I have always been amazed by how many people think Lavender Bags are just for decoration.
NO – Dried Lavender is used in wardrobes because moths, unlike us, loathe the smell of Lavender. Pretty Lavender Bags look great, too, but the principal use of them is to prevent moths invading and destroying your wardrobe.
The fact that using Lavender Bags leaves your wardrobe smelling divine is simply a wonderful added bonus.
Moth larvae feed on a protein called keratin. Ceratin occurs in natural fibers, and it’s this protein they look for, and it’s in wool, cashmere, feathers, and human hair and skin.
They like to find a quiet, warm and undisturbed fold of fiber to place their eggs in. This can occur in fine wools, cashmere, silks, and sometimes even cotton and linens. They can then feed on skin and hair particles left behind from wearing clothes.
Below are some do’s and don’ts of how to prevent moths from arriving and what to do if you find them in your wardrobe.
What to look out for:
- Examine your dressers and clothes drawers, looking for small holes in woolens and silks in particular.
- Make sure you check thoroughly looking under lapels, underarms, and in trouser turn-ups.
- Look also for small white furry patches, about the size of a large pin head slightly resembling a cobweb. This is the larvae about to hatch.
- Go through your laundry cupboard, checking sheets and woolen blankets, especially if you keep your linens in the airing cupboard.
What to do when you find evidence of moths:
- Clear out all clothing and linens from the wardrobe, chest of drawers, or linen cupboard.
- Vacuum the space thoroughly and wash it down with soap and water.
- Soak a couple of drops of our essential Lavender Oil into a duster or cloth and wipe the inside of the wardrobe or drawers thoroughly, taking care to get into the corners and hinges.
- Any clothing you find with traces of moth damage must be cleaned immediately. (see below)
The best way to guarantee that your clothes will be safe from future moths is to use a couple of drops of Lavender Oil in the softener compartment of your washing machine or the final rinse of a hand wash. This will impregnate the fiber of your clothing with the scent of Lavender Oil which the moths loathe. This is the single best way to prevent moths from taking up residence in your wardrobe.
I use a couple of drops in my washing machine every time I wash clothes, whatever it is I am washing. I then know that I have total prevention over moths and don’t have to worry.
And as you can imagine, the added benefit is that your wardrobe smells utterly divine.
For items, you cannot machine or hand wash, take them to the dry cleaners. Moths hate the smell of dry cleaning fluids, too, so this will help the prevention of their return.
It is really worth using Lavender Oil when washing your bed sheets whether you have moths or not. You will really notice the difference when making your bed with your freshly washed sheets scented with the divine smell of Lavender. There is not a better bed to get into than one whose sheets have been washed with Lavender Oil.
What Not To Do
Never put away any woolens once they have been worn or used on a bed, even only once. This is the single biggest mistake people make. Moths thrive on the skin and hair particles left behind, having worn clothing or used bedding. Old sweat and liquid spillages provide a perfect feeding site for hungry hatchlings. The female clothes moths will find a prime site for their eggs to hatch – the dirtier, the better!
Good Anti Moth Practice
- An important rule of thumb is to keep the moths on their toes and don’t give them time to settle and lay eggs. No insect likes to be disturbed.
- If you see a woolen item in your wardrobe or linen cupboard that has not been worn or used for a while, get it out and give it a once-over to check for any signs of their presence.
- If you are going to be storing clothes for a long time, using sealed plastic bags is a good idea.
- Add a lavender bag into each plastic bag for good measure, and when you finally reopen the bag, it will smell divine too.
- Place the bags in plastic containers, and then the moths cannot get through.
- If you buy clothes, bed linens, or rugs from a second-hand source, always wash them thoroughly before putting them away, whether they are wool or not.
- Always keep Lavender Bags in your wardrobes, clothes drawers, and linen cupboards. Take note to squeeze the lavender bags from time to time to release the scent, which we love, and the moths hate.
- Use an extra-large lavender bag for use in large wardrobes and airing cupboards. Nestle this amongst blankets and sheets, and you will keep the moths at bay.
- Don’t forget men’s wardrobes – It is as important for men to use lavender bags as it is for women. There are lavender bags especially for men in regal silks and masculine colors. These fit into the pockets of valuable wool jackets and overcoats, helping with the prevention of moths. Remember again to squeeze these lavender bags from time to time to release the scent.
Birds’ nests are often responsible for serious infestations. Ivy-covered houses that provide nesting sites for birds are vulnerable to moths, as are properties where birds can roost in the eaves or even in a loft.
The moths then travel down heating pipes and strikeout, starting secondary infestations in airing cupboards, wardrobes, and under-stairs storage.
Don’t despair, I know it is heartbreaking to find cherished items of clothing damaged by moths, but there are companies which can repair and alter items of clothing.
I have seen contrasting colored patches used to cover up moth damage that ends up looking great. However, clothes that have really been badly damaged will have to be thrown away. Just make sure you take the necessary steps above to make sure you prevent moths from destroying your clothes again.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.