Moth Repelling Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Elizabeth Kozak
Posted on: October 16, 1998

Thank you for providing this service. I am having a terrible time this year with moths. I live in Dallas, Texas. Up until several weeks ago things were very hot and very dry. We recently had a tremendous amount of rain along with cooler weather...yeah. But moths and crickets are now swarming. I don’t have much of a cricket problem in my part of town, but there are billions of moths! My back porch looks like the set of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. They are also getting into my house. My mother suggested that I write to you to find out about which herbs repel moths and put pots of those herbs in my closets.

Santolina and lavender are often used to keep moths away from woollens and linens. The dried branches and leaves are placed in drawers and closets. The fragrance is effective in keeping problems to a minimum in normal circumstances. However, your situation is anything but normal, and I doubt that herbs will be strong enough to prevent moths from doing damage. You can try, certainly, but do not expect too much!

For now, you can cut branches from santolina and lavender and place them fresh in the closets. It is better to cut branches than to use plants because cutting will release more of the moth-repelling oils to the air. Dried branches release oils to the air naturally, and fresh foliage would do the same thing. You have to watch that the fresh material does not go mouldy. It is possible that it will not if you do not place too much fresh material in the closets at one time. You can also buy dried lavender flowers which will help.

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