How to Get Rid of Moths in Garage: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover effective strategies to eliminate moths from your garage and prevent future infestations.

Moths in your garage can be a pesky problem, but rest assured, there are effective ways to eliminate these unwanted guests. By implementing a combination of cleaning, use of natural repellents, and moth traps, you can reclaim your garage from these winged intruders.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of moths in your garage, covering each step in detail to ensure your space is moth-free. Stick around to learn about the various methods, products, and preventative measures you can employ to keep your garage clean and moth-free.

Key takeaways:

  • Lower the temperature and clean to deter moths.
  • Use airtight containers and dry clean clothing before storage.
  • Set up moth traps and use natural repellents like cedar and lavender.
  • Install screens and use UV light traps to prevent moth entry.
  • Maintain a clean garage and consider using electronic zappers or UV light moth traps.

Why Is Your Garage Infested With Moths?

Garage Infested With Moths - Larvae on Clothes

Moths invade garages primarily due to their attraction to certain materials stored herein. Key among these are clothes, especially those made from natural fibers such as wool, silk, cotton, or fur.

Larvae of these insects feast on these materials, which provide them with the necessary proteins for growth. Similarly, improperly stored food in your garage can attract Pantry moths, which survive on grains, pet food, and other stored food materials.

The warm, dark, and often undisturbed environment in a garage also presents an ideal breeding ground, allowing these pests to thrive unnoticed until evident damage surfaces.

Lastly, if your garage is constantly open, this makes it easier for moths to fly in directly from the outdoors, thus increasing the chances of an infestation.

How to Get Rid of Moths From Your Garage

cleaning garage floor

Lowering the temperature in your garage might seem counter-intuitive, but warmer environments are ideal for moth breeding. Lot of heat sources in your garage? Tone them down. Now, let’s tackle cleaning. Moths love dust and dirt, so thorough, regular cleaning is crucial to eliminate any potential moth breeding grounds.

Considering clothing storage, consider keeping them in airtight containers. Why? Moths can easily wiggle through cardboard boxes and dispense their eggs even through smaller garment weaves. If you’re ready to go the extra mile, dry clean all clothes prior to storage. Moths tend to hatch in soiled clothes, dry cleaning will minimize this risk.

Beyond cleanliness, provide a hostile environment for moths. Moth traps, such as pheromone traps, can be an effective solution. These traps lure male moths with pheromones, trapping them and breaking the breeding cycle.

For a touch of nature, opt for natural repellents. Cedar chips or lavender sachets can keep moths away while maintaining a pleasant scent in your garage.

Prevention goes a long way when it comes to moth infestations. Make it hard for moths to get in your garage in the first place. Install screens on windows and doors to reduce access points, and stay vigilant in maintaining a clean, cool, and sealed environment.

Consider high-tech solutions such as zappers and UV light moth traps. These can effectively kill adult moths, reducing their populations and interrupting lifecycle. Be aware though, this won’t affect eggs or larvae, so it’s just part of the solution.

Lower the Heat

opening doors and windows garage

Maintaining a cool environment in the garage is a vital step in moth deterrent. Moths, much like several other insects, thrive in warm and humid areas. By ensuring your garage stays cool, especially during the warmer months, you discourage these unwelcome guests.

Try doing the following:

  • Install insulation: An insulated garage can help control the temperature by keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter.
  • Use air coolers: An effective way to keep the temperature low. You may consider getting a portable one that can be moved around as needed.
  • Ventilation system: Proper ventilation allows airflow, keeping the area cool and reducing humidity, making it uncomfortable for moths.
  • Garage windows: Keep them open, if possible, just make sure they are screened to prevent other pests from entering.

Remember that these strategies not only help with your moth problem but can improve the overall conditions of your garage, making it a less attractive breeding ground for all sorts of pests.

Proper Cleaning & Storage of Clothes in the Garage

vacuum storage bags for garage

First and foremost, thoroughly wash any garments that you intend to stash in your garage. This eliminates any potential eggs or larvae that may be hiding in the fibers. Use high heat when possible, as this can kill any existing moth eggs or larvae.

