In the “Öko-Test” moth control test, only one product scored “very well”, more than half failed. Drugs against clothes moths are being tested, but many of them contain neurotoxins that can also affect humans.

Anyone who already has clothes moths in their closet has a hard time. Because after an evaluation of the ingredients of 33 agents against clothes moths, the magazine “Öko-Test” advises against products with poison ( issue 6/2022 ).

The reason: They contain substances that can endanger our health and that of our pets. The control agents in the form of papers or gel bags release toxins that are deposited on surfaces. What kills the moths can attack the nervous system of humans and pets, according to Öko-Test magazine. There is a risk of headaches, eye irritation and even depressive moods.

Therefore, the product testers give the grades “poor” or “inadequate” to all the poisons in the sample that kill moths, even if they can achieve their goal of controlling the moths and their larvae.

The good news: According to the product testers, sticky traps pose no danger to humans and their pets. But you don’t catch all moths with it. The sticky traps emit sex attractants that only attract the male insects.

Meanwhile, females and larvae continue to enjoy their favorite clothes in the closet. And the hustle and bustle can go on for a long time, because according to the German Pest Control Association, a female moth can lay up to 250 eggs. Therefore, sticky traps are only part of the possible solution.

In the “Öko-Test” evaluation of the ingredients and effectiveness studies provided by the manufacturers, eight out of ten sticky traps were “satisfactory” and another “sufficient”.

Only one thing is “very good”: A medium that Nexa Lotte dresses

“Öko-Test” advises throwing away infested clothing. Unaffected pieces are washed and placed in the freezer. Closets and chests of drawers should be vacuumed. The Federal Environment Agency recommends paying particular attention to joints and cracks or blowing them off with hot air from a hair dryer. Then wipe the surfaces with vinegar water.

And: You can rely on a combination of preventive and control agents that are harmless to humans and animals.

Alternatively, you can use repellents: These are products to drive away the pests. These textile sprays, sachets or other dispensers give off fragrances made from lavender and neem oil, for example. The “Öko-Test” also examined the effectiveness studies of the manufacturers – and was not satisfied. For this reason, the grade “satisfactory” was awarded eight times to these nine products. Once there was also an “unsatisfactory” because of a missing registration in the Baua database.

The same applies to home remedies such as homemade bags with lavender blossoms or cedar wood: They neither drive away the insects completely nor do they protect the clothing from their infestation. “But they help to make life difficult for the moths, and all without poison,” writes the magazine.

The experts also advise putting clothes in the cupboards only after they have been cleaned. Because sweat and dander can attract the pests. Garments that are rarely used should be regularly beaten and aired. The Federal Environment Agency even advises cleaning such textiles and packing them tightly closed.

You can read the detailed test report for a fee at “Öko-Test”.

The original of this article “Moth repellent in the test: More than half fail” comes from