Skip to content
Your cart

Your cart is empty. Let's fix that!


Clothes Moths

How to Exterminate Clothes Moths

Kirby Allison, founder of the Hanger Project, teaches you to exterminate moths from your closet in the case of a moth infestation. He shows you the tools and techniques that professional exterminators will use that you can do yourself.

Products used in this video:


Hi, I'm Kirby Allison and welcome to my home. Here at the Hanger Project we love to help the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. In our second installment on how to protect your clothing against moths, I'm going be talking about moth eradication. Despite all precaution clothing moths can still happen to the best of us. Just a few months ago, I begun seeing moths fly out of my closet whenever I opened the door certain that it was impossible for me to have a moth problem -- I persisted in a state of denial for several weeks until finally one day I went to my sock drawer and pulled out a pair of cashmere socks that had been completely eaten through -- to add insult to injury not only were my socks full of holes but the moth had left behind easily 30 to 50 eggs that were getting ready to hatch and further perpetuate the infestation in my closet. I turned to the Internet to try to educate myself on how I should eradicate moths from my closet but unfortunately all of the readily available suggestions were either terribly impractical or really not designed specifically for someone with the large wardrobe where they may have many pieces of garments affected by moth infestation.

The method I'm going to show you in today's video is the product of extensive conversations I had not just with clothing care professionals but also with experts in the hotel industry and professional exterminators. If you have any questions or comments during this video, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below. This is a very important topic and I've committed to getting back to all those questions personally. I hope this video does its job to give you certainty and confidence in knowing that you know how to react to a moth problem should, unfortunately, one ever arise. Most often by the time you realize you have a moth problem the damage has already been done. Moths have evolved to avoid detection that's why they always go after those items in your wardrobe, that are either in storage and frequently worn or in the corners of your closet. Most people don't realize that they have a moth problem until they either see moths flying out of their closet or discover damaged items. Now don't exist in a state of denial like I did. If you see anything flying out of your closet, then you really need to act quickly because more likely than not you have a moth problem.

Moth damage almost looks like Swiss cheese so if you pull out a pair of cashmere or wool socks that have been eaten by moths more likely than not you're going to see several small holes in the fabric itself. Now it's totally different than a rip or a tear because the type of damage by moths is much softer on the edges than anything that is torn. Also, a telltale sign that you have a moth problem is if you see little moth eggs that look like granules of dirt now moth eggs are really tiny and they just look like particles of sand or dirt, they're brown in color, you'll always see a bunch of them together and normally you're going to find them right around some articles of clothing that have been eaten by moths but as I stated earlier the problem with these detection means is that by the time you see that often it is too late and substantial damage has already been done.

That's why using a moth trap is so important. The pheromones in our high-quality professional grade moth traps can lure moths up to 30 feet so you can be certain that those moths are going to travel out of whatever far corners or nooks that they're hiding in to go to that moth trap because of the pheromones. Now, once they reach that knot trap the double stick tape is going to trap them so that you can easily identify with positive confirmation that you have a moth problem. The most common suggestions that you'll find for treating moths are to freeze the article of clothing which is completely impractical if you have a large closet. Another suggestion is to steam the affected garment, again, affective if you have one garment that you know is specifically affected but if you have a moth problem chances are they are affecting other items in your closet that you don't know about. So, the whole entire idea that you're going steam every single garment in your wardrobe and do that perfectly, I find is just completely unrealistic. The last suggestion is to dry clean everything. Now again, I find this terribly impractical just the cost of dry-cleaning everything in your closet that may be affected alone could be hundreds of dollars and the damage likely to be done to your wardrobe by the dry cleaner itself might actually exceed that lot damage.

In today's video the method I'm going to show you how to use to completely eradicate a clothing moth infestation with total confidence is heat treatment. Now, the fundamental thesis of heat treatment is that you elevate the temperature of all the garments above 130 degrees Fahrenheit which kills clothing moths at every single stage of their lifecycle. It also allows you to easily and effectively treat large quantities of clothing and also treat the entire closet itself. In fact, heat treatment is so effective it's what the hotel industry uses as its standard treatment method for large bedbug infestations. Here at the Hanger Project, we sell a product called ZappBug which is a heat treatment solution originally designed for bed bugs, but it can also be used to treat clothing moths. What I like most about ZappBug is that it can be easily deployed for large closets, treating in mass and the entire closet. So, the process that we're going to recommend here at the Hanger Project for treating a closet infestation is to first treat all the items that you know could be affected by moth damage in the ZappBug oven itself. So, you're going take those items out of your closet put them into the ZappBug, so I finished taking everything out of my closet and loading it into the zap bug. Now you can see just how enormous this is now ZappBug comes in three sizes this is the second largest size -- it comes with two heaters. In just one treatment I'm able to fit almost my entire closet in this container and it took me less than 15 minutes to take everything out and put it in here. I have the ZappBug thermostat in the middle of the actual oven and so that way I know that whenever that reaches 130 Fahrenheit and I hold it there for 30 minutes that everything's been taken care of. So, I'm going to zip this closed. While these clothes are being treated I'm going to go into my closet and remove all of my shoes and anything else that might be affected by the high temperature. I'm going to clean down all the surfaces, vacuum the carpet and prepare the closet to be treated in its entirety. So, as soon as this is done what I'll do is I'll take these two space heaters I'll put them in the closet and treat the closet itself. Now that's important because it's an ensuring that any lingering moth eggs or any moths that are hidden in a corner or anything that I forgot to grab will be treated also. So, all the clothing is being treated but in addition the entire closet itself is being treated.

Thank you for joining me in my home and allowing me to show you how to eradicate a moth problem. Hopefully this video will allow you to avoid the damage to your wardrobe that I encountered with my first moth problem and that if you exercise this type of treatment proactively once or twice a year you can actually proactively eliminate moths as ever becoming a problem. Remember the most important treatment is preventative treatment so the most effective thing you can do to completely avoid a moth problem is to ensure that you're protecting all of your out-of-season garments with a garment bag from the Hanger Project, that you're using our luxury sweater boxes to protect out of season sweaters, and that you're using a moth trap to actively lure moths and identify them as quickly as possible should a problem occur. And of course remember always closing your door turning out the lights and using an air filter are all best practices that we outlined in our video on how to prevent moths that you can exercise to protect your wardrobe. So now that everything's back in my wardrobe I want to actively monitor using my mouth trap for 30 days which is one complete lifecycle of a moth to just guarantee that there are no residual problems that exist. After that I know that I've got the problem completely taken care of. If you have any questions of anything I discussed in this video, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below I get back to all those questions personally. And of course, if you liked this video please give us the thumbs up or better yet subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications by clicking the bell so that you can receive updates whenever we release new videos. And lastly please take a moment to visit where we have the most extensive and comprehensive collection of luxury garment care and shoe care accessories in the world as well as other products for the well-dressed and while you're there please sign up for our newsletter so that you can receive notifications whenever we release new products run promotions as well as our weekly digest of videos that we publish here on this YouTube channel. I'm Kirby Allison and thanks for joining me.