Protecting stored clothing and other textiles from moth damage is important. However, mothballs are highly toxic, and children and pets are most susceptible to poisoning from moth repellent. Our homemade green cleaning recipes guide includes these natural moth repellents to protect your clothing from moths and your children and pets from toxic chemicals.
Quick Facts: Health Hazards of Common Moth Repellants
- Naphthalene: This is a suspected causer of cancer, and will cause damage to liver, blood, and kidneys as well as the eyes.
- Paradichlorobenzene: This chemical is in the same class as DDT, is suspected of causing cancer, and will create damage to your kidneys, liver, and lungs.
- 133 child naphthalene poisonings per year: 133 acute cases of naphthalene poisonings of children per year; more than 11,000 exposures to the toxin per year.[i]
DIY Green Recipes for Moth Repellant
- Lavender, spearmint, or peppermint moth repellant: Fill small sachets with dried lavender or dip cotton balls in lavender essential oil (let dry) and place where clothing is stored. You can also use spearmint or peppermint essential oils rather than lavender.
- Lemon moth repellant: Place pieces of dried lemon rind where your clothing stored in drawers, or string pieces together to hang in closets among your clothes. Replace periodically when the rinds have lost their scent.
- Cedar moth repellant: Place cedar blocks or chips where clothing is stored. Because cedar loses its moth repellant scent after some time, sand the wood blocks or chips slightly to rejuvenate the smell. You can also spray them with cedar oil to refresh the scent.
- Mint, cloves, thyme, rosemary, and ginseng moth repellant: Use just one of these dried herbs or a combination of several. Place the dried herbs in sachets and place them where clothing is stored, or sprinkle among clothing in drawers. You can also hang them in closets.
Dig Deeper: Chemicals in Moth Repellants
- Naphthalene: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
- Paradichlorobenzene :The United States Environmental Protection Agency.
[i] Home Use of Naphthalene Poses High Poisoning Risk for Children. (2008 July). Retrieved from Alliance for Healthy Homes Alliance Alert: http://afhh.org/res/res_alert_archives_jul08.htm#naphthalenepoisonrisk