About natural moth ball alternatives
In pretty much every area of life the “Natural vs Chemical” debate is constantly raging on. There are a lot of falsehoods and lies that are typically being thrown from both sides, but we’re not here to engage such arguments. As far as moth repellents are concerned, it is perfectly clear to us that mothballs and other repellents with artificial chemicals have their uses and their advantages. They tend to be significantly stronger than natural mothball alternatives and are generally used (or should be used, at least) as a last-ditch measure to gas out a heavy moth or other pest infestation.
And while such naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene products are often advertised for mere prevention as well, the fact is that usually, natural alternatives are better suited for moth prevention. Natural moth repellent solutions such as cedar balls and blocks or essential oils like lavender, mint and white camphor typically do just as well when it comes to repelling moths, and they do so with no health risks for your health and family.
There isn’t much to be said about their ingredients and components, because there aren’t any. These products are usually exactly what their names suggest – cedar blocks, cedar balls, lavender, and mint pouches, and so on. This simplicity in their components doesn’t mean that there aren’t any differences between the different products and brands, however. Unfortunately, even in a niche of such simple and straightforward natural products, there is still a great variation in the different products you can get.
Some brands offer products made out of subpar wooden or botanical materials, other brands will offer you poor design that might include sharp edges that will stick to and scratch your clothes, or poor pouch designs where the inside of the pouch or sachet can easily spill out, and so on.
It’s that variety in product and brand quality that made us write this article. Hopefully, our extensive research will save you a lot of time and help you find the best-suited product for your home as quickly as possible.
Moth ball alternative buying guide
When looking through customer or professional reviews of the various cedar balls or lavender pouches, don’t just look for people that claim those items are of “great quality”. Look for mentions of the products’ scent and effectiveness.
A cedar block or ball, for example, should have a nice and noticeable cedar smell to it, otherwise, you might have been given an old or low-quality wood. Similarly, botanical sachets and pouches need to have strong and long-lasting aromas.
The longevity of the product should be your next concern. Some products offer a great deal of value and indeed repel all kinds of moths and other insect pests, but they tend to expire rather quickly. No matter how effective one product is, if you have to buy a new one every month, this will likely not be a smart purchase.
Next comes the price. This should obviously not be a leading factor over the other two when making a purchase that can doom or save your entire wardrobe, but it’s important to look at the product’s price in correlation with its effectiveness and longevity. It’s typically perfectly fine to buy a more expensive product if you know that it will last much longer, it will cover a greater area, and it will be more effective at its job.
There are, of course, a lot of other factors to consider. The size of the cedar balls, blockers or hangers, as well as the various essential oil pouches and sachets, is an often under-looked criterion. Pictures on online descriptions can be deceiving, so always read carefully through the products’ descriptions or reviews for their exact size. If a moth repellent ball, block, hanger or pouch is of great quality, long-lasting, cheap and effective, but is also too small, this will mean that you’ll need to use more of them per unit of enclosed space. This, in turn, will limit their effectiveness and increase their price.
The design is also something you should always consider. A poor design can include sharp edges that can harm your clothes, for example. It can also mean that the cedar blocks, cylinders, balls, and other such items are of an impractical shape or size for your drawers and shelves. Poor design on a sachet or a pouch can also often lead to breakage and spilling of the contents.
There’s also the scent of the natural moth repellent. Often time similar sounding products like essential oil moth repelling pouches, for example, can have a drastically different smell. That’s because they can have a different ratio of their ingredients, they can be of different age and quality, and they can be intended for different lengths of time. As a result of that, a lot of scents can be completely intolerable for some customers, even though others have liked them. It’s always advisable to consult with your entire family about the smell of a product before making a purchase.
