Clothes, moths and larvae

Oh... no.

Hundreds (!) of moth larvae in the wardrobe. Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk. Three weeks ago clothes were fine and now I got out a dress to find it covered (!) in larvae; and then realised that pretty much everything I haven't worn in the last two weeks is covered, too.

Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk. There is a bagful of clothes in the freezer now and tomorrow is going to be a major washing and vacuuming day.

Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk.

PS. And I did think there were quite a few "butterflies" around but somehow I didn't connect that to clothes-eating moths and now I've got this.

Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk.

9 comments:

  1. With the freezer make sure you cycle them in and out a few times. So 3 days in the freezer, 4 or 5 out and then repeat. They tend to eat protein fibres, so your wool, silk, cashmere and feather etc; oh, and dog fur. They will chew through plastic bags to get at things, but can't get through cellulose fibre apparently.
    The freezing won't kill the eggs unfortunately which is why you need to cycle it, the warmth on emergence from the freezer should encourage eggs to hatch, refreezing gets the larvae.
    The other way is to kill them with heat, I've never tried that myself though.
    They hate light too, so hanging things on the line and brushing them should remove most of the eggs; the larvae if they can't find any dark bits in the clothes will fall out.
    I've had them a few times in my yarn and fibre stash so I now know how to deal with them, after of course the initial swearing phase!

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    1. thanks for that! any ideas on what to do with the carpet on the floor of the wardrobe? i got all clothes out and put them in the freezer, now i am putting them through the washing machine and then back in the plastic bag, wet, to freeze for another few days - and repeat.

      but what if i've got them in the carpet now that's on the floor of the wardrobe? =S

      i haven't got a door on the wardrobe, so it's a sort of an "extension of the bedroom" and isn't sealed off, but as i've vacuumed and put the log burner on to dry everything out (it's over 30 degrees in the bedroom now...) i'm looking at this carpet and thinking, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.

      what if they're just gonna keep coming back!?

      this is so gross i'm wanting to cry.

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    2. A lot of vacuuming will probably get rid of most of the eggs and continue it regularly, especially in the edges and corners as they like the dark. It's the larvae that do the damage so if you can get to them before they get to your clothes...
      You can use things to discourage them coming back like lavender and cedar blocks/oil, but basically all those are doing is to disguise the smell of wool so they don't find it; if they're already there then they won't do a lot, so keep on top of them with the vacuuming.
      Now that it's warmer they'll be hatching faster too. You could use mothballs, but probably not a good idea in a house with The Kid and The Dog who won't understand that the things are toxic. That and you never get the smell out of your clothes :(.

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    3. Oh,and after your clothes have finished the deep freeze definitely wash them as hot as they can stand

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  2. Kadri20.9.13

    I know what you feel! I've got a moth problem at my house too: in the morning I find them sitting on the curtains, go to shower to find some walking on the towel, take my coat to see them emerging from the wardrobe... all of them imagos (="butterflies"), though. Last time I saw larvae was years ago when they had om-nommed the fur from inside of my winter boots. How to find the base station of the worms??? How to get rid of them? Maybe I should iron my carpets and throw away the vacuum cleaner in case they nest in dust.

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    1. Kadri if you can see your moths then they're probably not the clothes eating variedy; those ones hate the light and will actually flee from it so you rarely see them. Mostly the first inkling of them being around is when you pull a jersey out from the cupboard and its' got holes in it.

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    2. FYI, I just found the moth worm nest... in the kitchen cupboard! They hatch in abandoned rice and oat flakes and crawl around there.

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    3. I know I'm, like, a month late with replying to this, but I think I created my moth problem... myself. I had a bag of seeds that I kept on the floor of the wardrobe (because the kitchen cupboard was already full and I said that it's "just until summer, and then I can use them up") and I guess that's how those moths chose my wardrobe. Looking how there doesn't seem to be any of them now that I've chucked that seed bag out, and after I've learned a bit about moths, I think they weren't in that bag of seeds because it was in the wardrobe, but they were in the wardrobe BECAUSE of that bag of seeds. Or as they say in Estonian, tagantjärele tarkus.

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