sweater with holes from moth

How to Keep Rodents and Bugs from Damaging Your Clothes

While certain pests may not destroy your home, they can certainly earn their “pest status” by ruining your clothes. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to protect your favorite outfits, whether you’re storing them for the season or keeping them at the front of your closet.

Sick of digging through a closet of holey clothes? Use these tips to protect your clothing from common household pests, like mice, moths, and silverfish.

1. Use Mother Nature to your advantage with natural repellents.

There are multiple plant-based options you can use to keep bugs and rodents away from your clothing. Not only are they effective, but they’re a safer and healthier alternative to typical mothballs, which frequently contain toxic chemicals like paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene.

Here are just a few plant-based solutions that can help keep your clothing safe from pests:

  • Chips, blocks, and rings made of cedar. Cedar’s pungent aroma naturally repels numerous pest varieties, including moths and silverfish. You can keep cedar chips in sachets stored with your apparel or hang cedar rings or blocks from clothes hangers.
  • Herb sachets. Herbs that we typically associate with a refreshing or spa-like experience tend to be the least attractive to bugs that damage clothes. Opt for herbs like lavender, mint, clove, and rosemary for the best result against carpet beetles, moths, and silverfish.
  • Peppermint oil. Rodents hate the strong smell of peppermint. Apply a store-bought or DIY peppermint oil spray around objects you want to protect or entry points that rodents may try to squeeze through.

2. Wash clothes before you store them, but skip the fabric softener.

The oils and other organic material we leave behind on our clothes make them more attractive to pests (it’s not a lovely thought, but it’s true). Before putting your clothes into boxes for the season, wash them in the warmest setting that the fabric will allow, and let the clothes dry completely before you store them.

Pro Tip: Avoid using starch or fabric softener. These products tend to attract pests.

3. Never store your clothes in cardboard.

Your clothes will get the most protection from hard, plastic containers. Cardboard is just another food source for bugs like silverfish due to its cellulose content, and rodents can chew or tear through it easily to get to your belongings.

4. Seal entry points into your home.

The first places to check are your doors and windows. Check for any worn or missing caulk, weather-sealing, or door sweeps that should be replaced. Don’t forget to inspect the screens for any rips or gaps.

Next, conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior, checking for any holes or gaps that need to be sealed. If you’re having a problem with rodents, professional exclusion work may be necessary to help control the current infestation and prevent future ones from occurring.

At Pestex Inc, we’re proud to offer comprehensive pest control services throughout Boston with a 30-year track record of excellent service. For help with a pest issue in your home, please don’t hesitate to contact our team: (617) 544-2566.