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 give you tips on getting┬árid 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 damage your clothes.

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.

While trying to munch the leftovers, they will eat through your clothes.

How To Get Rid Of Cloth-Eating Bugs

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

Wash Your Clothes Regularly

You engage in many activities 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, don’t be surprised if cloth-eating bugs attack them.

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 is to place them in a laundry basket and wash them the next day if you’re too busy or tired to clean them immediately.

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

Remove Old Clothes From Your Closet

If you store many old clothes, you give 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 may you 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, ask yourself how often you touch those old clothes.

If you visit them often, you will spread food debris on them. As long as the old clothes are mixed with the new ones you currently wear, then the bugs can quickly 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 decide to pick something from the clothes in your closet, 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 get the item out of the clothing, you can continue munching on your snack.

Use Plastic Suit Covers

Plastic cloth covers are also an excellent way to keep cloth-eating bugs away from your fabric. After dry-cleaned clothes, 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 from directly contacting the fabric. Remember how I mentioned that accessing your stored clothes with a snack can cause an insect invasion into your closet?

The plastic cloth cover you buy should be transparent to have a good view of what’s happening 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.

You can keep these bugs away from your fabric using boric acid. It is a potent 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. The roaches or termites will be poisoned and die when they crawl across it.

Be warned that boric acid is not just poisonous to insect pests. It can also poison house pets like cats and dogs if they accidentally ingest it. Ensure they are kept away from your closet if you use boric acid. Also, keep children away.

An extra safety tip is to keep your closet locked 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), you can fight back using chemical-based insecticides. These 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, 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 carry it back to their nest where the other colony members resided. As the workers contact the rest of the colony, they all will become poisoned and die in a matter of days.

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.

You will need a chemical insecticide spray for these kinds of insects, which you will use to kill them.

Before applying the spray in your closet, ensure you cover your clothes with a plastic cover, so the spray’s content cannot stick to your clothes. If the clothes already have some bugs, 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, spread 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 spraying your closet with a chemical insecticide, 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 to remove any dead insects.

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. You can try many combinations, 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 new 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; the smell will repel them. The good thing about this is that fresh mint smells very friendly to humans.


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

Good luck!

Leave a Comment