How To Get Rid Of Bugs That Eat Clothes

The big question is, what can you do about the situation? Not to worry, in this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of bugs that eat clothes.

How annoying is it to have your clothes damaged by wool/cotton-eating insects?

Quite saddening I would assume. If you find small patches of holes in your clothes, then you are dealing with cloth-eating bugs.

Keep reading!

What Bugs Eat Clothes?

Many bugs would chew right through your fabric. They come in different species and sizes, but they all do considerable damage to your clothes.

Moths are among the fiercest destroyers of cotton fabric. They can also damage fur, wool, and other hair fibers.

Other insects that can eat through your clothes include termites, beetles, firebrats, silverfish, and crickets. Some of these pests can even eat through synthetic materials.

The truth is, they aren’t particularly interested in the fabric itself, they are more interested in the food and liquid droppings we leave on them.

In the process of trying to munch on the leftovers, they will eat through your clothes.

How To Get Rid Of Cloth-Eating Bugs

There are simple steps you can take to keep these bugs from eating through your clothes. I will be giving you valuable tips below.

Wash Your Clothes Regularly

There are so many activities you engage in while you have your clothes on.

One of such activities is eating and drinking. If you’re the type to leave your clothes on a hanger after wearing them, then don’t be surprised if they are attacked by cloth-eating bugs.

There may be food droppings on your clothes and placing them on a hanger after being worn for a full day would be a bad idea. Some may even leave the clothes on the hanger for days or weeks before washing, giving the bugs enough time to discover and attack the residue on the clothes.

When you take them off, the ideal thing to do is to place them in a laundry basket and wash them the next day, that is if you’re too busy or tired to wash them immediately.

By doing so, you will clean off the food and liquid debris that have lodged on the fabric and the bugs will have nothing to attract them to your clothes.

GUIDE:   Where Do Bugs Go In The Winter?

Remove Old Clothes From Your Closet

If you have many old clothes stored, then you are giving closet bugs more food options. This is not to say that you can’t keep old clothes, but why encourage the bugs?

One way or the other, you may accidentally get some food debris on the old clothes in your closet.

How you may ask? Well, you could be eating a chocolate bar and decide to pick something from a jacket pocket in the closet, and just like that, you have dropped off some food on your clothing.

Many people have a habit of keeping certain items in the pockets of old jackets. If you’re one such person, then ask yourself how often you touch those old clothes.

If you visit them often, then chances are you’re going to spread food debris on them. As long as the old clothes are mixed with the new ones you currently wear, then the bugs can easily move to them.

It would be wise to remove all old clothes from your closet and place them in a tightly sealed box to reduce the risk of cloth-eating bugs spreading to the new clothes.

Wash Your Hands Before You Touch The Clothes In Your Storage

As I have mentioned earlier, if you have a snack in hand, and you decide to pick something from the clothes in your closet, then you might leave some food debris on your fabric.

Doing this will attract the bugs and they will damage your clothes.

If you must grab something from your jacket pocket, then make sure you put the snack down first and wash your hands. After you are done getting the item out from the clothing, you can continue munching on your snack.

Use Plastic Suit Covers

Plastic cloth covers are also a good way to keep cloth-eating bugs away from your fabric. After you have had your clothes dry-cleaned, you should place them inside the plastic cloth covers to keep insects like moths away.

Buy as many as required to barricade the bugs from the clothes in your closet.

The good thing about using plastic cloth covers is that it keeps your fingers away from making direct contact with the fabric. Remember how I mentioned that accessing your stored clothes with a snack in hand can cause an insect invasion into your closet?

GUIDE:   How To Get Rid Of Lovebugs In Homes And Cars

The plastic cloth cover you buy should be transparent so you can have a good view of what’s going on inside. It should also be able to seal up tightly so there will be no space for the bugs to gain access.

Sprinkle Boric Acid Around The Floor Of Your Closet

Many insect pests that will attack the fabric of your clothes are crawlers. These include cockroaches, beetles, termites, and Crickets.

These bugs can be kept away from your fabric simply by using boric acid. It is a strong substance that works very well against insect pests.

Go to a store near you and buy a box of boric acid, then sprinkle it across the floor of your closet. When the roaches or termites crawl across it, they will be poisoned and they will die.

Be warned though, boric acid is not just poisonous to insect pests, it can also poison house pets like cats and dogs if they accidentally ingest it. Make sure they are kept away from your closet if you’re using boric acid. Also, keep children away.

An extra safety tip is to keep your closet locked at all times When using boric acid. You can place the key at the top of the closet so children cannot open the closet door or have access to the key.

Use Chemical-Based Insecticides

If you notice pest activity around your closet (holes in your clothes), then you can fight back using chemical-based insecticides. These types of insecticides are very toxic and will kill insect pests in minutes.

There are several kinds of chemical insecticides, each having its unique active ingredient and mode of action. Some kill insects in minutes, while some take days to eliminate the pests.

If you’re dealing with an insect that belongs to a colony, like ants or termites, then you may want to use bait around your closet area to kill the workers and other members of their colony.

When they take the bait from your closet, they will be poisoned and will carry it back to their nest where the other members of the colony resided. As the workers make contact with the rest of the colony, they all will become poisoned and will die in a matter of days.

GUIDE:   How to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs Permanently

On the other hand, pest insects that don’t have colonies don’t need to be treated in the same manner. You can kill them on the spot.

For these kinds of insects, all you will need is a chemical insecticide spray, which you will use to kill them.

Before you apply the spray in your closet, be sure you cover your clothes with a plastic cover, so the content of the spray can do not stick to your clothes. If the clothes already have some bugs on them, then you will have no choice but to leave them exposed.

But do not spray directly on your clothes, as the insecticide may stain or damage the fabric. Instead, spray into the spaces and close the closet door so the insects cannot escape. They will try to, but they’ll suffocate before they do.

Spray the base of the closet and around the edges for the best results.

Wash After Spraying

After you have sprayed your closet with a chemical insecticide, be sure to give your clothes a thorough wash and place them in the sun to dry. Shake the clothes properly before you hang them on the line so any dead insects will be removed.

The heat from the sun and the outdoor wind will assist you in dislodging dead insects from your clothes.

Use Organic Pesticides

A safer, non-toxic method of removing pests from your garment would be to use organically made pesticides. There are many combinations you can try, which will kill the pests or repel them from your clothes.

Many insects hate the smell of fresh mint and will run far away from it. Make a fresh mint spray by boiling some mint inside the water and pouring the solution into a spray bottle.

Spray the base of your closet and the sides and the smell will repel them. The good thing about this is that fresh mint smells very nice to humans.


I trust this article on how to get rid of bugs that eat clothes has been helpful.

Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.