How much does it cost to exterminate moths?
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Moth Extermination Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Moth infestations are not only a nuisance but can cost a homeowner a large amount of money. When moths are left unchecked, they can destroy hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of clothing, furniture, carpeting, and more. The pests also contaminate food items and can create a lot of food waste. Early pest control interventions can stop moths from multiplying inside the home, which is why most people will enlist the help of a professional to exterminate moths.
The average cost to exterminate moths costs $100 to $200. The average homeowner spends around $150 on a professional fumigation treatment of a kitchen or pantry for moth extermination using chemicals or heat treatment. The lowest anticipated cost with the use of parasitic wasps is $90 to treat a small infestation. At the high end of the spectrum, some homeowners spend as much as $500 on the treatment of a 1,500 sq.ft. home with a serious infestation.
Moth Pest Control
|Moth Extermination Cost|
|National average cost||$150|
Moth Treatment Cost per Sq.Ft.
Although most treatments are classified as a single contract, some exterminators also charge a sq.ft. rate for moth treatment and removal. The cost ranges from $0.10 to $0.25 per sq.ft. In some cases, exterminators only charge per sq.ft. when the space is larger than 1,000 sq.ft. They may charge smaller areas than that at a flat cost. In the table below, you will see the costs of getting moth treatment for various sizes of homes or rooms.
|Size of Room/Home||Cost per Visit|
|500 sq.ft.||$100 - $200|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$100 - $250|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$150 - $375|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$200 - $500|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$250 - $625|
Moth Extermination Costs by Method
You will spend between $90 and $350 for simple moth extermination based on the method chosen. If the space is over 1,500 sq.ft. or the infestation is severe, your costs may vary. Usually, a moth exterminator evaluates the situation before determining the best treatment. They do this based on the size of the infestation and the location of the moths. Chemical treatment and fumigation are the most popular. Parasitic wasps are cheap; however, they may not provide a straightforward solution. In the table and sections below, you will see more information about each method and its costs.
|Method||Cost (per Treatment)|
|Parasitic Wasps||$90 - $100|
|Chemical Treatment||$100 - $250|
|Heat Treatment||$120 - $300|
|Fumigation||$150 - $350|
Parasitic Wasps for Moth Control
Treatment with Trichogramma wasps averages $90 to $100 per treatment or visit. A certain species of wasps called Trichogramma are used to remove moths from a property. Trichogramma wasps are small, with approximately half a dozen of the parasites able to fit on a pin. The wasps target the eggs of moths by laying their own eggs and preventing the pests from hatching into caterpillars. Since the parasitic wasps interrupt the life cycle of the moth, the method is highly effective. This can be dangerous in some cases because you are releasing another pest into your home and will then need to make sure that the wasps are properly and fully removed from the home. This process is unique in that cards or containers with the Trichogramma eggs are placed throughout the home. Within three to ten days, the wasps emerge and do their job of eliminating the infestation by interrupting the lifecycle of clothes moths and other species. These creatures are not dangerous to humans or pets. Many exterminators tell you that you can resume normal activities once the eggs are in place. These wasps only live for about 14 days after emergence and are small enough that four or five fit on the head of a pin. A follow-up appointment may be required four to six weeks after releasing the wasps to confirm the removal of moths from the area.
Moth Chemical Treatment
Expect to pay around $100 to $250 for a single pesticide treatment in a standard-size yard. Outdoor pesticides are an option for those who need to remove moths from their lawns or crops. With a professional application, the contractor sprays the pesticide over the infested area of your yard. Chemical agents such as esfenvalerate or bifenthrin are often used to target outdoor moths. Chemical treatments designed for outdoor use should not be used indoors. Be sure to discuss the location of your infestation to determine the best treatment method.
Moth Heat Treatment
Expect to pay $120 to $300 when heat treatments are used for moth extermination. Heat treatment for moths works similar to the heat extermination methods used for bed bugs. To get rid of moths, technicians expose the pests to a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. However, to confirm all moths and their eggs are eliminated, pest control specialists usually apply the treatment for at least an hour. These high temperatures kill the moths. The process is usually done without the homeowners present. Fortunately, this usually only takes a few hours, so homeowners will not be displaced for long.
