Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY: Natural Moth Repellent Sachets

It's really hard to buy a present for Mr. Minimalist.  He's just one of those people.  One year I bought him a sweater.  Another year, a soft scarf, and the year after that? A nice winter hat.  This is how unoriginal I've become.

Thanks to our moth infestation, we no longer own any of those things.  I guess that's the one good thing about moths-- now I have a list of presents lined up for the coming years.

But in all seriousness, it's a real problem.  Moths are attracted to dark untouched corners, and even in a small space like ours, there are plenty of those.  

Mothballs have never been an option-- I can't stand the smell.  Now that I know that they're terribly toxic to have in your house, I feel justified in my peevishness.  But mothballs do work, and I've had a really difficult time finding a natural alternative to those convenient little parcels of chemicals.

I scoured the internet for solutions to our problems.  And, after ironing, dry cleaning, hot washing and tossing (all solutions to killing the moths and larvae on infested clothing that I read about on the internet), I resolved to go whole hog into the natural moth repellent business.  

What helps?  Although nothing is for sure, there are scores of herbs and other natural ingredients that you can use around your house to ward off those flying nightmares.  Here are the top few:
  • Cedar 
    • You can buy the essential oil, or blocks of cedar wood and keep these around-- but remember the wood goes old, and has to be refreshed by sanding or adding oil;
  • Eucalyptus
    • They are sold where ever flowers are... supermarkets, florists, etc.;
  • Lavender
    • Available dried at florists, natural food stores;
  • Rosemary
    • Available fresh in nurseries, flower shops, supermarkets-- just dry sprigs in your kitchen;
  • Cloves
    • Available whole wherever you buy your spices;
  • Peppercorns
    • Ditto.

As you can see, these ingredients are pretty easy to get a hold of.  For those of you who are thinking ahead, this is a great way to use those herbs you've been growing in your garden.

I ended up filling my bags with whole cloves, rosemary stems left over from my harvest last fall, and eucalyptus from the grocery store that I dried overnight in a vase.  Now the sachets are tucked into our drawers along with the clean wool, and hopefully, we won't have moths again... hopefully.

DIY: Natural Moth Repellent Sachets

You can use things that you might have at home, or can get easily from the grocery store.  The important part is using a breathable material for the sachets.  I re-purposed a gift bag someone had given with a present for the Little One.

What you will need:

  • Breathable light fabric like muslin, cheesecloth or gauze;
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Straight pins (optional but helpful)
  • Safety pin
  • Thin durable ribbon to use as drawstrings
  • Natural Moth Repellent materials (see above)  

Five Easy Steps to DIY sachets:

Step 1. Cut two matching rectangles of cloth and line them up.
Step 2. Put right sides together and sew all but the 4th side together with a simple running stitch.  Stop stitching when you are about 1/2 inch from the 4th, open side of cloth.
Step 3. Take 4th side and fold over the 1/2 inch of material, sewing the edge of the material down to form a passage through which you'll feed the drawstring.
Hooray!  You're done with the sewing!
Step 4. Feed a ribbon on a safety pin through the drawstring channel you made.  When you've pulled the ribbon all the way through and out the other side, remove the safety pin, and fold the bag right side out.
Step 5.  The bag is complete!  Now, just fill the bag with your choice of natural moth repellent ingredients, pull and tie your ribbon closed.  Your natural moth repellent sachets are done!   Tuck the sachets into your drawers or hang in your closets to help keep the moths away.

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