5 Ways to Get Rid of Small Moths in Your House

Peter Chambers

Feb 13, 2023


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Considering rats, spiders and other critters, moths aren’t the most intimidating insect you’ll see in your house. However, if left unchecked, an infestation can turn costly. The larvae can tear up your clothes and ruin food like pasta and bread in your pantry. If you see these insects in your home, take action soon. Follow this guide for five ways to eliminate small moths in the house. 

1. Mothballs

The first method is a tried and true tactic to get rid of small moths in the house. Their smell may be unpleasant, but mothballs get the job done. These are tiny balls that contain chemicals such as naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene. Newer brands use the latter because naphthalene has flammability risks. 

Mothballs are effective, but you should understand the health risks they have. The chemicals in mothballs are toxic to humans if you inhale the fumes. They may cause headaches, nausea, coughing and other symptoms. Studies have shown that naphthalene is a possible carcinogen. You can still use mothballs as a deterrent, but you should be careful and follow the package’s directions.

2. Cedar Spray

The following three tips require a bit of do-it-yourself (DIY) finesse, but they get the job done just as quickly. The first method uses cedar spray. Moths hate the pheromones that come from cedar. Luckily, other insects also despise it. 

Cedar contains sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. These chemicals have an aroma that repels moths and characteristics of being urinous and resinous. You can spray cedar oil around your house in spots you think the moths reside. If the smell is too strong, you can dilute it with water or a diffuser. 

3. Vinegar

Another scent that moths don’t like is vinegar. You can use multiple types of vinegar to get rid of small moths in the house. You can use white, apple cider or another kind you have in the cabinet. Vinegar is an excellent tactic to kill moths because it alters the pH levels of everything it touches. The super-high acidity takes care of existing moths. It kills the eggs and larvae because they can’t survive in this environment.

If you use vinegar, be careful where you apply it. It may work great for dishwashers, but it can damage your countertops, hardwood floors and objects made from stone. Keep it away from metals in the kitchen, such as knives or anything made from aluminum or copper. Vinegar wears down the finish and ruins your materials.    

4. Herb Mixture

At home, you likely have a spice cabinet filled with seasonings. Did you know that you can put these herbs to work and get rid of small moths in the house? Moths despise the smell of spices. One effective repellant is dried lavender. With the lavender, you can combine bay leaves, cloves, thyme, rosemary and other herbs in your cupboard. Put them in a tiny bag and place them near the moth location. Alternatively, you could dilute the herbs and spray them on surfaces.

5. Freezer

Sometimes, you need to get creative to exterminate these pests. One unorthodox DIY solution to get rid of small moths in the house is to freeze the objects that have moths on them. For example, you may have clothing with moth eggs and larvae. You could steam them to eliminate the bugs, but that won’t work if you have anything made from wool.

Freezing is an excellent solution to mitigate moth problems. Typically, cold temperatures wouldn’t bother the moths, but a sudden change in temperature from 70 degrees Fahrenheit down to 0 will have a better chance of killing them. Leave the clothes in the freezer for at least 72 hours once they reach a temperature of 0 degrees.

Eliminating Small Moths in the House

Moths are essential to food webs, but it only matters outside. You don’t want a biology lesson in your house. These pests can be annoying, and a few can turn into a few hundred if you’re not careful. Use these five methods to get rid of small moths in the house. 

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