How do I Choose the Best Clothes Moth Trap?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan
Moth balls.
Moth balls.

The best clothes moth trap will capture the mature moths that have infested your closet and drawers. A clothes moth trap does not use harmful pesticides and does not have a foul odor but attracts moths to a sticky surface using pheromones. The best moth trap will provide the correct pheromone attractant and high quality glue paper to trap many moths. Typically, one moth trap will be adequate for a closet, but it should be replaced every 12 weeks.

Moths.
Moths.

Moths are small flying insects that prefer dark, humid places. The most common are clothes moths and food moths. They are weak flyers and are easy to catch once spotted. Clothes moths are smaller than other moths and are typically about 0.25 inches (0.5 cm) long. Their larva eat fabric, especially natural fabrics, like wool and sometimes silk. After they have matured, they mate and lay eggs in webbing attached to fabric, but do not continue to eat the fabric.

Travelers sometimes bring clothes moths home on their clothing.
Travelers sometimes bring clothes moths home on their clothing.

A clothes moth trap uses pheromones, hormones that have sexually attractive scents, to lure moths onto a sticky paper, like fly paper, from which they cannot escape. Clothes moth traps are typically hung or placed in the floor of a closets or wardrobe and are available at home improvement or hardware stores and online.

Traps which use pheromones are specific to the species of moth. The traps are also gender specific, and usually only attract male moths. If you purchase a trap for a different type of moth than the species which has infested your home, you will probably not catch many moths. The packaging will usually state whether the moth trap is for the pantry, indicating that it attracts food moths, or for the closet, in which case, it is a clothes moth trap.

Prevent moths by lining closets with cedar or using cedar blocks.
Prevent moths by lining closets with cedar or using cedar blocks.

If you have had an ongoing moth problem, moths have probably mated and laid eggs in your clothing. Clothes moth traps will not catch eggs or larva, but they can prevent severe damage to clothing. You can kill eggs and larva by freezing clothing, heating it to above 120 degrees, dry cleaning, or using an insecticide spray. You can also brush clothing and place it in the sun to kill larva.

Keeping the humidity in a closet low can help prevent future moth infestations.
Keeping the humidity in a closet low can help prevent future moth infestations.

To prevent future moth infestations, keep the humidity in the closet low with the use of a dehumidifier, and place moth repellant throughout the closet. Natural moth repellents include cedar blocks or shavings and camphor pellets. Moth balls are typically not recommended because their fumes are unsafe for human inhalation.

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    • Moth balls.
      Moth balls.
    • Moths.
      By: Eric Isselée
      Moths.
    • Travelers sometimes bring clothes moths home on their clothing.
      By: adisa
      Travelers sometimes bring clothes moths home on their clothing.
    • Prevent moths by lining closets with cedar or using cedar blocks.
      By: junej
      Prevent moths by lining closets with cedar or using cedar blocks.
    • Keeping the humidity in a closet low can help prevent future moth infestations.
      By: Vitalii Hulai
      Keeping the humidity in a closet low can help prevent future moth infestations.