11 Easy Steps To Keep Bugs Out Of Closet, Forever

Do you know that there are a ton of pests that eat clothes? These pests are known as fabric pests.

And they feed and breed on the clothes that you keep in your closet.

How do I know?

I packed my warm clothes in plastic bags and kept them in the closet.

When fall arrived and I took those clothes out, I saw black bugs in them.

The worst part is that they chewed on my clothes and created holes in them, causing permanent damage.

I decided to inspect my closet. To my horror, I found a ton of these fabric pests.

I researched and found out that you can keep bugs out of closet by killing them and by using repellents.

I did it. And in this guide, I’ll share how.

How Did I Get Rid of Bugs in My Closet?

Empty The Closet

I needed to make space for treating my closet. So, the fist thing I did was I vacated by entire closet.

I packed clothes, with similar fabrics, in plastic bags to launder them.

I kept woolen clothes with other woolen clothes.  I didn’t mix them with cotton clothes.

I did it to ensure that I didn’t have to separate the clothes that needed specific cleaning.

For example, I can give an entire bag of woolen clothes for dry cleaning. And wash the cotton clothes in hot soapy water.

Use Bug Spray

My empty closet revealed a ton of pests in them. There were silverfish, carpet beetle larvae, and even mice droppings.

So, I used a bug spray on these pests to kill them instantly.

I researched and found out that scattering diatomaceous earth also kills the closet bugs.

But it takes time.

So, I decided to stick with bug spray.

I opened the drawers and there were bugs too. So, while spraying ensure that you spray in every nook, corner, and gaps in the closet.

Chances are there are bugs hiding in them.

Vacuum Clean the Closet

Once you’re through with killing these nasty fabric-eating bugs, it’s time to remove their carcasses.

Take your vacuum cleaner and give your closet a thorough cleaning.

Ensure to clean all the storage sections, drawers, and cabinets in the closet.

I applied spray twice and cleaned the closet twice to leave no stones unturned.

That’s it. That’s how you eliminate the bugs in the closet.

But it’s not done yet.

To keep bugs out of the closet you’ll need to use prevention techniques.

Preventing Bugs in Closet

Keeping bugs out of the closet requires sealing their entry points, stocking it with clean clothes, and using repellents.

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Launder the Clothes to Keep Bugs Away

Wash the clothes and iron them before restocking your closet.

I gave my woolen and cashmere fabric clothes for dry cleaning. And washed the cotton and synthetic fiber clothes in hot soapy water.

If some clothes are already clean, then keep them in the sun for half a day. And brush them before stocking them in the closet.

Another benefit of laundering is that it kills any bugs, their eggs, and larvae active in the clothes.

Store Only Clean Clothes in the Closet

Dirty clothes with sweat, food, and beverage stains produce odor. The odor attracts pests like roaches, carpet beetles, and even rodents.

So, refrain from keeping dirty clothes in the closet.

I’d also recommend not to keep laundry baskets stacked with dirty clothes near the closet.

Seal the Cracks to Prevent Bugs from Entering

Closets and wardrobes develop cracks and crevices over time.

Caulk those cracks with a silicone-based or polyurethane-based sealants.

These sealants are sturdy. And bugs can’t chew through them.

I sealed all the cracks on the closet joints and inside the drawers.

To add an extra layer of defense, I also used strips to close the gaps between the doors of the storage cabinets.

Keep Cedar or Lavender Chips to Repel Bugs

Cedar and lavender chips are available in sachets. They emit a pleasant yet strong scent that bugs hate.

So, they help in repelling bugs, especially clothes moths and carpet beetles, from the closet.

Cloth Moth Larva

Cedar and lavender chips make your clothes smell fresh and keep bugs away from the closet.

Many people recommend spraying essential oils. But I don’t.

Essential oils, such as lavender and eucalyptus, also repel bugs. But when their scent is gone, bugs return.

Cedar or lavender chips have more long-lasting scents. And you don’t have to change them daily or weekly.

Reduce Clutter to Deny Bugs Hiding Places

How to keep bugs out of closet

Organize your closet in such a way that the fabrics have some breathing space.

Discard useless items. And refrain from keeping paper products and cardboard boxes in the closet.

Clutter provides bugs the much-needed cozy hiding place where they can live and lay eggs.

Paper products and cardboard boxes attract pests like booklice and silverfish that feed on them.

Regularly Clean Your Closet to Remove Bugs

Vacuum clean your closet often, especially in spring and summer.

Many fabric eating bugs are active during these periods, and they invade homes to hide or to lay eggs.

Moths Balls to Kill and Prevent Bugs in the Closet

The age-old tradition of keeping moth balls to keep bugs out of clothes still works.

I kept a few in the storage cabinets and inside dresser drawers.

Garment Bags to Protect Expensive Fabrics

Keep your expensive clothes, such as overcoats and suits, in breathable garment bags.

Their fabric is sensitive. Expensive clothes made from natural fibers such as wool, fur, feather, and silk are magnet for bugs.

The larvae of clothes moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish bugs feed on them.

Control Moisture or Humidity from Spreading into the Closet

Moisture plays a significant role in attracting bugs to clothes. Many moisture bugs such as booklice, roaches, and even termites can enter the closet.

Moisture in the closets spread from damp walls. These walls turn damp because of leaky pipes and lack of proper ventilation.

So, fix any water leaks in your home to prevent the dampness from spreading to your closet.

You can also keep a dehumidifier if you live in a humid climate.

I also used silica gel sachets in the closet to keep the humidity in the closet under check.

Keep Pest Strips to Kill Any Potential Invading Insects

I had good luck with pest strips which I kept in the lower storage sections of my closet.

It’ll kill any creepy crawly that may try to sneak inside the closet.

I used No Pest Strips (by Hot Shot). These are nasty bug killers and they’ve pesticides in them.

However, please ensure that they’re out of reach of children and pets.

Properly Store Out-of-Season Clothes

Do not make the mistake of keeping non-seasonal clothes casually.

Wash them and store them in airtight plastic containers.

I made a mistake of not washing my woolen clothes and stored them in plastic bags.

Result? Carpet beetles infested them.

Should You Hire a Pest Controller?

Bugs in the closet means that there are bugs in other areas of the house.

I checked my carpets in the bedroom. On flipping over the carpet, I found carpet beetle larvae underneath the carpet!

So, I decided to hire a pest controller for an inspection and treatment to solve the lurking pest problem in my home.

Bugs will invade your closet again if they’re present in other areas of your home.

I’d suggest that if you’re noticing bugs like carpet beetles, roaches, and termites in the closet, then you must hire a pest controller.


Killing the bugs, regular cleaning, and using preventative measures such as bug repellents keep bugs out of the closet.

However, you’ll also need to monitor your closet to keep track on any return of these bugs.

I did it by keeping sticky traps inside the closet.

Bugs in the closet indicate that there can be bugs in other areas of your home.

So, don’t hesitate to hire a pest controller if bugs are returning to your closet despite your best efforts.