Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And the Moths Won

Ack. I knew there was a problem.

I would open the coat closet door, shuffle around to find something, and a moth would flutter up.

I would open the craft closet door with a rush, and poof, another moth.

I may have dealt with the problem by killing any moths I saw, tossing in a few cedar blocks, closing the closet doors and crossing my fingers.

I realized a couple of weeks ago that it was time to finally tackle the moths head-on. We keep the wintry wools {hats, mittens, scarves} in a basket in the coat closet. I cleaned out the basket, washed the accessories and took stock of what survived. These mittens, for example ::

They didn't make the cut, and they're possibly the biggest loss of the bunch. I'm not a big mitten wearer, but that pair was perfect :: tightly knit to keep out the cold, not too thick making it easy to hold bags or dog leashes while wearing, and they were fun to look at.

Other than the mittens, we ended up with quite a few holes in some hats, most of which I think I can easily mend. And a few that I'm even excited to mend because adding a touch of color will make them more exciting.

The wool in the craft room didn't fare much better. There were skeins of natural fibers covered in moth eggs ::

With some of those, it was easy to pull off the damaged outter layers and salvage a portion of the ball. Others weren't worth saving.

Then there were the unfinished projects, like my Vivian sweater {those are holes in the beautifully-cabled hood}::
It always seemed a touch small, and so it was just sitting in the closet waiting for a zipper and/or for me to unravel it and start again.

Of course it's a bummer to lose the yarn, but I have to admit that there was something freeing about being able to just toss the Vivian sweater in the trash and not have it hanging over my shoulder. Now I can open the craft room closet doors to a smaller selection of uber-organized yarn just waiting to be knit. I'm just crying over my holey mittens.

And going forward, we've become moth-repelling experts. Trying to stay away from the toxins in mothballs, cedarwood oil has become our weapon of choice. The difference between the two methods is that the cedar oil kills the moth larvae, while moth balls are able to knock out the moths and the larvae. But a word of caution ~ you should always be careful when using highly concentrated essentials oils because they can be toxic too {in this case, it's recommended that pregnant women use caution around cedarwood oil, and so I've had Sarah step up and do all of the dirty work for me right now}.

First we thoroughly cleaned the closets as well as the infested garments and yarns. We freshened up the cedar blocks with some fresh oil. The yarns were sorted and stored in sealed plastic bags {keeping the zippered bags that sheets and comforters are sold in comes in handing for sorting and storing in these instances}. And finally, we applied the cedar oil to a few alternate surfaces, such as the inside of the basket holding our hats and mittens as well as some wooden crates that I keep in the craft room closet.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sweet Pea,
You know all that lavender you collected last summer is a natural moth repellant also. I've used it for years tucked inside bags and plastic storage totes to keep moths at bay. And it gives a lovely fragrance to the contents. Of course, if C is like Tom, you may want to separate your items. My alpha-male didn’t like the feminine fragrance on his hats and gloves =o
And we’re both waiting for the arrival of the nugget.
Love and kisses for V-day,

Lynn said...

Yikes! Bad Moths- may they be banished- I have had some attack a bag of raw wool but so far haven't had them go after the coat closet- knock on wood. Are those mittens EZ mitered mittens? Looks like a fun knit-I've always wanted to try out.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your post, I haven't dealt with moths before and after I saw the dark sweater covered in them, I knew that's what ruined a sweater. (we had a bag of cedar chips in the basket, and I thought the contents spilled). Now off to find out how to REPAIR the holes