Do Moths Eat Denim Jeans? (+ Protection)

Moths are a common problem for people with clothing or fabrics they want to protect. One way to do this is to use mothballs.

However, there are some questions about whether or not moths can eat denim.

Do Moths Eat Denim Jeans?

Generally, moth larvae prefer to feast on animal-based fibers that contain keratin. So, they usually don’t eat 100% cotton clothes.

The real denim is made of pure cotton, so they will not eat it unless it is damp or shows evidence of food or sweat stains. However, it is at risk since most jeans are made from cotton blends.

About Denim

Denim is a cotton twill fabric often used for jeans and other clothing items. It is a very strong fabric and can be resistant to pests.

They are attracted to the brightly-colored threads in denim, making them a popular prey item.

Although there is some question about whether or not they can eat denim, there are many ways to protect your jeans from these pests.

Can Moths Eat Denim?

cloth moth
Clothing moth. Credit: canva

They are attracted to light and dark colors, so they are commonly found near things with high contrast, like black and white stripes on denim. However, moth larvae cannot digest the cellulose in denim, so it is harmless.

If you have any concerns about your clothing, you can try using a repellent or keeping your clothing stored in a sealed container if it’s not worn.

What are the Reasons Moths Eat Denim?

denim jeans
Denim jeans. Credit: canva

There are multiple reasons why they might choose to eat denim.

Some may find the material appetizing because of the chemicals used in its production. Others may simply be drawn to the light and dark colors of the fabric.

Whatever the reason, the larvae will consume a good amount of denim over time, potentially leading to damage or even destruction of the fabric.

How to Protect Your Jeans from Moths


There are a few things that you can do to protect your denim.

  • First, ensure the jeans are stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Second, ensure that the mothproofing material is applied properly to the jeans.
  • Third, avoid storing items such as wigs and leathers with your jeans.

How to Prevent Moths From Eating Your Clothes

How to Prevent Moths From Eating Your Clothes
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

There are a few things that you can do to help prevent the damage to your clothes.

  • Make sure that your clothes are stored in a warm and dry place.
  • Use moth-repelling sprays or powders to keep them away.
  • Don’t forget to vacuum and regularly clean your clothing, so the monthly population is reduced overall.

What to Do If You’ve Already Lost Clothing to a Moth Infestation

If you have clothing lost to infestation, the first step is to determine if the clothing is salvageable. Check for holes or tears in the fabric and look for any indications that larvae or eggs were present when the clothing was lost.

If the clothing is not salvageable, you may need to dispose of it to prevent re-infestation. Insecticides can be used to treat areas where they are present, but be aware that they can also be harmful if misapplied.

If you have any questions about dealing with it, please contact your local pest control company or extension service.


What Kills Moths Instantly?

Insectrol Powder is an effective insecticide that kills them quickly. Cedar is the best for natural repellents. Lavender comes next.

How Does Vinegar Get Rid of Moths?

Vinegar gets rid of them because they hate the vinegar’s smell. It’s not an effective method, but it does work. Vinegar has an extremely strong odor that will keep them away from the affected area and clean the area from dirt, debris, eggs, and larvae.

What Fabrics Do Moths Eat?

They eat all kinds of fabrics, including cotton, wool, silk, rayon, linen, polyester, nylon, acrylics, and blends. They will not eat natural fibers such as hemp, bamboo, jute, flax, etc.

How Long Do Clothes Moths Live?

They live anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on the material they eat. They usually begin eating on clothing after being exposed for several hours to sunlight.

To keep your clothes safe from their teeth, hang them inside out.

What Do Moths Hate?

Many of them simply cannot tolerate the smell of herbs, including mint, lavender, bays, clove, rosemary, and thymes. You can use these ingredients to create natural repelling sprays for your home.

How Do I Know If Moths are Eating My Clothes?

The best way to tell if they are eating your clothes is to look at them closely. Small holes will be visible along the edges of the cloth.

To prevent further damage, remove the affected items from direct sunlight and store them in an airtight container away from other items.

Why Do Moths Eat the Front of Clothes?

The front of clothes attracts them because they like shiny things. It wants to eat the shiny part when it lands on a piece of clothing. If it eats the front of the shirt, it gets stuck inside it and dies.

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