So, as you can see, the factors you’ll need to focus on when buying a natural moth repellent are more than just a few. Simply going by price and brand will often get you impractical or low-quality products, or simple ones that are great but not too well suited for your particular situation.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the product’s brand as a factor. Some brands are well known for their quality while others should generally be avoided at all cost. To further help you out, here are some of the brands you might want to look for: Household essentials, Clinton’s Wood, Richards Homewares, Eco-Defense, Tjaarat, Aikotoo, Moth Busters, Earthkind, Zziggysgal, Ollieroo, and others.
Other useful information about natural moth ball alternatives
The first things you will need are the pouches themselves. You can simply buy some small muslin spice bags from any grocery store’s spice section or any Arts & Crafts store. Alternatively, if you are handy with a sewing machine, you can quickly fashion several sachets from old handkerchiefs.
Once you have the pouches set and ready, all you need is to put some ingredients in them. Things such as cedar chips, lavender, spearmint, thyme, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon, tansy, ginger, citronella, and others, can all form a nice mix that will repel clothes moths and most other common home pests. You can buy such dried herbs from any local natural foods store or buy them in bulk from any good online herbal shop.
All you need to do then is to find the right scent combination that you and your family will enjoy the most, put it in the pouches, and voila – you have your very own homemade natural moth repellents. As long as the ingredients were of a high enough quality, they should serve you well.
How to use moth ball alternatives
There are few to no health risks involved (as long as you make sure that your baby or pet won’t eat one of them), and for the most part, you just need to sit and enjoy their pleasant scent and your moth-free closet spaces.
Of course, there are few things that need to be kept in mind, but they are all typically explained by the particular product’s description. Each product should have a specified area over which it is most effective, as well as a period of time in such an enclosed area during which it will work. Putting any product in a larger area will mean that it will expire quicker, and placing it in a smaller space will mean a more saturated smell. Therefore, it’s always wise to carefully measure the closet or otherwise enclosed area you’ll be treating and to place an adequate amount of the product in it. For larger areas, you’ll need to put several products, while for smaller spaces you might want to go and buy a specialized and smaller product.
It’s also worth remembering that natural moth repellents aren’t some all-powerful tools that will solve all your pest problems by themselves (even if they are often advertised as such). There are a lot of other things that you need to do to prevent a moth infestation. Chief among them is to frequently air out and clean your clothes. Clothes moths require places with no sunlight and no air circulation to procreate. That’s why they attack our off-season clothes and don’t touch the clothes we use every day. That’s also why it’s important to air out and vacuum your closet areas frequently even when you’re not using them.
Keeping your unused clothes and fabrics in air-tight plastic bags is always a great idea. This way they’ll be protected from all pests and will be dust-free and smell-free for when their season comes again next year. And if you do find clothes moths in your closet space, remember to dry clean them after your moth repellents have dealt with the infestation.
Just as with mothballs with naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, however, natural alternative methods like camphor balls, cedar balls, cedar shavings for closets, non-toxic mothballs, cedar hangers, other pouches, sachets, and so on, all come in a large variety of types and brands. As such, choosing between them can be a very daunting process, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in the area. This is exactly what we wanted to help you with through this article and we hope we’ve succeeded at least a little bit.
So, to wrap things up, here are our Top 3 suggestions for the best moth repellent for clothes made out of natural and eco-friendly materials:
- Stay Away Moths offers an alternative to our two previous entries with its 6 botanical moth repelling pouches. Instead of generic wooden mothballs and other non-toxic mothballs, these pouches are full with a plant-based mixture of oils from Geraniol, Geranium, and cedar. The pouches have a strong but pleasant scent and have maximum effectiveness for up to 30 days.
- The Colton’s Wood Set is a great pack of 61 different natural moth repellent products. They are made out of high-quality materials and can help you out in any domestic situation. It includes 5 of the best cedar hangers on the market, 6 cedar pouches, 10 wooden blocks, and 40 cedar wood balls.
- The AIKOTOO Camphor Wood is another great big set of 58 pieces. It includes 2 scented moth sachets, 20 cedar natural mothballs, 4 cedar cubes, 5 cedar cylinders, and more. The great quality and versatility of this set make it a great natural cedar moth repellent option for any household.