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While moths are closely related to butterflies, the winged creatures are not only less pleasant to look at but also incredibly irksome—especially when they get into your home. These nocturnal flyers are attracted to light, and if they make their way into your dwelling, they can wreak havoc on everything from your clothes and linens to your pantry and furniture.
Just talking about moths can be enough to make your skin crawl, but the good news is there's a range of products and solutions that can solve the problem—or at least keep it at bay. When browsing repellents, you'll find mothballs, blocks, sachets, and rings, which you can place around your home, plus sprays and traps.
There are natural repellents, which are typically made of cedar or lavender, pheromone traps, and formulas containing insecticides like naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene that kill on contact. Before buying a repellent, make sure it's right for the specific moth species you're dealing with. You'll also want to consider the scent, as chemical solutions can have a strong, unpleasant odor. With all this in mind, we rounded up a range of effective solutions for every home and budget.
Below, the best moth repellents currently on the market.
Best Overall: Household Essentials CEDAR FRESH Cedar Closet Variety Pack
Type: Cedar pieces | Intended Use: Closets/dressers
Easy to use
Doesn't kill existing moths
Our number one pick is this variety pack from Household Essentials. It comes in sets of 36, 56, 71, or 96 and includes an assortment of kiln-dried red cedar deterrents to place around your home. You'll get rings, cubes, sachets, and hang-ups with metal hooks, all of which have a pleasant yet not overbearing wood scent.
This gives you lots of options. You can attach the hang-ups to your closet rod or on doorknobs, hook the rings to your clothes hangers, put the sachets in drawers, and place the blocks in any other enclosed space that needs protection. Bear in mind, this set won't actually kill moths, but it is an effective solution for repelling them.
"I haven’t had any signs of moths in two months of testing, and I’m very happy with the light cedar smell my closet and drawers have taken on. My daughter also loved the smell so much that she grabbed some of the cubes and sachets and put them in with her clothes."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
Best Budget: Enoz Para Moth Balls
Type: Mothballs | Intended Use: Closets/dressers/storage
Kills moths, eggs, and larvae
For households on a budget, we recommend Enoz Para Moth Balls. They contain paradichlorobenzene, which kills the most destructive species, plus their eggs and larvae.
You can place them in nearly any confined space, like your closet, dresser, or storage bins. Though the active ingredient has a somewhat strong odor, it won't linger on your clothes or linens.
Best Natural: Armour Shell Lavender Sachet and Cedar Bags
Type: Sachets | Intended Use: Closet/dresser
Lavender bags sometimes leak
If you're partial to chemical-free pest solutions, you'll appreciate this set from Armour Shell. It comes with 20 pre-filled sachets, half containing dried lavender flowers and half containing premium cedar chips. When you place a few in your closet and dresser drawers, you'll have peace of mind knowing moths will stay away for months.
Best Spray: Reefer-Galler SLA Cedar Scented Spray
Type: Spray | Intended Use: Closet/carpet/upholstery
Kills and prevents
Harmful if inhaled
When it comes to battling moths, SLA Cedar Scented Spray isn't messing around. This aerosol can contains pyrethrins and other pesticides that kill not only moths and their larvae but also ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, spiders, and other pests on contact.
You can spray it all around your home, including in your closet, on carpets and rugs, and upholstered furniture. Besides stopping them in their tracks, it leaves a cedar scent behind to keep the flyers away for up to three months.
"To treat the rug, I took it outside, both for ventilation and because moths and their larvae hate the sun. I sprayed the critters I could see, and they died, proving that this is definitely a powerful insecticide." — Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
Best Mothballs: Honey-Can-Do Cedar Moth Balls
Type: Mothballs | Intended Use: Closet/dresser/pantry/luggage
Won't work for most pantry moths
Sometimes the simplest solutions offer the best results. That's why we love Honey-Can-Do Moth Balls. You'll get a pack of 24 balls, each made of premium cedar wood and measuring just under an inch in circumference.
You can place them in your closet, dresser drawers, pantry, luggage, or storage containers. The cedar repels moths and can even kill larvae. Plus, you can sand them to freshen up the scent every few months.
Best for Clothing: MothPrevention Powerful Clothes Moth Traps for Closets
Type: Traps | Intended Use: Closet/dresser
Traps instead of repels
To stop moths from nibbling their way through your wardrobe, reach for these traps from MothPrevention. The no-nonsense sheets are coated with odorless pheromones that attract the creepy creatures before trapping them in a sticky residue. You can hang them in your closet, on the outside of your dresser, and in any other areas where moths are creating problems.
"Flimsy appearance aside, these babies work. Despite seeing a moth here and there on our top floor, I wasn’t 100 percent sure that we had a problem. These traps confirmed my fear. I started to see moths in the traps after a few days (it sometimes takes a bit) but luckily only on the top floor—not in my closet, which is a floor below."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
Best Lavender: Richards Moth Away Sachets
Type: Lavender sachets | Intended Use: Closet/dresser
Must be used before expiration date
For lavender lovers, we recommend Richards Moth Away Sachets. One box contains 24 little packets, each filled with lovely-smelling dried lavender flowers. Place a few in your closet, on your shoe rack, and in your dresser drawers to prevent pesky moths from eating your favorite garments. While you can expect months of protection, bear in mind that the sachets need to be used before their expiration date.
Best Cedar: Cedar Sense Cedar Rings
Type: Cedar rings | Intended Use: Closet/drawers/luggage/storage
May not be effective for larger infestations
Cedar rings like this 30-pack from Cedar Sense are great because the versatile shape gives you lots of options. You can attach them to clothes hangers, put a few in your dresser, or place a couple in your shoes to repel moths. And since cedar is naturally absorbent, you can also toss some in your gym bag, suitcase, or storage containers to absorb moisture, prevent mildew, and keep odors at a minimum.
Best for Pantry Moths: Dr. Killigan's Premium Pantry Moth Traps
Type: Traps | Intended Use: Pantry
Kills and prevents
Traps instead of repels
If you're dealing with pantry moths, call on Dr. Killigan to take care of the problem. These structured paper traps contain a potent pheromone that attracts Indian meal moths and other species that go for your food.
An ultra-sticky glue then imprisons the pests and stops more infestations from forming. Place them on your pantry shelves, kitchen counters, or wherever you want to expel moths.
The best moth repellent solution overall is the Household Essentials CEDAR FRESH Cedar Closet Variety Pack. It comes with an assortment of solid cedar wood pieces and sachets, which you can place throughout your home to keep pests away. However, if you're dealing with pantry moths, your best bet is Dr. Killigan's Premium Pantry Moth Traps (view at Amazon), which use a pheromone to attract the pests and a sticky glue to trap them.
What to Look for in Moth Repellent
You may be surprised to learn that not all moths are the same. Clothing moths and pantry moths are two different species and therefore require different treatment methods. So don’t think that any moth repellent is a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, make sure to pay attention to what type of moth you're dealing with and buy a repellent for that type.
You can treat the infested area in a variety of ways. Some sprays kill moths (or their larva) on contact and create a protective barrier on surfaces like carpets and rugs. Mothballs and cedar blocks are very hassle-free—just place them in the affected drawer or corners, and let them do their job. There are also traps, which kill moths using a sticky substance—but you’ll need to dispose of them as they become full and replace them until the infestation is eradicated.
While you’re probably familiar with the "classic" scent of mothballs, you’re likely not a big fan of the odor that originates from naphthalene. Fortunately, there are a variety of other scents available in moth repellent products, including cedar, lavender, and other herbal blends.
Why Trust The Spruce?
The Spruce contributor Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in home improvement, cleaning, and pest control. Over the years, she's tried her fair share of pesticides and insect-prevention products to keep pests out of her home. For this story, she combed through user reviews, researched repellent ingredients and moth species, and evaluated products from a range of brands and retailers before making her selections.