Can Moths Eat Clothes? – What Kind of Fabrics Moths Eat

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I think we all had moths in our closets before and it is always a frustrating and annoyingly long process to get rid of them again. But the more you know about cloth eating moths the more you can do to stop them which is why I will explain exactly why and what kind of clothes these moths eat and how to prevent them from getting into your closet in the first place.

As a whole, only the cloth moth can eat clothes. It´s not the adult flying moth that eats the clothing, it´s actually the larvae that eat the clothes. Larvae from the cloth moth eat organic dead material such as hair or dead wood but they also eat wool, and they are even known to eat synthetic clothes.

Not every moth eats clothes it is only the cloth moth. So don´t be afraid that just any moth chows down on your wardrobe, especially because only the larvae of the cloth moth actually eat fabrics.

Why are Moths Eating Clothes in the First Place?

You might be wondering why we even have cloth eating moths in the first place and the answer is actually quite easy.

Moths eat clothes because the larvae of the cloth moth usually eat dead organic material in nature. This includes dead wood, dead plants, hair, poo, and wool. But they also eat synthetic fabrics that have sweat or remains of food on them. In nature, this is an important job but in our home, it isn’t as great.

It is actually a good thing that the larvae eat dead organic material in the wild because they help clean the environment but, unfortunately, as a side effect they also love eating our clothes if they get in our closets.

How to Stop Moths From Eating Your Clothes

There are several things that you can do to keep moths out of your closet and there are even some things that you can do to get rid of them again.

As a whole, cedar is known to keep insects away and it will keep moths away for the most part but it won´t help if the clothes are already infested. Regular cleaning helps and lavender helps keep moths away as well. To get rid of an infestation special laundry detergents or a fogger can be used.

So there are quite a few things that can be done but let´s take a closer look at each of these things.

Using Cedar or Lavendar to Keep Moths Away

Cedar naturally keeps insects away. So you can get a wardrobe made out of cedar if you are dealing with cloth moths.

Cloth moths as well as other insects don´t like the smell of cedar and will stay away from it but you don´t have to get a wardrobe made out of cedar you can instead get packs of dried cedar that you can put near your clothes to keep the moths away.

Alternatively, you can also use packs of dried lavender to keep insects away.

Similar to cedar, lavender will keep insects away but it won´t help if you are already dealing with a moth infestation.

Neither cedar nor lavender will keep moth eggs or larvae away. So once you have a fully grown cloth moth infestation you have to use a fogger or special laundry detergends to fight the infestation.

Clean Regularly

There are a few things that you can do to keep moths from getting into your wardrobe in the first place.

Clean regularly and don´t put used clothes that you wore outside back into your closet without washing them first even if they don´t seem dirty to you.

This is because eggs from the cloth moth are very hard to spot and they can cling to your clothes without you noticing.

By washing every piece of clothing before putting it back into your closet you will keep those moths out of your closet.

That being said, eggs can sometimes survive the washing machine and still infest your wardrobe.

Cleaning your clothes and your home will also help with keeping cloth moths out of your home. Cloth moths only eat organic materials or inorganic materials that have been stained with food, liquids, or other organic material.

So by cleaning your home regularly you will effectively keep moths from staying at your home because they don´t have anything they can eat.

Use Special Laundry Detergents

Once you have an infestation of cloth moths it is quite hard to get rid of them again.

The more time they have to make themselves at home in your closet the harder it is to get rid of them.

You can start by using special laundry detergents that are made for killing eggs, larvae, and moths that are on or in your clothes.

Use A Fogger

If non of that helps in any way and you don´t have pets or children then the ultimate solution for a moth infestation is using a fogger.

These are very effective but also very toxic. That’s also why you should not use these if you have pets or children living with you in your home.

You put the fogger in the middle of the room, pull the pin, press the trigger, and then you run and evacuate the room for the next 12 hours.

When you come back literally any insect in that room will be dead.

What Kind of Fabric Do Cloth Moths Eat?

This is a very common question and one that is actually pretty easy to answer for once.

As a whole, moths eat organic materials such as wool, cashmere, silk, and cotton but also inorganic fabrics will be eaten by the larvae of the cloth moth if it has remains of organic matter on it like hairs, food, or simmilar.

So in the end, nothing is safe from the cloth moth if it has remains of organic matter on it or is organic in nature.

That is also why cloth moths are so resilient and hard to get rid off.

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