does cedar wood repel moths ? Cedar wood is a natural and effective remedy against moths, and has been used in ancient times.
In this article you will learn how to use cedar wood against clothes and food moths and what to consider.
What is cedar for moths?
“True” cedar is a soft, reddish-brown, light-colored wood that comes from the Cedar of Lebanon, native to Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. The wood has a very faint but pleasant smell and is mainly used in shipbuilding, the construction of furniture and interior fittings or the manufacture of musical instruments.
It has a strong aromatic scent and a high percentage of cedar essential oils.
The most common type of wood that is also used to make moth repellent products is red cedar, the name of which is responsible for the colloquial term.
How does cedar wood repel moths ?
- The protective effect of cedar wood against insects and pests was already known in ancient Greece. To this day, wood is a natural, inexpensive and sustainable way to repel moths.
- The effect of cedar depends on the essential oil contained in the wood fibers. The main component of the oil, about 70%, is the so-called sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, which give a woody, resinous odor that is unpleasant to moths and other insects such as fruit flies.
- The scent of the essential oil ensures that moths do not nest and lay eggs. Cedar wood is therefore particularly suitable for preventing moth infestation.
- However, the effectiveness of sesquiterpenes is not enough to ward off existing mite infestations. If there is a severe infestation, you must first resort to other control measures and use only cedar wood as an adjuvant.
- The protective effects of cedarwood can last up to 3 years. This makes wood a relatively inexpensive and sustainable moth repellent.
- To ensure its effectiveness for as long as possible, you should polish the wood with sandpaper about every three months to intensify the scent again.
You can tell that the wood has lost its effect because it no longer has a smell even after sanding. Then you should replace the wood pieces. Alternatively, you can purchase pure cedarwood oil and spray small slices or pieces of wood with it regularly.1
How to fight clothes moths with cedar
The presence of moths in the wardrobe really brings melancholy. Not only do they eat destructive holes in our clothes, but they also lay up to 300 clothes moth eggs in closet crevices, on clothes hangers, or in floor grooves.
The larvae then gnaw through the textiles and use the separated fibers to build their cocoon. This way the cycle causes more and more damage.
In order to stop further damage to textiles, immediate action must be taken as soon as individual items in the wardrobe are noticed.
Most housewives, in addition to professional moth treatment procedures, also recommend the complementary use of cedarwood as a natural moth repellent in the wardrobe.2
In stores you can buy rings or small pieces of cedar wood that you can then hang on hangers or put in a closet.
Don’t wait until your favorite jacket has a hole, use cedar as a preventive measure against a possible moth infestation. Place a piece of cedar wood in each compartment of your closet and also hang a piece on every third to fifth hanger to effectively repel moths.
Make sure to sand the wood regularly, whether in summer or winter. To further protect your clothes against clothes moths, you should clean out your wardrobe regularly and check all clothing items for moth holes.
After washing, pack clothes you don’t currently need in an airtight container with a piece of cedar and change your wardrobe according to the season.
If you suspect that your wardrobe is already infested with moths, you should wash all clothing at the highest possible temperatures. You can place delicate textiles such as silk or wool in the refrigerator for a few days to kill any eggs or larvae.
If you want to be on the safe side, you can also purchase cedar clothes hangers. However, it should be noted that the wood surface becomes rough when sanded or oiled.
How to Repel Food Moths with Cedar Wood
Although cedarwood is often used against clothes moths, you can also use the natural product against food moths.
You should also use cedar wood preventatively to combat food moths. It is best to place a piece of cedar in cabinets and shelves wherever you store flour, nuts or legumes.
Since cedar is non-toxic and its subtle scent does not transfer to the food, you can use the wood in the kitchen and around food without any worries.
Also, especially in the summer, be sure to seal all foods and check regularly for any traces of moth larvae.
If you notice that mites have infested your food, you should throw away the infested products as soon as possible and wash all containers well. You should also check the shelves, cabinets and ceiling if there is a severe infestation and clean them well.