• any cool tools for clothing moths?

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  • Been through three rounds of dry cleaning/washing all clothes, vacuuming and wiping out the closets, and freezing anything that can't be washed or wiped down, and I am still getting clothing moth recurrences. I've started using mothballs despite the toxicity, and can't use Reefer-Galler spray due to my cat.

    Any cool tools that can help me either locate where the buggers are hiding (no obvious pupae anywhere, but still have moths in the closet), or tools to help me break the life cycle? Pheromone infused air filters? Anteaters that have switched to eating clothing moths?

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    Question by tophe

Lo, and behold! Day after I post this cool tool arrives: http://kk.org/cooltools/greenbug-pest-control/ which I will try as well!

Answer by tophe

You could try cedar. It’s been used for years for the purpose. There are products from cedar chips and balls up to some people panel the interior of a whole closet with cedar.

Answer by kevinrs

I use sticky traps; they work very well as long as you remember to replace them as directed (set a reminder on your phone, or an email-to-the-future). They’ve got a pheromone lure that attracts multiple types of clothing moths; the poor little buggers go lookin’ for love in all the wrong places and end up stuck to the stickum, dying a slow, lingering death. It could be bad for your karma, but it’s good for your clothes.  

BUT: look up what type of moth you have, first. The description for the trap will tell you which moths it attracts…and it WON’T attract any but those. I, for instance, have trouble with meal moths, not your classic clothing moths, so I use a meal moth trap. So make sure you have the right pheromone for your particular moth.  

Here are clothing moth traps: https://www.amazon.com/Greenway-GW101-GreenWay-Clothes-Moth/dp/B00VRW2AAI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481526430&sr=8-1&keywords=clothes+moth+traps

Here are the meal moth versions: https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Killigans-Non-Toxic-Pantry-Traps/dp/B00U1SMPBS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481527023&sr=8-1&keywords=meal+moth+traps

Answer by mamayama

A really useful reference for this sort of question is Common-Sense Pest Control, by Olkowski, Daar, and Olkowski, Taunton Press, 1991. Much of the following is gleaned from it:

Get to know what the adult moths look like: wingspan about 1/2”-3/4”, resting length about 1/4”, kinda dull colored, with a rather distinctive fluttering flight pattern. Unlike typical moths they don’t fly toward lights. I swat any moth in that size range. (My mom would yell ”MOTH, MOTH” when she spotted one and we were trained to spot and swat.)

Cleaning is good: moths are attracted to food, beverage, sweat , or urine  on clothes. Also REALLY clean your closet space. Use the vac crevice tool. Brush out cracks and corners. Keep doing this. Check out areas around the closet. They can hide out in rugs, carpets, elsewhere.

You can make sticky traps with flypaper baited with fish oil on a couple of cotton balls stuck to them. Or improvise with tanglefoot on a suitable substrate.

Heat and cold can be effective treatments for clothes: if you have (access to) an uninsulated attic or other place, where  temperatures above 106 degrees F. for more than 4 hours are to be found during the summer a sealed container placed there should kill all stages (eggs, larvae, adults). With cold, temperature shock seems to be important, so alternating between room temperature and below freezing seems to work best for all stages.

Moth balls are still around, though toxic and potentially carcinogenic. They aren’t effective as repellents(!) but in sealed containers they can be effective as fumigants. Give your clothes a good airing when you take them out of the box.

Camphor, if you can find it, is an effective repellent and fumigant

Answer by arbutus
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