. A more cost-effective alternative is cedar mulch (eastern red cedar is most effective, if you have access to it), which runs about $5 for a huge bag. I prefer to make mulch sachets. Just wrap mulch chips in a bit of gauze, cheesecloth or other breathable fabric, and place the sachets in drawers and string them up in closets.

If you decide to use store-bought cedar products, sand them down every so often. They work best when you can smell the cedar, and sanding does the trick. You can also refresh cedar products by lightly rubbing them with cedar oil. Giles & Kendall Cedar Oil runs about $18.95 on www.homedepot.com and contains eastern red cedar oil—the only variety shown to possibly kill clothing moths as well as deter them. If you can’t find eastern red cedar mulch, add cedar oil to whatever variety you have.

It’s unlikely you’ll see clothing moths flying around. And, even if you do, it’s the larvae that cause problems. So always store clothes safely and clean them diligently to keep your wardrobe moth-free.

Photo by Rsooll