The power of cedar has been employed to keep out-of-season garments from turning into a pile of moth-bitten tatters since at least Ancient Greece. It’s interesting to note that many Turkish carpet stores employ cedar wood panels on their walls to prevent clothes moths from destroying their products.
According to popular belief, moths can be killed and driven far away by cedar blocks and cedar oils. Is that, however, accurate? Do you need to go out and buy a large cedar chest for your wardrobe? Are cedar blocks for moths the best solution? You’ll find out here!
What Are Cedar Blocks And Balls Used For?
Moths and other natural insects are deterred from entering your closets by the natural aroma of cedar blocks and balls. They may be easily stored inside the corners of your closet, the drawers of dressers, the shelves of your closet, and other places.
The market offers a variety of cedar blocks and cedar balls. Cedar blocks for moths, which have been employed frequently since antiquity, are known to drastically lower the emergence of the hairy insect.
Does Cedar Really Kill Moths?
According to popular belief, moths can be killed and driven far away by cedar wood and cedar oils. But the cedar will eventually stop producing its own natural oils. An old cedar chest will be much less successful at keeping moths away than a fresh chest. If larvae and pupae are already within the chest, the oil won’t harm them.
In all seriousness, cedar doesn’t kill moths, it simply distracts them by overpowering the smell of their natural target–keratin. Cedar is only a temporary solution, as the cedar oils do not last long. So, if it doesn’t last so long, why use it?
Why Use Cedar for Moth Prevention
Scientists began examining cedar’s impact on moths and carpet beetles—insects that consume fiber—around the 1920s. The Cedrus atlantica tree species is responsible for producing cedar oil and timber.
Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, which are compounds, give the oils of Cedrus atlantica a resinous, camphor-like fragrance. It is thought that the majority of cedar species are insect-repellent because up to 70% of the oils in cedar wood include these powerful chemicals.
Surprisingly, Cedrus atlantica is not the plant that is typically utilized to manufacture commercial moth repellents. It is the responsibility of cedar-scented trees like the Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), a juniper species rather than a real cedar tree.
Because of their chemical composition, the oils produced by Juniperus virginiana have characteristics with genuine cedar wood oil, such as the capacity to ward against moths.
Therefore, the next time you go shopping for cedar hangers or blocks, it’s likely that you’ll come home with a juniper in your hand rather than actual cedar wood.
How Does Cedar Work Against Moths?
But exactly how does this miraculous moth-repelling oil work? The aroma itself doesn’t do much to deter moths; rather, it masks the scent of keratin, which is a moth’s preferred food source.
Again, it’s merely a momentary diversion because cedar oil does not last very long. The effectiveness of cedar hangers, cedar blocks for moths, and sachets for your clothing and desks will last for around three months. Following that, you have two choices: either go out and buy additional cedar products, or sand down your current cedar and add extra oil.
However, the intention of this is not to discourage you from using cedar. Cedar works well as a natural substitute for something more hazardous, like mothballs. It can also be combined with other herbs and oils to increase its potency. Remember that you could choose to utilize something organic and risk-free around kids and pets.
On the topic of mothballs, if you’ve tried them and are having issues with the smell, visit our How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell in Your Home guide!
How to Use Cedar for Moths
How to Use Cedar Blocks for Moths
You can get eastern red cedar shelving or aromatic cedar blocks for moths that can be hung in the closet (which is more potent than western red cedar). Cedar blocks can also be stacked in baskets or with your folded t-shirts and sweaters.
How to Use Cedar Chips for Moths
Although cedar chips are frequently used to line dog crates and cages, there is another application for them. Put some cedar chips into a mesh bag—even a mesh laundry bag—that you can find.
So that air can pass through and spread the fragrance, hang the mesh bag in the closet. Replace the chips on a regular basis because the oils will evaporate more quickly due to the larger surface area.
How to Use Cedar Oil for Moths
Another possibility is cedar oil. If you have cedar panels or a cedar chest, you can reapply cedar oil after lightly sanding some of the wood. That will restore a portion of the effectiveness for a few months.
Another choice is to place a diffuser filled with cedar oil inside your closet or in the room. If the oil in the diffuser ever evaporates, be sure to refill it. If you don’t own a diffuser, don’t be concerned. Spraying cedar oil into the corners of the closet, adding drops to balled-up socks, or adding some to potpourri can all have the same result.
How Long Do Cedar Blocks Last?
After some time, it is fairly typical for the cedar blocks’ aroma to diminish. Good cedar blocks typically last between 3 and 7 years. Sanding the exterior of cedar blocks with sandpaper is the greatest approach to restoring their strength. If its smell disappears soon, you can do it more frequently.
Cedar vs Alternatives
What are some cedar substitutes that will function just as well? Moth balls used to be a widely used treatment for moth infestations, but that is no longer the case. The cause is a synthetic chemical found in mothballs that, when inhaled, is extremely hazardous to both humans and animals.
Pure paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene, which is what is found in moth balls, has a number of negative health effects and gives clothes a foul chemical smell. Consequently, avoid them.
Neem oil also referred to as Indian lilac might be a safer natural alternative to cedar. Numerous household insects, including clothes moths, can be repelled with the help of neem oil, which is a common ingredient in moth oil sprays. Mint, rosemary, cloves, lavender, thyme, and eucalyptus are further natural moth repellent.
Can cedar be combined with neem oil and other natural insect repellents now? No doubt. Neem and cedar oil mixed together can be sprayed all over the house. Put cedar hangers and sachets of peppermint and lavender in the closet. Place a mixture of cloves, lavender, and cedar chips close to your clothing.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do cedar blocks repel moths?
Cedar has the ability to repel insects stemming from the tree’s oil, which the clothing moth does not enjoy the smell of and so will not lay its eggs in areas where the cedar scent is strong. The oil’s strength is crucial as it has the potential to evaporate, and its aroma will fade with time.
How do you use cedar blocks for moths?
They will add a lovely perfume to your closet and help ward off insects when placed in pockets, among your clothing storage, or hung on coat hooks. An occasional mild sandpaper massage will help to restore the scent and freshness.
How long do cedar blocks last?
Some cedar blocks may only last 6 months, while good cedar blocks can last up to 3 to 7 years. You can simply refresh them with our natural cedar blend refresher spray. Between refreshes, you can also renew the natural aroma of your cedar blocks by sanding lightly with sandpaper.