You open your closet and pull out your favorite cashmere sweater only to discover small holes in the garment. Your sweater has been attacked by the clothes moth. These little culprits love wool, and cashmere is wool. Cashmere is organic and contains protein, which makes it an attractive feast for these moths. Clothes moth adults do not feed so they do not cause damage to your cashmere. Instead, they lay eggs that hatch into cashmere-eating larvae. By taking several inexpensive steps, you can significantly reduce the chance that your cashmere sweater will fall victim to the clothes moth larvae.
Clean the cashmere garment thoroughly before storing it for a period of time.
Look over the entire sweater to ensure there are not food stains embedded in the cashmere. Moths are especially attracted to food proteins and cooking oils.
Place a rosemary and lavender herbal sachet in the box with the sweater. Don't place the sachet directly on the garment.
Put lavender oil on a cotton ball and place it in the box with the sweater or add cedar chips to the box. Don't place the lavender oil or cedar chips directly on the sweater. Moths tend to be repelled by both lavender and cedar.
Store cashmere wool garments in airtight containers in a low-humidity environment.
Vacuum often and thoroughly around the edges of walls and furniture. Clothes moths often lay hundreds of eggs along the edges of carpet, especially wool carpet, in dark, undisturbed places such as under desks, beds or in closets. Food crumbs, hair and pet fur on carpets provide a source of food for the larvae.
Store cashmere garments in a cedar chest, if you have one, since these are designed for this type of protection.
Have your garments professionally cleaned before putting them in long term-storage. Moths lay eggs on food particles or sweat-soaked areas of uncleaned garments. The larvae from the hatched eggs then feed on the food, sweat, hair and dirt. Clothes moths are typically a pale golden color with black eyes and a tuft of hairs on the top of their heads. Unlike other moths that are attracted to the light, the clothes moth avoids light.
If you see moths flying in your pantry area, don't be confused. These are not clothes moths, but Indian meal moths that feed on stored food, including dry pet food. These grayish gold moths are attracted by light, unlike the clothes moth.