Sometimes it’s hard to decide what’s worse: having moths in your closet eating holes in your clothes, or the noxious smell of mothballs. And they don’t just smell bad; they contain a nasty and toxic pesticide known as paradichlorobenzene. (Older mothballs were made primarily of naphthalene, which turned out to be quite flammable, and has since been outlawed.) Many mothballs also contain camphor, a foul-smelling insect repellent.
Fortunately, there are natural, delicious-smelling alternatives that dissuade moths from taking up residence in your closet and destroying your wardrobe.
- Cedar. Cedar chips, sachets, sprays, and even cedar hangers are available to outfit your closet with a toasty scent that moths don’t like.
TIP: every few months, you can sand down cedar hangers or blocks to bring out fresh aroma.
- Essential oils. If putting clothes away in storage for a season or longer, tuck a sheet of tissue paper that’s been sprinkled with lavender and rosemary essential oils. Moths don’t like the smell, but you will when you take your clothes back out.
- Lemon peels. For clothes hanging in a closet, you can hang whole, dried lemon peels among them.
Luckily, we don’t share the same flavor preferences as moths. Because of this, we can ward off closet invaders while making our clothes smell fresh… and healthy.