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Moth Repellent Sachets


Placing mothballs with your wools is an effective way to ward off hungry moths, but the smell can be offensive. Fortunately, there are several very pleasant-smelling herbs that do a good job of repelling moths, including lavender, wormwood, tansy, patchouli, santolina, and rosemary -- all of which can be easily grown in the garden. When these herbs are dried and combined with cedar shavings and some cinnamon sticks or whole cloves, the result is a moth-repellent mixture that's a much nicer alternative to store-bought mothballs.


  • Organza
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing kit
  • Dried herbs
  • Pinking shears or scalloped scissors


  1. Step 1

    To make attractive moth sachets, encase the herbs in a sheer, stiff fabric, such as organza. Cut two 5-inch squares of fabric, place one on top of the other, and pin them together. Sew around three sides with small straight stitches, or perhaps a tight zigzag stitch.

  2. Step 2

    Spoon the herbal mixture into the organza pouch, and then sew the remaining side closed. Trim the edges with pinking shears or scalloped scissors, and store the sachets with your wools.

Martha Stewart Living, April 1998

Reviews (18)

  • 13 Aug, 2012

    Martha and Crew: I hope you get this comment because I like to contribute to my home library by continually updating my 3-ring binders with ideas from you, and my comments when I get a good idea. Unfortunately with this particular page, there is not a "print" for the tip, and I won't be able to get a clean addition to my library for this topic. Please update this page, and the section because someone is always needing even the most minute hint from you, and you want to get credit for it.

  • 22 Jan, 2009

    If you aren't a handy sewer, you can use those little organza drawstring bags jewellery comes in. They are pretty, and when the herbs and cedar chips have lost their oil content, are easily replaced because of the drawstring.

  • 20 Jan, 2009

    Pennyroyal, citronella oil and dried geranium leaves can also be used with lavendar and cedar chips, works with moths, fleas and ticks.

  • 19 Jan, 2009

    I have used old knee high nylons. Just fill them, cut to the desired legnth and make a simple knot. Very effective and you recycle.

  • 19 Jan, 2009

    mothballs are also VERY dangerous to pets!

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    I have purchased pre made lavendar sachets at Bed Bath Beyond under the name Moth Away

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    To save time, you can buy organza bags in many sizes at a craft store . They usually have a drawstring that you can secure

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    Another way to do it is to take a cotton ball with lavender, patchouli, or rosemary oil on it and put it in an organza sachet. I have done this and have never gotten moths. A good place to get 100% pure oils is:

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    I have purchased ready made lavendar sachets at Bed Bath

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    Mothballs and conventional dry cleaning are effective at killing moths because both use poisons. Cedar and lavendar are both lovely to smell and safe for humans.

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    You can get dried botanicals such as lavendar at

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    For those of us who don't do gardens, where can we purchase the dried herbs?

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    Moth balls made me (adult) very ill after spending 3 days at a relatives house for 3 days. They were in the attic to try and rid their house of squirels in the attic. The smell came thru the vents of the AC system that ran constantly in the house in Florida! It took several months to get over it. I didn't realize that Napthalene is highly poisionous!

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    Ditto on the moth balls. Not only are they deadly, the odor is extremely objectionable and difficult to get out of your clothing. I like Martha's idea here and will try it out.

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    Yes lavendarknits, MS should have gone further than mearly mention the offensive odour of mothballs - they are very toxic! Mothballs contain napthalene, which is highly poisionous. Hospitals routinely report high incidences of hemolytic anemia in newborns and small children who were dressed in clothing or wrapped in blankets that had been stored in naphthalene moth balls. They also can be fatal if swallowed. Try cedar shavings.

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    NEVER put mothballs in your home if you are pregnant or have small children. My then 15 month old son got hold of a mothball while we were packing to move house (I tried to make my husband get rid of them all but he insisted on keeping some), he ate it and although he spat it out and we scraped it all out of his mouth we had to spend 48 hours in the hospital feeding him carbon and taking hourly blood tests to see if he would survive. It was terrifying, clothes aren't worth it. They are deadly.

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    Mothballs are actually very harmful to everyone in your family.

  • 17 Jan, 2009

    Growing lavendar in the garden discourages a lot of insect pests from other plants including vegetables.