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moth menace

Several years ago, my old gaff was attacked by moths. Well, some of my jumpers were, but they were in my house. Anyway, I have remained undisturbed by moths ever since, but to be on the safe side have always stocked drawers, airing cupboard and wardrobe with natural moth repellent. But will this be enough? Because in recent weeks, I've noticed several moths creeping around - and they're the nasty little clothes-eating ones, not the fluttery ones. I have no idea how to get rid of them - do you?

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
cangetmad
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:04 am (UTC)
No, but sympathy because we were infested for TWO YEARS and the little buggers ate my favourite jumper. I think in the end we examined every single piece of fabric in our house (open every plastic bag because it turns out they mostly have a sheet or rug in them - who knew?), threw away anything that may ever have seen a moth, washed everything else twenty times, and washed the insides of drawers and wardrobes with something smelly.

And now my workplace has an infestation and we can't work out what they're eating. But I spend half my day killing them with my fingernails.
stellanova
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC)
I stomp on them! And hit them with books.

Luckily I haven't seen any in drawers and cupboards yet, but they're marching about on the floor, which freaks me out. Perhaps they're living on dust or something. Ugh, I hate them.
cangetmad
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:18 am (UTC)
What's your carpet made of? They eat carpet (*snigger*) if it's got wool ar anything nice in it, so maybe you need to shampoo that?
stellanova
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)
Fnaar, fnaar!

We don't actually have any carpet in the bedroom, which is where they seem to be lurking. Ugh, just thinking about them is creeping me out. I want to run home and disinfect everything.
cangetmad
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:28 am (UTC)
Weird! Seriously, turn out your bedroom - I bet there's some random bit of fabric they're glomping onto. Mind you, we can't figure out what's attracting them at work - they're coming out of the storeroom behind the toilet, but there's nothing tempting or mothy-looking in there. There are, however, two cases of Stella, a box of assorted wine, and a pink cowboy hat. This place is wasted on me.
stellanova
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC)
They seem to be lurking near the bed (but not in it, thank Jeebus) - perhaps it's dust between the floorboards? Apparently they do like dust, and paper.
blue_monday
Mar. 12th, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
Are there central heating pipes under the floorboards? Apparently, they sometimes like to live in pipe lagging because it's warm and dry.

Weird though.
ultraruby
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:08 am (UTC)
We got totally attacked by moths once. Pretty much all my clothes were in a suitcase and when we opened it the whole thing was wriggling and fluttering and....ugh. Though we try to be environmentally sound and kind to beasties we eventually got rid of the problem with standard pound shop moth balls. They smell awful but they do seem to work, along with general vigilance of picking moths off clothes and throwing them out of windows.
stellanova
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)
I remember the moth ball smell being quite overpowering, all right. Luckily the little bastards don't seem to have infected the cupboards (yet) and have confined themselves to the floor and under the bed, but I will be ever vigilant.
cleanskies
Mar. 12th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
eggs can lie dormant for a long while
And the bastards like dust, so if you've ruled out any lost pieces of dirty fabric (socks, rags on pipes, flannels gone astray) they might just be living on some fabric-rich dust, like the stuff that comes off towels or out of carpets.

Dusting, cleaning and killing every moth you see without fail will help. Scrubbing down floors with antibacterial wipes and spraying insecticide around the skirting boards might help. Horrible but helpful is trying to figure out what they're breeding under. They like fabric (preferably a bit dirty) and/or dust, a narrow space, and a little moisture. Likely haunts include: under the bathmat; under shiny books piled on a carpet; under a futon; under anything flat and metallic on a carpet, e.g. a lamp base; cracks and crevices in your hoover; between floorboards...

Boiling water kills any stage dead, but a hot cycle in a washing machine should usually do the job. Wipe down surfaces with antibacterial wipes, steam out carpet infestations, upholstery or dry-clean garments with an iron on a damp cloth.

Or move house. That worked for me.
stellanova
Mar. 12th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
Re: eggs can lie dormant for a long while
Oh Christ, it's not looking good if more than one person has suggested moving as the only solution! I have a feeling the little fuckers might be under the futon - we have a futon base with a proper mattress on it - as they do seem to be emerging from near the bed...
cleanskies
Mar. 12th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
have to say
I did not find moth balls effective -- nor the various cedar-wood thingummies and aromatherapy oils I was recommended, either. Perhaps they need to be in an enclosed space? