How To Keep Bugs Out Of Closet, Forever, In 4 Easy Steps

Your closet, wardrobe, and dresser drawers can be a home to many fabric damaging pests.

These pests are hard to spot but easy to get rid of. 

In this post, you’ll get to know how to keep bugs out of the closet. 

Plus, you’ll also get to know the not-so-obvious signs of an infestation that should ring your alarm bells. 

Sounds good?

But before that, let us reveal the pests that damage and eat clothes. And the signs of infestation. 

Bugs That Eat Clothes In The Closet

Bugs feed on the starch and keratin present in the clothes. Both starch and keratin are the sources of nutrition that keep the fabric pests alive. 

Bugs that eat clothes, also known as fabric pests, create holes in the fabric by chewing on it. 

If left unchecked, these bugs can damage your clothes beyond repair. 

And the worst part is that fabric pests target expensive clothes made of animal products like leather, pure silk, fur, feathers, etc.

So, if you’ve got this exquisite clothing in your closet, you better read this post till the end. 

It’ll save you thousands of dollars. 

Here are the bugs that eat clothes –


Silverfish in bathroom

Silverfish eat and destroy clothing and fabric made of cotton, wool, silk, viscose, and rayon. 

Silverfish look like shrimps. They’re harmless to humans and don’t carry any poison and disease. 

But if they go undetected, they can live inside your closet for months chewing on your clothing.

Not only that, but silverfish can also lay eggs inside the closet. These eggs emit a specific smell that attracts other silverfish to lay eggs in the same spot.

Silverfish damage curtains, canvas paintings, and carpets too.

Little holes on the fabric with tiny yellow spots are signs of a silverfish infestation. 

They damage the clothes lying at the bottom of the pile. So, it’d be best if you can check for these signs of silverfish infestation starting from the bottom.


What Do House Crickets Eat

Crickets are a nuisance and the most irritating bugs. 

They’re prolific in damaging fabric too. 

Like the silverfish, crickets create holes in the fabric. 

But crickets damage any fabric. It doesn’t matter to them if the textile is made of animal products, synthetic products, or plant products. 

Crickets prefer to live in dark and damp places. Your closet isn’t the place where they’d want to be.

If they’re inside your closet, they might have landed there accidentally. Thanks to their habit of abrupt jumping around. 

Crickets are more prone to damage dirty clothes. Clothes with stains of edible oil and food droppings are what the crickets look for. 

They chew on these stained areas and thus create big holes in the fabric.

Crickets also damage bed sheets, curtains, carpets, paintings, and even wood and furniture.

Carpet Beetles Larvae

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Adult carpet beetles don’t damage fabrics and clothing inside your closet.

It’s their larvae that do the damage.

Carpet beetles fly into your homes to lay the eggs on fabrics and material made of animal products like leather, which include shoes, and books with leather covers, fur, wool, and silk. 

The larvae out of these eggs eat these expensive fabrics for months till they turn into adults.

Adult carpet beetles sneak inside your closet through the gaps between doors and the closet and wardrobe frame.

Once inside, they’ll lay their eggs and move out. 

But the carpet beetle larvae not just damages fabric inside your closet. They damage carpets, rugs, and even your car’s leather interiors

The carpet larvae can also get onto the bed, and they fall in the category of bed worms.

Cloth Moths Larvae

Cloth Moth Larva

Finally, here’s the most prolific fabric damager, the cloth moths.

Like carpet beetles, the cloth moths’ larvae are the fabric pest.

But cloth moths’ larvae damage even synthetic and blended fibers, making them a more damaging pest than the rest of the three.

Like adult carpet beetles, adult cloth moths lay eggs on the fabric. The larva from the egg eats the fabric till it reaches adulthood. 

Apart from the four bugs that eat clothes, termites and cockroaches are also known for damaging clothes. 

But clothes and fabrics are not the diets of termites and roaches. 

Food stains on fabric attract them. And in an attempt to eat, the stains, termites, and roaches create holes in the fabrics.

How To Keep Fabric Pests and Bugs Out Of Your Closet?

Clean Your Closet To Get Rid Of Fabric Pests

Here are four easy ways to keep bugs out of your closet–

Keep Dirty Clothes Out Of Your Closet

Nothing attracts fabric pests more than dirty and unwashed clothes. 

From food stains to the smell of your sweat, these are fabric pest attractants.

So, it’d be best if you keep the clothes that you often wear without washing away from your closet. 

Clean Your Closet At Least Once In A Month To Remove Dirt And Bug Eggs

Not many of us clean our closets often. 

The process of getting all the clothes out, cleaning the closet, and putting the clothes back inside intimidates many of us.

But cleaning closets, drawers, and wardrobe go a long way to keep bugs away from these places. 

And the best way to clean is vacuuming. 

Vacuum cleaning removes the dirt and any pest eggs and larvae lying around in the corners. 

After vacuuming, it’s always good to spray a disinfectant and let it dry for few hours.

Keep Lavender Sachet Bags To Repel Bugs Away From Your Closet

Nothing works well in keeping fabric pests away than these lavender sachet bags. 

The lavender smell is an excellent bug repellent, and it’s proven to work against many pests. 

But keep in mind that these lavender sachet bags won’t kill the bugs. 

Lavender sachet bags repel bugs. They don’t kill it. 

So, the best time to keep the lavender sachet bags after vacuum cleaning your closet.

You can also keep mothballs and cedar.

But if you dislike the smell of mothballs, then lavender sachet bags and cedar are the best options.

Keep Your Expensive Clothing Covered In A Moth Proof Garment Bags

Do you have an expensive leather jacket, a fur coat, or a silk shirt? 

If yes, then keep them inside mothproof garment bags. 

These bags are a minor investment in protecting your expensive clothing from the damage that fabric pests can cause.

Mothproof garment bags are transparent and breathable. 


Silverfish, crickets, carpet beetle larvae, and cloth moths’ larvae are the four bugs that damage clothes inside your closet.

Their scope of damage extends beyond your closet. 

Fabric pests also damage home décor items like rugs, carpets, curtains, bedsheets, and even artwork.

Getting rid of them is an easy task. 

It all begins with keeping your dirty clothes out of the closet and cleaning your closet often. 

Plus, lavender sachet bags and cedar inside your closet also repels these closet bugs. 

As a protective shield on your expensive suits and coats, use a moth garment bag to keep them. 

Before we finish, we’d like to say that presence of fabric pests inside your closet is a sign of a bigger problem. 

It means that there are many ways that these bugs are entering your home. And the presence of these bugs can attract predators like centipedes, spiders, and roaches. 

To know more about how they enter your home, check our posts here and here.