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Ask the Pharmacist: How to get rid of moths

Suzy Cohen
Columnist
Miller moth, Colorado

Let me start with I’m not really a bug lover, or a tree hugger type of person. But I don’t see the need to kill certain creatures just because they got lost and found their way into my home. I will try to trap and free certain things, depending on how big they are. 

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But the moths are creating marital stress. Sam is skittish about doing bug removal, but the agreement we had when we got married in the state of Florida, was that he would deal with all cockroaches and spiders, if I would deal with the snakes and mice. While there have been tense stares over the past 22 years of marriage, I will vouch for his ability to perfectly execute his husbandly tasks, lol!

Miller moths, Colorado

Nothing was discussed about the moths. Apparently, this is my new full-time job. We live in Colorado where every spring, there’s a situation! The migration of moths begins here and in Kansas, and flies over our state, westward.

You can try to chase moths out of your house, but this takes patience. Find one on your window, and put a cup over him, and then slide a sheet of paper between the cup and the glass. Very carefully lift this, and free the moth outside. There’s one aggressive sucker is in my bathroom, so I decided to make my own moth repellant spray. The essential oils can be purchased anywhere.

You might think moth-ridden clothes are your grandparents' problem. Think again.

Try my formula for a moth spray and spritz it in your closet, your bedroom or kitchen, or anywhere, and it will repel them from coming into that specific area. It will scare away most bugs for that matter!

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Spray every few hours. Adjust the scent to your liking. For example, add less eucalyptus and more lavender if you find my formula too zingy for you. Don’t spray it directly on your clothes. 

Moth repellent spray

  • Water 4 ounces
  • Essential oil of cedar – 20 to 30 drops
  • Essential oil of lavender - 10 to 20 drops
  • Essential oil of peppermint - 5 to 10 drops
  • Essential oil of eucalyptus - 10 to 20 drops
  • Optional: Citronella essential oil - 5 drops

Directions: Pour water into the spray bottle and add the essential oils. If you don’t like the scent, add something to it that you do like, such as Wild Orange or Lemon essential oil.  Spray as desired into the room, or window sills, door frames and areas where you see a moth. 

In closing, there are many ways to get rid of moths. You definitely don’t want these things laying eggs in your home because when they hatch, you’ll be faced with a big infestation. They can’t live more than a few days without feeding on plants or leaves. Another idea is to buy fresh rosemary or thyme herb, and bundle it, and lay it in the closet, or the bathroom because the moths won’t like that, and they’ll stay away. For that matter, you can add those two essential oils to your moth spritzer.

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.