How to Use Camphor to Repel Moths

Lorraine J. Floyd

Moths, at their best, are food for the birds and an annoyance to man. At their worst, they create holes in your clothes and linens and reproduce in your storage areas. There are several ways to repel moths. Commercial moth repellents, such as moth balls or repellent sprays, typically contain naphthalene.

Moths can wreak havoc in your closets and pantries.

If you want to use a more natural repellent, consider using camphor oil.

This recipe involves diluting the camphor essential oil, as camphor fumes are rather strong. Using a diluted mixture of oils may reduce the risk of any health complications.

  1. Create diluted camphor formula. Many massage oils or other body products use a 3 percent dilution ratio, anywhere from 10 to 15 drops of essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil. Since you are not directly using the camphor oil on your skin, you can slightly deviate from these set ratios. In 1983, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, ruled that products could only contain up to 11 percent of camphor. If you want to play it safe, use an 11 percent dilution ratio to create your mixture. Use a dropper to measure the camphor and carrier oil amounts precisely.

  2. Store mixture in a glass bottle. Tightly seal the lid and gently shake the contents of the bottle to mix the oils. You can use this oil right away. If you want to use the mixture at a later time, store the bottle in a cool, dry place.

  3. Pour several drops of the mixture on cotton balls.

  4. Create camphor bundles. Place the cotton balls in a reusable tea sachet or any thin cloth pouch. You should be able to smell a trace of the camphor through the bag since moths are repelled by its smell. Keep the top of the pouch slightly open to allow the smell to permeate the area. If you want to make the camphor bundle more attractive, you can place the cotton balls in a square of netting and tie the bundle closed with a colorful ribbon.

  5. Place the sachet in your dresser, trunk or places where moths are a problem. Place it as close to the opening as possible to prevent any moths from entering the drawer. If you want to create an extra line of defense against moths, you can create a bundle with netting and hang it from a nail above or next to the door frame of the room.

  6. Tip

    Using a strong solution, such as pouring one or two drops of the pure essential oil on the cotton balls, may result in health complications and possibly poisoning, especially for children or lactating women. Diluting camphor oil reduces the risk while still acting as a repellent. If you are using the diluted formula and it is not repelling the moths effectively, adjust the ratio slightly. You can add several more drops to the mixture.


    Try to avoid direct contact with the essential oil, especially if you have broken skin or cuts, as some people may experience irritation if their skin comes in contact with pure camphor oil.

    Keep the diluted and essential oil bottles out of the reach of children.