Moth and Needle Felting

We are in no way associated with mothkiller company only as a consumer. We have used it for many years. If we come across a better range of products I will update this article. Please email me if you have any thought or comments.

As needle felting artists we can possibly encounter moths at some point.

Clothes Moths live on something called 'keratin', a substance found in natural fibres such as wool, cashmere, silk, viscose, furs, etc. The natural, undyed wool tends to be more attractive to moths.

To reach full development, the clothes moth goes through four life stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. It is the larvae eating the fibres that leave holes in clothes, which is why people often say that they haven't seen any actual moths. 

Moths don't like to lay their eggs in places that are frequently disturbed, so they'll typically avoid closets and drawers you use every day. But if you put your wool away for months, the risk increases.

Noticed moths - now what?

The first thing to do is remove all items from the affected areas so you can have a good look at the wool and clear the surfaces ready for treatment.

Any wool you believe to be affected by the moths should be treated with temperature rather than chemicals. This means placing it in a plastic bag in the freezer for 2-3 days or washing them at a high temperature (60 degrees or more) before putting them back. Any extreme temperature is sufficient to kill all stages of the moth's life cycle, even the eggs. Dry cleaning will do the same job in destroying all eggs and larvae.

Wool can tolerate high temperatures but not the sudden change from hot to cold, nor the agitation. You can place your wool into the water and bring it to a boil, then leave it to cool down without it felting.

After assessing the wool and treating it accordingly, apply a residual spray to the shelves, the backs, and sides of the wardrobes and drawers along with any other dark spaces. These are key areas for the moths to lay their eggs as they favour dark spaces within close proximity to a food source. The Formula C+ Spray is good for this job as it creates a film of insecticide that remains in place for up to 12 weeks, continuously killing all stages of the life cycle. A secret weapon of the Formula C+ Spray is the Insect Growth Regulator; this works by halting the growth of the moths, which in turn leads to the inability to reproduce. After applying the Formula C+ Spray, wait 1-2 hours until it has dried before placing the wool back.

To further protect the wool, the Moth Killer Cassettes, and the Moth Killer Papers can be placed in wardrobes and drawers. These products release a chemical that kills all stages of the life cycle, including the eggs. The Moth Cassettes and Papers provide long-term protection as they remain effective for up to 6 months.

Remember: Any unprotected persons or pets (including fish) should be removed from rooms where treatment is about to take place and kept out until surfaces become dry.

According to the pest expert treatment plan: 

  1.  Apply the Formula 'C' Spray or as alternative organic moth control products such as OA2Ki Moth Spray
  2. Followed by activation of the Formula 'P' Fogger(s) or Pest Expert Formula 'P' Moth Killing Pro Fumer 7g 
  3. Finally placing Rentokil Moth Killer Hanging Units/Strips into wardrobes and drawers.


If you do not currently have a clothes moth problem and want to keep it this way the Pest Expert Moth Killer Cassettes and Strips remain effective for up to 6 months. These moth-killing products are both odourless and non-staining.

To minimise the risk of moth infestation on our wool, you can pack the wool in a vacuum-sealed pack or airtight containers. You can also add some bags of cedar chips inside the containers to keep moths away. The cedar oil in the wood repels the clothes moths. Just remember to replace it periodically as cedarwood dries out over time.

As a side note, I have never seen moths near our carded NZ wool. However, we treat our store areas regularly as a precaution.