The average cost for fumigation is $150 to $350. Moth fumigation is another method offered by professional exterminators. The technicians ask all residents to leave the home for at least a few hours while powerful pesticides are used to kill moths, larvae, and eggs. Some infestations may require homeowners to stay away for a day or longer. Fumigations are very effective since the pesticides penetrate hard-to-reach areas such as carpets, closets, drawers, and small crevices within the walls. Pest specialists instruct residents regarding which items are safe to leave in the home before treatment.
Moth Extermination Cost by Frequency
The cost of moth extermination based on the frequency of treatment ranges from $100 to $500, depending on the terms and contract you choose. Many people opt for a one-time visit, which is the price used to calculate the costs in this guide. However, many exterminators and pest control services offer monthly, yearly, and even quarterly service contracts to eliminate pests and provide preventive treatment to keep them from coming back. Discuss this with your pest control provider because choosing a contract may be more cost-effective than a single visit. In the table below, you will see a breakdown of the costs of each type of contract.
|Frequency||Cost per Year (1.500 Sq.Ft. House)|
|Yearly Contract||$100 - $500|
|One-Time Visit||$200 - $300|
|Quarterly Contract||$250 - $350|
|Monthly Contract||$250 - $500|
Average Cost of Moth Extermination by Level of Infestation
Depending on the size of your infestation, you will spend between $90 and $500 to eradicate moths. Most experts help you determine the level of your infestation to see just how much it costs ahead of time so that you are prepared. Typically, the larger the infestation, the more you pay for removal. However, the costs could also be determined by where the moths are in relation to their severity. For example, it may be relatively inexpensive to get rid of a small infestation of pantry moths. Yet, you may spend more to get rid of a large infestation of yard moths or those that have infiltrated the entirety of your home. The table below shows a breakdown of the costs based on how severe the infestation is.
|Level of Infestation||Average Cost (per Treatment)|
|Small||$90 - $100|
|Medium||$100 - $200|
|Large||$200 - $400|
|Severe||$400 - $500|
Moth Treatment Cost by Type
Most people spend between $90 and $300 to remove moths based on their type or classification. Fumigation costs vary based on the type of moth targeted by the pest control specialist. For instance, you would not eliminate pantry moths using the same products as clothes moths. Therefore, it is important to identify the infestation to quote a treatment price accurately. The following are common species of moths and the average cost to remove them from a residence.
|Moth Type||Cost of Removal (per Treatment)|
|Lawn||$90 - $130|
|House||$100 - $150|
|Winter||$100 - $150|
|Gypsy||$100 - $150|
|Codling||$100 - $150|
|Oriental Fruit||$100 - $150|
|Potato Tuber||$100 - $150|
|Pantry||$150 - $200|
|Carpet||$150 - $200|
|Boxwood||$150 - $200|
|Clothes||$150 - $250|
|Rice||$150 - $250|
|Wax||$175 - $300|
Lawn Moth Treatment
The cost to treat a standard-size lawn is around $90 to $130. Lawn moths are a type of outdoor moth with larvae that feed on grass leaves. The moths are hard to spot since they are usually most active at dusk and during the evening hours. However, you will usually notice them if your grass has random brown spots or starts dying. If you are out at dusk, you may notice the actual moths on your lawn. A few may not be problematic, but if they are taking over, it may be time to seek professional extermination assistance.
House Moth Treatment
Parasitic wasps, heat treatment, and fumigation may be considered for house moth control at a cost from $100 to $150. The house moth, also known as the brown moth, is native to Asia and is linked to causing significant interior and exterior damage to a residence. House moths produce larvae with voracious appetites. They feed on clothing and pantry food items. House moths are common. Although they can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked, they are typically fairly easy to eliminate.
Winter Moth Control
The treatment of winter moths costs around $100 to $150. Winter moths are a rare moth species with high activity during the fall and winter months. During the winter months, they tend to feed on trees and shrubs outdoors and damage your landscaping. This species is fairly simple to eradicate, usually involving treatment of the trees and/or yards that they inhabit. These are typically considered an outdoor extermination, which relies on chemical treatments or organic control using various bacteria.
Gypsy Moth Control
Gypsy moths are typically treated during the spring months with an insecticide at an average cost of $100 to $150 per application. The gypsy moth has become a major invasive species in the United States and is linked to the destruction of many trees each year. The chemical treatment of gypsy moth infested areas is the only proven effective method to remove the pests. If you have this kind of problem in your yard, you will want to call a professional as soon as possible.
Codling Moth Control
For a standard application of insecticides to remove the codling moth, the cost is around $100 to $150. Large treatment areas are subject to a higher cost. Codling moths are an outdoor pest that poses a threat to agricultural crops. The bugs prefer fruit crops and feast on apples, pears, and other fruit-bearing trees. If you have a farm or orchard, you may discover issues with these moths in your crops and need to seek professional intervention before they cause irreparable damage and a loss of your profits.
Oriental Fruit Moth Control
The cost to exterminate oriental fruit moths in small treatment areas is between $100 and $150. The oriental fruit moth is a type of pest originating from Asia. The pest is now found in regions around the United States that grow fruit. The larvae consume the fruit and can damage the crops. Again, those with orchards or farms typically encounter these moths. The good news is that they are relatively easy to eradicate with chemical fumigation and other treatments.
Potato Tuber Moth Control
For potato tuber moth control in a small area, expect to pay around $100 to $150 for pesticide applications. Potato tuber moth control is very important for those who grow potato crops. Besides potatoes, the pest also feeds on crops such as tomatoes and eggplants. Some people find potato tuber moths already in potatoes in their homes. At which point, it may become necessary to treat the entire home for moth removal. Typically, though, these are outdoor pests that can be eradicated by chemical or organic fumigation.
Pantry Moth Extermination
On average, pantry moth extermination costs between $150 and $200. Pantry moths also are called Indian meal moths or grain moths. Pantry moths tend to nest in cabinets within a kitchen that offers a convenient food source. Pantry moths extermination is challenging for pest control specialists. The larvae of pantry moths can survive months without food, making them difficult to remove. Fumigation methods can be used on pantry moths, but all food may need to be thrown out prior to treatment. Therefore, you could actually spend more on the cost of this treatment because of all the food that needs replacing.
Carpet Moth Treatment
Carpet moth extermination ranges between $150 and $200 for single room treatment. Multiple carpets increase the cost of carpet moth infestation treatment. Most homeowners that have carpet moths first notice the damage, such as holes in their flooring. Pest control technicians are likely to use heat treatments or fumigation products to get rid of carpet moths. If the infestation is severe or the carpet is old and needs to be replaced, some professionals might suggest carpet replacement or repair instead of or along with treatment.
Boxwood Moth Treatment
The average cost of boxwood moth control for a small area is $150 to $200. The boxwood moth is an outdoor pest with caterpillars that feed on the leaves and bark of boxwood trees. For boxwood moth treatment, you need a professional to apply a pesticide that eliminates the caterpillars of the moth without damaging the tree. This pest is stubborn and mostly found in the spring months. It can become an infestation quickly if you do not treat the issue, causing tree damage and perhaps even the need for tree removal.
Clothes Moth Treatment
Whole-room fumigation is typically needed to remove clothes moths from a property with an average cost range of $150 to $250. Clothes moths are year-round pests with larvae that feed on clothing fibers. A sub-species of the clothes moth, the webbing clothes moth, will be eliminated from the residence in the same manner. Webbing clothes moths are the most common type of clothes moth located in the United States. Bear in mind that you may also incur the cost of replacing any clothing damaged by these pests, which adds to the expense.
Rice Moth Control
The cost of fumigation treatments used for rice moth control ranges from $150 to $250. Rice moths are small pests that earn their name due to their preference for dried pantry goods such as rice and cereals. Caterpillars normally feed on these items as they invade a homeowner’s kitchen. In addition to eliminating the infestation, you must throw out any contaminated food and replace groceries once the problem has been completely resolved. These moths are common but a little more difficult to eradicate because of their invasion methods.
