To fight moths effectively, the first thing you need to do is find out what type of moth you are infested with.
- If you've caught an adult moth, the species can be determined by the moth's appearance. see our moth guide
- If you have found caterpillars, you should see our article on moth caterpillars
Most moths lay their eggs in textiles or food, which is why the rest of this article is divided into two main sections:
- Clothes moth (that attacks textiles)
- Food moth (that attacks food)
The sections in this article briefly review the control of the two moth groups, but also provide links to further information on controlling the specific moth species.
Clothes moths are characterized by the fact that they attack textiles. This group includes the clothes moths and fur moths, and to a limited extent also the seed moths.
You can fight clothes moths in the following ways:
- Cleaning the affected textiles (i.e. washing, dry cleaning or freezing)
- Home cleaning (i.e. cabinets, drawers, carpets, home textiles, crevices, etc.)
- Use of moth bags (in cabinets and drawers)
- Proper storage of textiles (i.e. in airtight paper or plastic bags)
The above is just a simplified overview of fur moth and clothes moth control; you'll find a more thorough explanation of how to control the two clothes moth species in their respective articles:
If you suspect that seed moths have infested your textiles, read more about seed moth control here.
Food moths are characterized by the fact that they attack food and include the seed moths as well as the two-coloured seed moths. However, in the average household, when you find moths in your food, they are most often two-colored seed moths.
Food moths are controlled in the following ways:
- Empty your kitchen cupboards of food
- Inspect all foods thoroughly (especially dry foods)
- Discard all infested foods
- Clean all cabinets and shelves using a vacuum and a cloth dampened in vinegar
- Put bay leaves in all cupboards/shelves
- Store all dry food in airtight containers
Remember, it's always important to find out where food moths come from; it could be the store, warehouse, manufacturer, neighbor or your own home! Food moths should always be controlled where they originate.
You can read more about controlling the two food moth species in their respective articles:
If you've found signs of moths in your food, read the two articles above.
We also recommend flour moth traps for the prevention and control of food moths:
About effective moth control
Effective moth control is about two things:
- To remove moth larvae and eggs (as well as adult moths)
- Preventing future moth infestations
As mentioned in the previous sections of this article, the first thing to do is to find out what type of moth you're dealing with, as all moth species are controlled in different ways.
Step 1 above is done by doing the following:
- find moth eggs and larvae in food or textiles (and kill any adult moths encountered)
- discard the food or dry clean the textiles
Point 2 above is done by doing the following:
- pack all food in airtight containers and textiles in tightly sealed bags
- use bay leaves against food moths and moth bags against clothes moths
In other words, moth control is about removing existing moths (larvae, eggs and adults) and limiting their ability to thrive in your home in the future.
Other moth species
If the descriptions above do not match the moths you are infested with, you may want to check out our overview of moth species here. The overview lists all the most common pest moths in Denmark.
You may also want to read the following articles: