Q&A Green Thursday – Natural Mothballs

Hi friends! I’ve been wanting to do this series for a long time. You guys send me a lot of great questions, which I usually sit down to answer one by one – but we all share so much in common, I thought, why not get the answers out there to everyone?! So, that’s what Q&A Green Thursday is about. I pick a question, look at the solutions that I use myself – and share them with you! And if I don’t have the answer or haven’t figured out the best solutions yet, I’ll go to my experts and friends in the field and get the answer to you. That way we all learn together! Sounds good?!

So, this question comes from a reader, Pooja:

Q&A-Green-Thursday-Question-Heading

I know you guys are not the type to use nauseating and toxic mothballs, so here’s how I’ve tackled pests in my closet, in a natural and safe way. I live in a humid country, so I’m dealing with moths, mosquitos and mold!

Clean-and-Clear

First, a question: Is your closet jam packed with clothing and linens? Some you haven’t worn or even touched in over a year? It can get to the point where you can’t even move the hangers to see what you have anymore. If that’s your closet – it’s time to rid yourself of this. Set your old clothing free, they can serve someone else better! Not only will you feel lighter and happier in this space, but when it comes to moths and pests – clutter is like an open invitation.

I remind myself of this when I’m out shopping. Trinkets, shiny things, bulk bins and sales are oh, so tempting – and it’s far to easy to end up with a bunch of stuff that you don’t need or never really wanted…

  1. Clear and Clean! First step is to take every thing out of your closet. Take this time to do a good purge – be ruthless – just keep saying to yourself: light and airy! Then, use a natural solution (recipe here) to wipe down the walls and drawers of your closet. I use a vinegar infused with herbs  – it smells yummy and helps to kill any mold spores! If you infuse your vinegar with herbs like lavender, lemon balm or citronella you get the added benefit of a mosquito repellent! You can spot moth eggs easily, so taking the time to clear and clean everything out will help to get rid of them. Do this every 6 months and you will keep your closet pest free. This is a weekend job for sure, but after that first thorough cleaning, the next time will go by much quicker. Go get ’em! 
  2. In clear view! I’m obsessed with using clear boxes as storage solutions. Instead of folding linens away in the open, I now keep them boxed up. I use this Martha Stewart technique to keep sets folded together nicely – this solution has worked great. I can see exactly what I have, and little bugs can’t snuggle into my sheets! I also use vacuum seal pacs for some of the linens that I use less regularly. Plus when it’s time to clean the closet, it’s just a matter of taking down the boxes, wiping the walls and putting them back up. It’s so much easier!
  3. Bag your garments!  How heartbreaking would it be to put on a favorite dress, only to find it’s been nibbled on! For all your special occasion pieces, I say bag them up! Buy inexpensive garment bags for anything that can’t be folded away. It keeps moths out and helps to keep your closet organised, so that you only have accessible the things that you use regularly.

prevent-and-repel

Once your closet is put back together, you’re feeling really good and want to keep it that way! For all those little moths that don’t get the message – make this DIY Moth Ball – it’s beautiful to us, but completely uninvited to them!

  1. Cedar Wood! Make a potpourri out of dried herbs – cinnamon, lavender, eucalyptus, peppercorns are all really good choices. Pile them in the center of a handkerchief or light cloth, then add a few drops of cedarwood essential oil – it’s incredibly inexpensive and really effective! Moths find the scent obnoxious – but to us it smells lovely, like freshly cut wood!
  2. Make a moth ball. Cinch around the edges and tie it closed with a string, leaving a long hoop for hanging.
  3. Say Goodbye! Hang your homemade moth ball, here and there throughout your closet and drawers. Replenish with a few drops of cedarwood essential oil as needed.

Tell me about you! Have you found moths fluttering around in your closet? Do you have a techniques for keeping them out – share it with us in the comments below! And – if you have a green question, send it my way – I’ll pick one to cover for the next Q&A Green Thursday! This is so fun! I hope you think so too! Now, go into your closet and make it happy, healthy and green!

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