While I have been away the moths may have been at play

While I have been away the moths may have been at play


Just before I sorted out my summer clothes and selected my outfits for Paris I did a final clear out of my wardrobe and packed away all my winter clothes. Part of this process was protecting my precious woollies from the dreaded clothes moths

Did you know that moths have increased in population by over 100% in recent years? As I only have a small space for my clothes in our bedroom I have to store my off-season clothes in our garage. I often see the small brown moths flying around looking for somewhere nice and cosy to lay their eggs. Of course, this means I have to be very careful in the way I store my clothes.

I make sure that all my sweaters are washed and clean and that any garments that need dry cleaning are taken to the dry cleaners before I pack them away. I spray my hanging garments with moth spray and then cover them with a garment bag. In the past, I have used a standard moth spray, functional but the smell was not great.

I was thrilled to be sent a more environmentally friendly solution, a Chrysanthemum moth spray from Totalwardrobecare It contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients. It smells divine, a mixture of Chrysanthemum flowers and lavender.

I was also sent some other toys to play with. A moth box to catch the pesky little things. I think I might also buy a couple of their knitwear storage bags, they look much better than the current ones I have.

You can download a free ebook “A life in stitches”, from the Totalcarewebsite. It is a professional guide to caring for your wardrobe.

Do you have any tips for dealing with these voracious creatures?

Now to a more uplifting subject, I am just back from a wonderful trip to Paris. Susan of Une femme and I took lots of photos. It will take me a few days to process them but I hope to get a post out this coming Monday showing how well my capsule travel wardrobe worked and how we explored the 16th arrondissement.

Disclaimer: The moth products were gifted to me. I tried them all out and would genuinely recommend them.


  1. 8th June 2018 / 13:33

    The moths around here seem to only feast on the very best: almost always cashmere! I have found cedar chips to be the very very best. I have the hardware store/lumber store shave some cedar planks (you can also buy shavings often a local farmer/makers market) . I have at least a gallon in my garage! Then I pack them into pretty little mesh bags and put them in the drawer. So far, this summer, it is working better than anything else I’ve ever done. Also put the little bags in dress bags, and in between the wool blankets stored in canvas.

  2. Mary
    8th June 2018 / 14:12

    Agree: moths love cashmere! I use lavender bags, cedar wood “buttons,” and bay leaves. So far, so good, but I shall keep an eye on my Winter woollies.

    • Anna harvey
      8th June 2018 / 14:48

      Very good to read about a sweet stalling moth repellent!

  3. Rukshana Afia
    8th June 2018 / 14:33

    I find anything in cedarwood works but I haven’t enough balls/cubes for all my woolens + the fleece I use in my felt work + the completed pieces so I have a 3-pronged approach . The 100% best way to keep moths away is to put things in the freezer . A food freezer is cold enough to kill moths at every stage of their life cycle . Unfortunately we have to keep food in it too ! Ideally I would rotate stuff but this doesn’t happen … So my wool knitwear is kept on the top shelf of my wardrobe after spraying with my favourite anti-moth spray – ARIES Anti Moth with neem extract . I get it from greenfibres.com . I put as many cedar things as I can in between the layers as well . I spray my felts and the fleece and put them in plastic bags in the garage which is usually colder than the house . The freezer is there so I can put 1 or 2 felts in . I don’t put clothing in the freezer anymore because the bags were so small they got lost !

    • Duchesse
      9th June 2018 / 14:01

      The freezer (or the opposite, high heat in an oven, or applied by your iron, kills eggs. But, if the item is not then stored in an airtight container or airtight bags such as Ziploc, it can easily be reinfested. The freezer needs to be one of the ‘deep freeze’ types, not the one below the fridge, which is not cold enough.

    • 9th June 2018 / 18:52

      Hi Rukshana
      I have tried the freezer trick but found it a bit of a faff and the read somewhere that it does not always work that well.

  4. Viv Butler
    8th June 2018 / 14:48

    I’ve been using Total Wardrobe products for many years, especially the deliciously smelling oil which i sprinkle onto wooden blocks for inside drawers and ceramic disks which i hang on the inside of my wardrobe doors, this certainly works, i havn’t had moth holes in my clothes for years! The storage bags and rubber hangers are brilliant too.

    • Duchesse
      9th June 2018 / 14:04

      Your vigilance certainly helps; moths love undisturbed corners and drawers. Airing in sunlight helps, too. However, with respect, rubber hangers are not relevant. Moths don’t care one way or the other!

  5. Dawn
    9th June 2018 / 02:45

    I have some damage from moths. How do I repair these holes? Does anyone do this kind of repair anymore? My grandparents used to take them to the cleaners who employed someone who would restitch the fibers. My beautiful wool outerwear is moth eaten. I am heartbroken.

    • Duchesse
      9th June 2018 / 14:07

      Send your things to a specialist in “invisible mending”. If there is none in your area, send away to a place like the Cashmere Clinic in South London. It is expensive but not as much as replacement. This specialty textile technique is astonishingly effective for solid-colours. They harvest the yarn from the seams of your garment, if you do not have any provided by the maker.

    • 9th June 2018 / 19:00

      Hi Dawn
      I am lucky in that we have an old-fashioned haberdashery shop in our village who provide a repair service. I am not sure where you live but there is also an excellent service run by The British Invisible mending service located in Thayer Street London W1. I would suggest googling to see if there is a service in your area. They might offer a postal option.

  6. Duchesse
    9th June 2018 / 14:21

    I have hijacked your comments section- sorry, Jo- because of decades spent fighting them. You will find all kinds of “natural” products for sale, but if you read the research studies from textile conservators you will learn that they are deterrents but do not kill off eggs or larvae, so the breeding cycle continues. Many vendor claims are of dubious validity.

    Moths do not actually “prefer” your cashmeres. They will eat down, dust, silk, cotton, some blends (especially if there are residual stains) linen, hair, pet fur, wool and silk carpets… even the felt on piano keys. So, once you have them it is a never-ending battle.

    I use those sticky pherome traps to alert us of where they are and keep the population down but they do NOT kill off all of them. It just takes one male to find a mate. Traps are impressive- friends who thought they had none found they did. A good, cheap one is sold by KritterKill on eBay.

    Keep all fine fabrics in airtight plastic bags or airtight storage containers, packed with lavender sachets, which do not kill eggs or larvae, but smell nice and make me feel better. (I used to use old-fashioned moth balls, which do kill- but the smell is intense, even with the cedar-scented ones.) When it is season to wear your woolens, rotate them, wash often, and air in sunlight if you can.

    Professional exterminators; Went this route once. No moths for 4-5 years. But just takes one person carrying eggs in via a garment left while houseguest, or sometimes they enter from outdoors: reinfested. Never ending battle. I have them at a low level now.

    • 9th June 2018 / 19:08

      Hi Duchess Thank you for joining in the conversation and for all your useful information. We definitely have a high moth population in our garage where I store my out of season clothes. I find that the sticky pherome traps are the best. They need replacing frequently and I normally find a few dead moths sticking to them each season. However no holes in my hanging garments. My foldable items are stored in zip bags in plastic boxes so are safe. I also use the pheromone traps in my wardrobe with similar results and under our bed to protect our Indian silk carpet, dead moths but no holes. I spray as well as I like the smell.

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