Wax Moth Treatment
Wax moth treatment will usually cost around $175 to $300. Wax moths are primarily outdoor pests that target beehives. The moth can be a headache for beekeepers. If a colony is thriving within the beehive, wax moths can sometimes get eliminated naturally. If you struggle with wax moths in your yard or are a beekeeper that has discovered an issue with these moths, contact a pest control expert right away to have them eradicated.
Average Cost of Moth Treatment by Location
You will spend between $100 and $500 to eradicate moths based on the treatment location. Accessibility can become an issue for pest control specialists. Moths in hard-to-reach areas may require multiple visits by the technician to confirm moths are eliminated from the home. Pest control specialists may recommend monthly follow-up treatments until adult moths, larvae, and eggs are removed. In addition, it is cheaper to remove moths outdoors and in small spaces that are easily accessible. Moths in the walls or an entire house infestation could be much more expensive because of the extra work involved.
|Location||Treatment Cost (per Treatment)|
|Grass||$100 - $300|
|Bathroom||$120 - $200|
|Closet||$120 - $200|
|Outdoors (Other than Grass)||$150 - $500|
|Bedroom||$130 - $200|
|Pantry||$150 - $300|
|Walls||$200 - $400|
|Entire House||$375 - $500|
All About Moths
Moths often have the nickname nighttime butterflies due to their similarities with butterflies. Lifespans and nesting habits are similar between the species. Moths have different lifespans depending on the species. Some moths only live a few short weeks while others can survive up to one year. They are versatile and can live in climates and areas all over the world. Some moths, like fruit moths, only reside in fruit-bearing regions.
A surprising fact is that moths outnumber butterflies substantially with estimates that there are nine times as many moths compared to butterflies. The moths are important pollinators to plants such as orchids and yucca and carry pollen from flower to flower during the evening hours. Some moths don’t have mouths because they don’t eat as adults and die a few days after emerging from their cocoons.
Signs of a Moth Infestation
Moth infestations can be frustrating when you notice the pests in your home. Moths can cause substantial damage in a short time. It is essential to look for the early signs of a moth infestation. Besides visible moths, caterpillars, or moth eggs, you may also find signs that moths are infiltrating your home. For example, some people have identified damage in clothing or furniture before seeing a single moth. Other signs include dying or brown grass and crop damage for outdoor infestations, and carpet holes, silk-like tunnels on clothing or furniture with indoor infestations. If you notice any of these signs, you should call a pest control professional right away.
How to Prevent Moths in the House
Like most pests, you can help prevent moths in the house by keeping the kitchen tidy. Never leave food items out and always store dry pantry goods in airtight containers. Wipe down the interior of cabinets often to remove any food crumbs.
Never store old boxes in the home. If you store seasonal clothing items in boxes, make sure the containers are sealed tightly using packing tape. Plastic bins are preferable for clothing storage. Mothballs may be used to protect clothing from pests, but they do have a pungent odor. Certain essential oils can act as a deterrent to moths such as lavender, peppercorn, rosemary, and mint.
Where Do Moths Lay Eggs?
Moths lay up to 50 eggs that measure about the size of a pin. The eggs are laid over a period of four days up to three weeks. The moths lay eggs in clothing fibers, carpets, food items, lawns, and trees. Moths prefer laying their eggs on the bark of trees in the winter. In the spring, the eggs hatch, and the larvae have immediate access to a reliable food source. Clothes moths don’t consume fabrics but lay their eggs on clothing and carpets to provide their larvae with sustenance.
Are Moths Dangerous?
Moths pose very little danger, but they can contaminate food sources. The biggest threat is if a human accidentally eats moth eggs or larvae. Some species can cause a person to become seriously ill if consumed. This is rare and only occurs with moths that have visible hairs and spines, according to Healthline. According to the National Library of Medicine, certain moth caterpillars are linked to causing severe allergic and asthmatic reactions in humans. The reaction is linked to the tiny hairs found on the caterpillar’s body. Moths rarely bite, but certain larvae have been known to attack humans. For instance, bites from the Lonomia have been linked to human fatalities.
