More Moth Repellent Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Patricia Murphy
Posted on: April 8, 2002

Your website is terrific...simple and easy to use with lots of info.

I am trying to curb my moth problem, you suggested santolina and lavender. Are there particular varieties I should choose? I’d like to get started with dried plants and eventually plant plants. We are moving and don’t want to bring them along to our new house.

All of the lavender and santolina varieties have moth-repelling properties. I am not aware of any studies to compare the varieties and determine which are the most effective. Therefore, your choices will depend on other factors such as hardiness and growth habit, etc. Among the lavenders, for instance, there are varieties that are hardier than others. Any of the lavenders belonging to the english lavender (L. angustifolia) group will be good choices for most temperate areas.

I have also heard that wormwood, patchouli, rosemary, tansy, cinnamon and cloves also work. What’s your opinion?

We have not tried any of these so we cannot comment based on our own experience. Phyllis Shaudys, author of "The Pleasure of Herbs" (Storey Communications), says that besides lavender and santolina, pennyroyal and southernwood are effective moth repellents. In her book, she gives the following recipe for a moth-repelling potpourri:

Herbitage Farm’s Moth Potpourri

1/2 cup cedar shavings

1/4 cup each pennyroyal, lavender, santolina or sourthernwood, peppermint, lemon verbena, thyme, rosemary and orris root

1/8 cup each whole cloves, lemon peel and black peppercorns

6 drops each cedar, lemon, and lavender oils

She goes on to write: "It is not necessary to use all the moth-chasing ingredients or even all the oils all at once in the same potpourri. But be sure you have at least two of the primary ingredients (if possible, four) and of the three major oils."

Thanks for your help and the great info on your site....you’ll be hearing from me with an order.

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