Store clothing in sealed, airtight containers to create a barrier against potential invaders. Traditional cardboard boxes or simple plastic bags typically won’t cut it, as moths can chew through these materials. Opt for plastic bins with tight-fitting lids for optimal protection.

If there is a lot to store, consider using vacuum storage bags. They not only save on space, they create an airtight seal that moths cannot penetrate. Be sure the seal is secure and there are no holes before storing the bags in the garage.

Adding cedar chips or cedar oil to your storage bins can provide extra protection. The aromatic oils in cedar wood are a natural moth deterrent. However, remember that the scent of cedar will only deter moths, not kill them or their larvae, so this should be used in conjunction with other methods.

Lastly, avoid stacking storage bins too close together or up against walls. A bit of distance can discourage moth migration from one container to another and assist in maintaining a clean, clutter-free space. Regularly inspect these storage areas for signs of infestation. Quick detection can lead to quicker eradication.

Dry Clean Before Storage of Winter Clothes

Dry Clean Before Storage of Winter Clothes

Entrusting winter garments to professional cleaning services is a crucial step in the moth prevention process. Dry cleaning effectively removes any remaining moth eggs, larvae, or food stains that can attract these pests. As these insects gravitate towards dirty and sweaty clothing, ensuring clothes are pristine before storage helps reduce the chances of a moth infestation.

Notably, dry cleaning uses temperature and chemicals that are lethal to these pests, making it a robust precaution. Having items dry cleaned, especially those that aren’t regularly washed, such as coats and heavy sweaters, is worth the extra effort to save them from moth damage.

Use Airtight Storage Bins or Bags for Clothes

Airtight Storage Bins Clothes Garage

Selecting airtight containers is crucial to prevent moths from finding a cozy home in your fabric items. These sealed environments cut off the supply of fresh air that moth larvae require to survive.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Opt for heavy-duty plastic bins with secure lids. These are easily available in most home improvement stores.
  • Fabric vacuum bags are an alternative. They not only save space but also seal your clothes off from any possible infestations.
  • For large items, consider utilize extra-large ziplock bags. They are ideal for bulky winter jackets and blankets.

Remember, the goal is to ensure all clothes stored in the garage are completely sealed from the outside environment. Doing so significantly reduces the risk of any moth infestation!

Use Moth Traps

Moth traps, typically packed with powerful pheromones, effectively attract and trap male moths, thwarting their breeding cycle. Though these traps won’t totally eradicate a severe infestation, they can significantly decrease the moth population.

For optimum effect, place them where you’ve spotted the moths most frequently. Frequently replace the traps to ensure they stay potent. While it’s vital to note that these traps attract clothes moths specifically, there are different kinds of traps available for various moth species. Be sure to purchase the right one according to the type of moth troubling you. Always keep these traps out of the reach of children and pets.

Use Natural Repellents to Get Rid of Moths in Garage

Cedar wood chips Moth Repellant Garage

Certain natural substances can effectively deter moths, ensuring they leave your garage space and stay away.

1. Cedar: Moths dislike the smell of cedar. You can place cedar chips or blocks around your garage, focusing especially on moth-prone areas.

2. Lavender: Another smell moths are known to despise is lavender. Placing dried lavender in sachets around your garage is both fresh-smelling and moth-repelling.

3. Cloves, Thyme & Rosemary: In a similar vein, herbs such as cloves, thyme, and rosemary can keep moths at bay if kept in small pouches throughout the garage.

Remember to replace or refresh these natural repellents regularly to ensure they maintain their effectiveness. After all, a stench-free zone is just as attractive to humans as it is repellant to moths!

Prevent Moths From Entering Your Garage

weather-stripping garage windows flies prevention

Securing your garage from a potential moth invasion involves a few fundamental tasks. Start by sealing off any visible holes, cracks, or openings in the garage walls, doors, or windows. Caulk works great for tiny gaps while weather-stripping can be used to properly seal garage doors and windows. For larger openings, consider patching or applying mesh screens.

Next, ensure both your garage and surrounding yard are free of leftover food particles, trash, and stale water, as these attract various insects. Regular and thorough cleaning, coupled with an effective disposal system, aids in maintaining a moth-free environment.

