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Finances & Money

Installing Cedar Planking to Prevent Moths

cedar closet mothsWhen my wife pulled out her wool coat this past fall, she noticed a few holes that were most likely from moths. I really despise the smell of mothballs, so I didn’t really know what to do. Luckily I have a father-in-law (FIL) who is in the loop on these types of things.

My FIL suggested putting cedar wood in some form into the closet to prevent the moths. I did a little searching and found this article on on “How to Prevent Moth Holes in Clothing” which suggested a 3-part cedar attack against the moths via:

  1. Installing cedar planking
  2. Hanging cedar bags from the clothing and/or
  3. Using cedar balls (how can you tell a male cedar tree from a female though???)

Before I even did research, though, my in-laws purchased a package of cedar planking (about a dozen pieces) for us for Christmas from the local lumber store. They also sell cedar panels, blocks and satchels at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot. The cedar smelled great, but when unpacked, it was almost overwhelming. It reminded me of my childhood when I had guinea pigs for pets with cedar chips in the cage.

I’m never sure about these “natural remedies”, but I prefer the smell of cedar to moth balls and especially potentially harmful synthetic chemicals, so I decided to nail it up in our hall closet. Unfortunately, I didn’t read that article until I wrote this article, so I didn’t even think of just laying it on the floor. Duh!

Anywho, the panels were slotted to just fit together (with a little tapping of the hammer) and only needed a nail at the top and bottom to keep them secured. Unfortunately, they didn’t reach the whole way to the floor, but that’s fine as it’s just a closet. Also, I didn’t have enough to line the entire closet, but again, it’s fine because there’s some wires on one wall of the closet the couldn’t be covered.

I was able to install the cedar planks in about 20 minutes (once I found enough thin nails in the toolbox), and I think that even if you’re not handy, you could easily do this too. Just be careful that you’re not nailing too close to a wall outlet or light switch on the other side of the way, especially if you’re using long nails. If all else fails, just lay them on the bottom like hardwood flooring.

Oh, and just a warning: Your coats will now smell like cedar, but I guess that’s better than mothballs (especially when they’re still connected to the moth!) 🙂

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Clever Dude


  • I’m fairly certain that cedar was the old-time remedy to keep moths out of wool clothing. I have no idea if it works or not, but it can’t be any worse than mothballs (never smelled ’em, never wanted to).

    Brooke: funny!

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