Using mothballs and other traditional pest control for moth repellent can be harmful to health and the environment. Mothballs consist of chemical pesticides and deodorants. The chemical effect and the odor it spreads are intolerable and harmful to health [2]. 

On the other hand, using essential oils is an easy, effective, and helpful way for your health and environment as well. In this article, you will find some of the best essential oils for moth repellent and how to use them.

The following are ten essential oils that effectively repel and kill these cloth eaters. You may apply one of these oils describe below, but you should consult your physician or a doctor if you need to.

10 Best Essential Oils For Moth Repellent: Closet, Clothes, and Pantry

1. Rosemary Essential Oilrosemary-oil

Rosemary essential oil is a natural medicine for many, but its use as a bug repellent is also effective. Moths and flies hate rosemary fragrance and keep a distance from it.

Rosemary essential oil can be an excellent option for moths repellent [3].

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Fragrant to humans but hateful to moths- that is the duo quality of lavender! Like rosemary, moths hate lavender smell also [4]. Nevertheless, the lavender essential oil can save your off-season clothes in the wardrobe.

Moreover, the lavender smell can create an aroma in your clothes, which will keep your closet cheerful.

3. Lemon Essential OilLemon Oil

A lemon essential oil can be used singly or mixed with lavender essential oil before applying. This oil should put the moths off and discourage them from nesting in your clothes [5].

The lemon essential oil has a joyful fragrance that would refresh your closet or wardrobe, including the clothes kept inside it.

4. Cedar Essential Oil

One of the most used essential oils in the pesticide industry is cedar essential oil [6]. But unfortunately, cedar essential oil is simply the killer of moths and other insects.

When in contact with moths and their larvae, cedar essential oil is said to have the ability to dehydrate them and destroy their navigation system. In a word, it removes your problem from the root.

5. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Well known for its citrus smell, lemongrass essential oil is a popular choice as a moth and insect repellant.

Lemongrass essential oil has anti-insect properties [7, 8]. Therefore, you will find it assuring after applying the essential oil correctly in the possible locations.

Moths and insects find this particular oil despising.

6. Peppermint Essential Oilpeppermint oil

Besides insecticidal properties, peppermint essential oil has a powerful scent that repels the moths away [9]. You may use it singly or mix it with other potent essential oils before applying.

Either way, it can release you from the moths’ invasion.

7. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon essential oil is a very effective moth repellent. However, its sharp smell is unbearable to moths.

Cinnamon oil helps make insect-repellent film coating [10].

Whenever moths encounter the cinnamon essential oil, they retreat immediately.

8. Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil for moth repellent can be a great option. Clove is an excellent fruit and spice, and essential oil. The essential oil of the clove is convenient in repelling moths.

Clove essential oil can be effective singly or in combination with lavender oil [11].

It can also protect your skin from insect bites and give your bitten skin a comforting feel.

9. Tansy Essential Oil

Native to Europe and Asia, tansy is a flowering plant that has excellent value in its chemical properties. For example, tansy essential oil is highly effective in manipulating the moth larvae and altering its growth system [12].

10. Garlic Essential OilGarlic Oil

Garlic essential oil is also proven to be an efficient repellent of moths. Like tansy, essential garlic oil has a similar effect on the moth larvae and their growth [12].

How to Apply Essential Oils

  • Polish your wooden wardrobe and closet with peppermint essential oil. Its sharp smell will keep moths away.
  • Dip some cotton balls into lavender, lemon, or rosemary essential oil and place them around the closet and inside the wardrobe drawer.
  • Make a spray containing water, about half the total liquid, and the rest with lavender and lemon essential oils. Spray it over your clothes and the closet walls- this should do fine.
  • You can hang a small bag of dried cedar in your closet or keep an open bottle of cedar essential oil there.
  • You can wet a towel or a piece of cloth with rosemary essential oil and hang it on the closet rod. Make sure to remove and redo the cloth weekly.
  • Drop a few amounts of rosemary, clove, or lavender essential oil on possible places to protect the area from moth attack.
  • Wet a piece of paper with cinnamon essential oil and hang it in the closet. Moths shall run for life.
  • Besides applying essential oils, you should iron your clothes regularly to wipe out the larvae or eggs laid by the moths.

Precaution for Using Essential Oils

  • Keep away the rosemary and cedar essential oils from children and pets. These two oils may have poisonous effects.
  • A cinnamon essential oil may last longer in your clothes if applied as a spray or placed nearby. Consider this if you don’t like the cinnamon smell coming out of your clothes.


Essential oils for moths are beneficial to keep your home moth and insect free, especially from harmful ones.

Besides nesting in your clothes, moths can sometimes bite your skin. Though most of their bites are not harmful, they may leave rashes, bumps, and itching on your skin.

You must be careful about the South-American caterpillar moth, which is venomous.

A single sting of it may cause you bleeding, headache, and vomiting. And worst, the fast-spreading venom may affect your lung and kidney. So the anti-venom should be administered in no time if someone is stung by it.

You should keep one or more of the essential oils mentioned above in your home. It is wise to keep yourself ready to prevent any future pest harm. Apart from clothing, you must be responsible for your children and pets.

Lastly, don’t avoid seeing your doctor before or at least after using these essential oils. A doctor’s wise suggestion will always save you from side effects.