Finally, lighting can play a role too. Moths are famously drawn towards light. Switch from traditional white bulbs to yellow or sodium-vapor lights, which are far less attractive to insects. Also, remember to turn off unnecessary lights, particularly during peak moth seasons, to avoid attracting these pesky insects from afar.

Following these practical steps helps safeguard your garage, making it less appealing to moths, thereby preventing their unwelcome intrusion.

Keep Your Space Clean

Cleaning Your Garage Regularly

Maintaining cleanliness is crucial not just for hygiene but also for keeping moths at bay. The garage often gets cluttered and dirty because it frequently serves as both a storage and parking area.

1. Regularly Sweep and Vacuum: Dust and debris provide ideal hiding spots for moths and their larvae. Frequent cleaning can prevent an infestation.

2. De-clutter: Objects stacked or stored haphazardly can offer a perfect home for moths as they go unnoticed for long. Organize the garage, ensuring things are packed neatly, with less room for moths to settle and breed.

3. Disposal of Unwanted Items: Make it a habit to routinely dispose of unwanted items. Old clothes, newspapers, and other seldom-touched items can attract moths.

4. Clean Spills Immediately: Spills, especially of food and drinks, can attract moths. If you use your garage as a workspace, make sure to clear any food remnants or spills right away.

Remember to integrate these steps into your regular routine. A clean, clutter-free garage is less attractive to moths and helps deterring an infestation.

Use a Zapper

electronic insect zapper garage for moths or insects

Having an electronic insect zapper in your garage can be incredibly effective in eradicating moths. Such devices emit a UV light which serves as an irresistible attraction for these nuisance pests.

Upon contact with the electrically charged grid, the moths are instantly eliminated. For the best results, place the zapper in a dark section of the garage to increase the lure of its light.

However, keep in mind the need for safety while using this solution – keep it away from flammable substances and out of reach of children or pets.

As a bonus, an insect zapper will also help deter other bugs or pests from your garage.

Remember to regularly clean your zapper, as accumulated insect remains can reduce its effectiveness.

Using UV Light Moth Traps

UV Light Moth Traps Garage

UV light moth traps work by emitting ultraviolet light that attracts moths, zapping them upon contact. Here are some essentials about this approach:

1. Proven Effectiveness: These traps lure moths away from your clothes and other susceptible items in your garage, reducing the chance of damage.

2. No Chemicals: Unlike other methods, UV light traps do not use harmful chemicals. This makes them an environmentally friendly and safe solution for your garage.

3. Easy to Use: Simply plug them in and let them work their magic. Remember, for best results, place these traps in darker, less trafficked areas of your garage as moths prefer these spaces.

4. Continuous Protection: These traps offer round-the-clock safety against moths. Ensure they are always in working condition for effective moth control.

UV light moth traps aren’t a quick fix but an ongoing solution. Keeping them operational will deter future moth infestations. Within a few weeks, you’ll notice a decrease in the moth population in your garage.


How do I get rid of moths ASAP?

To eliminate moths promptly, dispose of or freeze infested items for a minimum of 72 hours, clean thoroughly, and use moth traps to monitor and disrupt the breeding cycle.

What scent keeps moths away?

The scents of aromatic herbs such as mint, lavender, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and thyme can effectively keep moths away.

What draws out moths?

Moths are drawn to any type of light and the smell of fermented sugar and ripe fruit.

What repels moths besides mothballs?

Other than mothballs, moths can be repelled by using cedar oil, essential oils with scents of lavender, rosemary, cloves, bay leaves, and thyme, or a DIY potpourri made from these herbs placed in a mesh bag.

What natural remedies can be used to deter moths from garages?

Natural remedies such as lavender oil, cedar oil, and mothballs can effectively deter moths from invading garages.

Are there specific lighting options to discourage moth infestations?

Yes, using LED lights in your garage can discourage moth infestations as they are less attractive to moths than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lights.

How effective are electronic moth repellents for garage use?

Electronic moth repellents are generally effective for garage use, provided they are used properly and the garage area is not too large.