As you prepare to switch from t-shirts to sweaters and hop out of shorts and into jeans this season, it’s important to consider what pests might get into your clothes while they sit in a box or hang in the back of a closet. Trust us when we say that the threat of a moth infestation is very real, even if you have not dealt with one before. In some areas of the country, beetles have also been known to chew up clothes, and even rats and mice can ruin your favorite fits if you are not careful. Before you pack up your summer outfits this winter, or get ready to store your fall collection this spring, read these steps to keep pests away from your seasonal clothes, courtesy of our experienced experts at proof. pest control.
Our Top 3 Tips to Keep Pests Away from Your Seasonal Clothing:
- Always Wash Clothes Before Putting Them Away: Part of what attracts insects like moths and beetles are body oils that leave organic stains on your clothing over time. To get rid of these stains as much as possible – and to keep your clothes looking great for years to come – it is important to have your clothing laundered or dry cleaned before putting them away for the season. If a moth has laid eggs in your clothes, this will get rid of them before they can hatch. You should also thoroughly wash and dry seasonal bedding, laundering it at 130 degrees or running it through the dry cycle for 15 minutes before washing (with bedding, high temperatures are especially important.) And remember, don’t use starches and fabric softeners during this process, as insects are often attracted to these products.
- Use a Natural Repellent When Storing Clothes: Using a natural repellent to keep moths and other insects away from your clothing remains one of the most efficient ways to keep your seasonal pieces looking great. Some traditional repellents have fallen out of favor because of their noxious smells, and the compound naphthalene, which has traditionally been used in mothballs, has even been found to have negative side effects on people’s health. However, there are a ton of natural alternatives to mothballs you can use, such as cedarwood oils and products, including blocks, chips, and balls. You’ve probably heard a cedarwood closet keeps clothes fresh, and this rumor is absolutely true. For extra protection, you can also sand cedar over time to maintain that fresh smell or make your own sachets from lavender and cedar chips.
- Put Some Items in Plastic Containers: When we talk about boxing up your clothes, we do not mean with traditional cardboard boxes. In fact, cardboard does little to protect your clothes, can end up accumulating mildew over time, and is extremely easy for rodents to chew through and nest in. Clear, plastic containers, with strong weatherproof lids, however, are a perfect option for storing your seasonal items. Not only do these types of containers make neat storage for practically anything, the light boxes will prevent larvae, bugs, and rodents from hiding in them, as most pests prefer to make their home in dank, dark places.