Mosquitoes and moths can ruin your day and your clothes. Take back your closets and backyards with these simple tips.
Keep clothes moth-free
- Regularly clean your clothes and never put clothes away dirty.
- Wool and cashmere are the most vulnerable, but moth larvae will munch on cotton and even heavily stained synthetics.
- Store valuable items, such as cashmere sweaters, in plastic storage bags all year. Do the same for clothes you’re storing for a season.
- Store-bought moth-killer strips work better as a deterrent than mothballs, and they’re odour-free. Cedar balls can work well, too.
- Sprays are also available for treating the inside of clothes cupboards and drawers.
Make your home moth-unfriendly
- Shampoo or clean carpets and furniture regularly.
- Purpose-made chemical sprays are available but must be applied following the manufacturer’s specific instructions.
- Carpet areas that get the least traffic need most attention.
- If buying secondhand carpets, look for the tell-tale white threads left by moth larvae.
Keep mosquitoes at bay
- Mosquitoes are attracted to floral fragrances in perfumes and toiletry products. Avoid fragrant lotions to reduce your chance of being bitten.
- If mosquitoes trouble you in your yard, eliminate all pools of stagnant or dirty water. This includes puddles that form on your patio or lawn, buckets, birdbaths and even your pet’s drinking bowls.
- Citronella oil, the active ingredient in most “natural” mosquito repellents, can work for a hour or two when applied to the skin.
- Citronella candles, however, are no more effective against mosquitoes than ordinary candles. It seems the flame acts as a decoy source of warmth and light.
- By far the most effective topical repellents are those containing the chemical DEET. A repellent that’s 35 percent DEET is adequate for most situations.
- Travellers in countries where malaria is a concern should use a more concentrated formula.
Relentless and annoying, moths and mosquitoes seemingly appear out of thin air. But if you keep their favourite spots inhospitable, you may get rid of them just as fast as they arrived.