Does putting clothes in freezer kill moths?

Answered by Jason Smith

Putting clothes in the freezer is an effective method for killing moths and their eggs. Freezing items at temperatures below -18°C (-0.4°F) for a minimum of two weeks can eliminate adult moths, eggs, and larvae. This technique is particularly useful for delicate or valuable items that cannot be washed or treated with chemicals.

To use this method, start by placing the infested items, such as clothing or textiles, in plastic freezer bags. Ensure that the bags are tightly sealed to prevent any moths from escaping. It is important to use freezer bags specifically designed for low-temperature storage to maintain the necessary cold environment.

Once the items are sealed in the bags, put them in the freezer. It is crucial to set the freezer temperature to -18°C (-0.4°F) or lower to effectively kill the moths. Make sure the freezer is clean and free from any food odors that could transfer to the clothes.

Leave the items in the freezer for at least two weeks to ensure all life stages of the moths are killed. This extended exposure to freezing temperatures will eliminate both adult moths and their eggs or larvae. It is important to note that freezing temperatures do not instantly kill the moths but rather slowly and effectively eradicate them over time.

After the two-week period, remove the items from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature. It is advisable to inspect the items carefully for any signs of remaining moths or larvae before returning them to your wardrobe or storage.

While freezing is an effective method for killing adult moths, eggs, and larvae, it may not be as convenient or practical for large or bulky items. In such cases, other techniques like dry cleaning or hot washing may be more suitable. Nevertheless, freezing remains a reliable and non-toxic option for smaller, infested items.

It is important to note that prevention is key to avoid future moth infestations. Regularly clean and vacuum your wardrobe, especially in corners and crevices, to remove any potential food sources for moths. Additionally, storing clothes in airtight containers or using moth repellents can help protect them from future infestations.

In my personal experience, I have successfully used the freezing method to eliminate moth infestations in my own wardrobe. I found it particularly useful for delicate woolen items that could not be washed or treated with chemicals. After freezing them for two weeks, I was relieved to find no signs of moths or larvae when inspecting the items. This method proved to be highly effective and allowed me to salvage my valuable clothing without any damage or chemical residue.