Things You'll Need
Cloth bags or squares of gauze
Plastic food storage containers
2 Tsp. dish-washing detergent
3/4 cup cornmeal
If given a chance, moths will infest food and fabric, wreaking havoc on both, digesting natural fibers such as silk, wool and flour. Fortunately, moths can be safely controlled with common borax. Designed to be used as a laundry aid, borax kills moths and other bugs by damaging their protective outer shell, causing them to dehydrate.
Clean any garments made of natural fibers, particularly wool or silk, before to storing them, and include borax in the rinse water. Non-washable fabrics can be sponged or lightly misted with a borax solution made by combining half a cup of borax powder and one quart of warm water. For additional protection, place cloth bags stuffed with herbs such as dried lavender, bay leaves, rosemary, whole cloves or dried lemon peel, into closets, dresser drawers or storage boxes, as these fragrances naturally repel moths. Alternatively, herbs or cedar wood chips can be wrapped in squares of gauze and placed in storage areas.
Sprinkle dry borax down the back of the closet and along the edges of any shelves as this will discourage infestations.
Discard opened packages of cereal, flour, powdered mixes, rice or grains as they may have been contaminated with moth larvae. Place any unopened boxes or bags inside hard plastic food storage containers or transfer the foods to lidded jars.
Pour 2 tsp. of dish washing detergent into a large bowl. Add one quart of hot water and stir until the solution begins to foam. Dip a sponge into the soapy water. Squeeze the excess fluid from the sponge and use the damp material to wash cupboards and shelves. Pat with paper towels. Vacuum the shelves when they are completely dry.
Combine ¼ cup borax and ¾ cup cornmeal. Mix with a fork until the two are well blended. Place 1 tsp. of this bait into a small jar and set the jar in an area of known moth infestation. Check the trap at least once a week, removing any dead moths from the container. Replace the bait once a month to keep the material fresh.
Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.