It’s that time of year again – spring-cleaning!
Today I’d like to introduce you to a naturally aromatic repellent to protect your clothing from insects and pests such as moths. Let’s see if we can utilise the power of plants to repel these invaders away from our closets and wardrobes!
Many wardrobes and other items of bedroom furniture are made of wood. Those made of natural wood are especially regarded as being of good quality. It is said that natural wood has antiseptic and bactericidal qualities to work as an insect repellent, and the ability to suppress moisture is particularly suitable for preserving clothing.
It is said that natural essential oils that reside in trees have strong insecticidal, antiseptic and bactericidal actions. In this way, using essential oils makes it possible to protect clothing from insect pests.
Essential oils derived from wood such as sandalwood and pine are often excellent in their sterilizing, antibacterial and natural insecticidal effects, but let’s look at the mite-removing effect of cedarwood in particular. There are many varieties of cedarwood, but experimental results suggest that cedrol, contained in red cedar (juniperus virginiana), has the best mite-sterilizing effect. Cedar balls and blocks which have been processed with red cedar are also available on the market, and if you put them in your closet or storage you can use them to prevent ticks in your clothes, especially if you coat them with essential oil.
By the way, research has shown that the essential oil of the Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara) is suitable for exterminating houseflies.
Vetiver has been reported to have a termite-controlling effect. It is said that vetiver is high in its sustaining power of scent, and its repellent effect works at a very low concentration (dilution rate: 0.0025%!). This report also refers to the insecticidal power of clove-buds against termites. There are also reports that vetiver has the effect of keeping cockroaches and ticks away. Vetiver is a rich and earthy scent, and if blended with other essential oils the blend will last a long time due to vetiver’s odour-retaining qualities. For those who do not like its fragrance, it can exert an insect-repellent effect even at low concentrations.
Camphor is a familiar sight in Japan. It is an insect repellent used to protect clothing from being consumed by insects or other creatures during the seasons they’re not being worn. Camphor is a natural essential oil derived from the camphor tree, and has been reported to have a repellent effect on moths and their larvae. It is also effective for exterminating cockroaches and rats. Camphor is characterized by its sharp scent, but it is necessary to be sure that pregnant women, children or those with epilepsy do not inhale its odour to any great extent.
Herbs are also recommended for scenting the closet. Studies have shown that peppermint and eugenol have a repellent effect against moths. Since eugenol is the main ingredient of clove, it may be possible to use peppermint or cloves instead of camphor.
In the UK, lavender sachets are traditionally used to keep insects away from clothing. There is a mild repellent effect on carpet beetles, which are pests that adhere to clothes. There is also a healing effect within the scent, so it will also create a nicer ambience in the room.