Harness the natural moth-repelling qualities of cedar shavings, fresh eucalyptus, dried orange peel, lavender, bay leaves, mint, and cinnamon for a fresh and natural moth-repellent potpourri. This woodsy potpourri not only repels moths but also leaves a pleasant scent throughout your entire home.
This is the third post we’ve written that deals with pesky clothing moths. The first post addresses how to identify moth damage, how to clean your closet to prevent moth damage, and a few moth-repelling tips. The second post discusses how to repair moth damage in your favorite clothing. Armed with this arsenal of information, those destructive, cashmere-munching nasties don’t have a chance.
Regarding preventing moth damage to our clothing, the key is true PREVENTION. Natural repellents can be effective preventive measures and help deter moths, but they’re generally less effective at eliminating a serious or established moth infestation. If you find that natural remedies are not dealing with the problem, you may need to resort to traditional moth deterrents, traps, or even professional pest control services.
what natural elements repel moths
You are probably familiar with cedar wood as a moth repellent. It probably tops the list in terms of the most widely used natural moth repellents. But let’s take a look at some others, as well:
- Cedar: Cedarwood is a common natural moth repellent. The volatile oils present in cedar produce a scent that repels moths. Over time, the oil that creates the desired effect will evaporate. Over time, the oil will evaporate, and you will need to refresh it by either reapplying the oil or lightly sanding the surface. It’s also important to note that cedar is usually more effective against moth larvae than adult moths.
- Dried Orange Peel: Citrus smells are often effective moth deterrents, and dried orange, lemon, grapefruit, and lime can provide this scent. Moths are deterred by the strong citrus scent, making it an effective repellent.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus has a strong smell that’s said to repel moths. The oil can be used independently or with other repellents, such as cedar or lavender. You can soak pieces of cloth in eucalyptus oil and place them in areas where you want to deter moths. Fresh eucalyptus leaves typically have a stronger scent than dried ones. This is because the fresh leaves still contain all their essential oils, which are responsible for the plant’s distinctive aroma.
- Bay Leaves: Bay leaves emit a strong odor that repels moths, but that many people find pleasant. You can place them in moth-prone areas like wardrobes and storage boxes. Remember to replace them periodically, as their effectiveness can decrease over time, just like with cedar.
- Lavender: Lavender naturally repels moths due to its strong yet pleasant fragrance that many people find delightful. To keep moths away from clothing, hang lavender sachets in closets or place them in drawers.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon sticks or cinnamon oil can be used as a natural moth repellent. It is often used in combination with other repellents for added effectiveness.
- Mint: Mint, particularly spearmint and peppermint, is a natural moth repellent. Many pests, including moths, dislike mint’s strong, refreshing scent.
- Cloves: The strong scent of clove can repel moths. Whole cloves can be placed in sachets, or you can use clove essential oil.
- Rosemary: Like lavender and mint, rosemary’s strong scent can repel moths. It can be used fresh or dried in sachets or bundles.
- Thyme: Thyme can be used in much the same way as rosemary to deter moths.
the ingredients I used
For my moth-repellent sachets, I used:
- Cedar Shavings
- Cinnamon Bark
- Dried Orange Peel
- Dried Bay Leaves
- Fresh Eucalyptus
- Dried Lavender Buds
- Fresh Rosemary
- Fresh Thyme
- Dried Mint Leaves
I encourage you to use what you have on hand as much as possible. My craft stash already included dried lavender buds from past projects, such as this Goat’s Milk Soap and this Lavender Buckwheat Hull Neck Wrap. I clipped mint from my garden and dried it with the peels of recently enjoyed oranges. I also picked fresh rosemary and thyme from the garden and included each sprig.
The dried bay leaves and cinnamon bark came from my pantry.
The only things I purchased were the cedar shavings and a spray of fresh eucalyptus. I will also use the cedar shavings as mulch for my rosemary and thyme, as I have read that it keeps spider mites away…I’ll let you know about that!
In terms of ‘how much’ of each…I used three cups of cedar shavings, the peel from 2 oranges, and 1 fresh bunch of eucalyptus. Other than that, I didn’t really measure. This ‘recipe’ is more of a jumping-off point for you. Use what you have on hand and adjust the ingredients, adding more of what pleases you. The next time I make it, I think I’ll get more eucalyptus.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with this list of ingredients. Moths find them all offensive and repelling, so you combine them to make you happy!
to make your potpourri
You’ll find a food processor comes in handy to chop many of these ingredients.
I added the cinnamon sticks, orange peel, fresh eucalyptus, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, dried bay leaves, and dried mint to the bowl of the food processor to let it do the work of chopping these ingredients.
Then I added the cedar shavings and lavender buds and did a quick whirl to combine them all.
It smells SOOO good!
using the natural moth-repellent potpourri
I scooped the moth-repelling potpourri into small, 3″ by 4″ muslin bags that I’ve tucked into my armoire and closet, among my wool and cashmere sweaters.
refreshing your potpourri
Like any potpourri, your potpourri will lose its aroma over time, typically 3 months. Crunching up the bags of potpourri occasionally will help release the oils and aroma.
To further refresh your natural moth repellent, drop a few drops of essential oil from one of the ingredients. I combined a few drops of essential oils of cedar, lavender, clove, orange, eucalyptus, and mint into an empty essential oil bottle to refresh my potpourri occasionally.
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this article about Natural Moth Repellent Potpourri.
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