Moth damage is usually minimal if the pests are caught early on. Most damage relates to moths in clothing pieces. The larvae will munch through the fibers and leave moth holes in shirts. Replacing clothing pieces damaged by moths can be costly, depending on how much the clothing cost originally.
Moths damage the carpet when their hatched larvae consume the fibers. If the moths damage your carpet, replacement may be needed. On average, you may spend around $150 to $300 for carpet repair. Moth lawn damage could also become an issue after an infestation of grass-eating larvae. Lawns may need seeding to stimulate growth. Furthermore, new crops may need to be replaced if the moths targeted any of your plantings. Lawn seeding could cost $700 to $2,000, depending on the size of the lawn and materials chosen.
Moths vs Butterflies
The difference between moths and butterflies begins with their appearances. Butterflies have more vibrant colors, while most moths are brown or gray. Butterflies rest with their wings open, but moths rest with the wings closed. The antennae of a moth have a feather-like appearance while butterflies have long and thin antennae. Butterflies are most active during the daytime, and moths come out mostly at night. Moths are affected by light sources, while butterflies don’t congregate near artificial light sources. Also, the type of cocoon spun is different between moths and butterflies. Moths create silken cocoons with a delicate appearance. Butterflies form hardened pupa to make their metamorphosis.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Licenses. Only use pest control specialists with licensed technicians. These technicians are approved to use commercial-grade pest control products.
- DIY. Over-the-counter traps don’t target the underlying issue causing the greatest infestation. The traps only catch live bugs and not the larvae and eggs to stop the life cycle.
- Cedar cabinetry. The oils of the woods in cedar cabinets and chests can act as a deterrent against clothes moths. However, the oils only kill larvae and not the adult moths or eggs. Most people still require a pest control professional to control an infestation.
- Travel fees. If you live out of the company’s service area, an extra fee will be assessed. Some pest control companies charge $1 to $3 for every mile outside of their standard service area.
- What causes moths in the house?
Moths are attracted to certain factors in a home or yard. Pantry moths will usually enter a home by infesting cereals, grains, and other dried goods. Pantry and other types of kitchen moths can also enter a home by hiding inside grocery bags. Once inside the home, the pests multiply, and the infestation grows. Moths may also get inside the home through an open window. Homes that have entrances with porch lights or spotlights could attract moths. Artificial lighting is an attractant to moths with the pests gathering around the light sources.
- How to identify a moth?
Identifying moths is usually not difficult. Most have a brown, gray, or reddish color. The house pests most people know are small in size. Their wingspans measure less than an inch, although some are larger. Regardless of their size, they invade specific areas of a residence, traditionally closets, kitchens, and pantries. These nocturnal creatures may not be obvious during the day. Their eggs usually have a cream-colored appearance that hatch into white, fuzzy caterpillars. Most species grow up to have feathery antennae and delicate scales that fall off if touched.
- How do you get rid of a moth infestation?
The easiest and most effective way to get rid of a moth infestation is to call a pest control professional. They will know which is the best method to exterminate them and eliminate the problem.
- How do you know if you have a moth infestation?
Live bugs can be a simple sign of a new moth infestation. Any unexplained damage to clothing items, furniture, and your carpet could indicate moths have entered the house.
- How long do moths live in a house?
Most only live for a few weeks, but some species have a lifespan of up to 12 months.
- Butterfly Conservation. “Lives of moths.”
- College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. “Wax Moth IPM."
- Entomology at the University of Kentucky. “Clothes Moths."
- Entomology Today. “Up Close and Personal With Venomous Moths."
- FIXR Cost Guides and Cost Database.
- Healthline. “Do Moths Bite?"
- Library of Congress. “How can you tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth?"
- National Library of Medicine. “Respiratory allergy to moth: the importance of sensitization to Bombyx mori in children with asthma and rhinitis."
- The Spruce. “How to Get Rid of Moths Naturally.”
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.