Sunday, August 15, 2010

Moth Infestation Woes

My reply to an e-mail I recently received -Any and all comments on the subject are appreciated.

Tamra, I currently have an infestation of moths at my place and would appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you. N

Dear N,
I am currently soliciting input from fellow spinning guild members who may have weathered moth infestations, as well as those who have successfully prevented them and hopefully will have great advice in a few months. You don't have a few months, though. A friend of mine wrote this about her experience with a moth infestation. I too have faced this issue, and based on advice and conversations with wiser and more experienced persons, this is what I did and suggest: Get rid of all yarns and fiber in stash with any signs of moths. For me this was a pair of felted slippers (worn and therefore dirty and therefore REALLY infested), several sweaters, part of a full fleece (I seriously inspected it outside in the sunlight and threw away the parts with moth signs, then washed all my fleeces), and lots of yarns and fabrics. I had batts in plastic that escaped it pretty much but I laid them out on the picnic table and went over them REALLY well and then put them back into plastic bags (I still keep checking them). An old cedar chest (I think its cedar oils were gone or something) was a metropolis of moths and I tossed an old pieced wool quilt top, among other things in there, that had been seriously damaged. Inspect, clean and purge. It hurts, but just do it. Air all natural fibers, seal in air tight plastics with aromatic herbs, and clean for preventing future sadness -this is my strategy now. Clean is good, but I'm not so good at clean. All the yarns and wool things that I take out frequently (my farmer's market wares and current projects) were moth free, but the things stored away and left for a long time were destroyed, as were uncleaned clothes. Storing sweaters, yarn and such in air tight plastic seems to work pretty well to prevent damage and newish cedar pieces (you can buy them at hardware stores) and lavender both seem to be good and safe deterrents. Moth balls are lethal but rather scary to have around humans, so I have avoided using them. I have heard there are pheromone traps that I am interested in trying but haven't yet. I hope this is somewhat helpful. Best of luck to you. -Tamra

1 comment:

  1. New suggestion: If you suspect moths you may also freeze items for a week in a standard freezer. Steam clean rugs and furniture.