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How to Get Rid of Moths

Moths live in dark, undisturbed areas such as closets, basements, and attics, and tend to congregate in the corners or in folds of fabrics. Keep them from ruining clothes, carpets, air ducts, and furniture with these tips from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook."


Moths produce eggs that hatch into fabric-eating larvae. Clothes-moth larvae feed on animal-based materials, including wool, hair, fur, silk, felt, feathers, and leather. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and rayon are rarely attacked unless blended with wool, or if they are dirty. Larvae may also infest carpet edges, upholstered furniture, and air ducts where they feed on lint and pet hair. Damage may consist of irregular holes.

If you find holes in clothes, you have a problem. With moth larvae, you may find silky webbing or cigarlike cocoons. Beetle larvae leave dried skins -- like tiny rice grains. Remove and treat all infested clothes: Brush them vigorously outdoors with a clothing brush, available at some department stores, paying particular attention to cuffs and collars. Then either wash or dry-clean them. As an alternative to brushing, wrap clothes in plastic bags, squeeze out air, and freeze for a few days. Take the bags out, let them return to room temperature, and then repeat. Dry-clean or launder the clothes, then return to storage, properly wrapped to prevent future infestation.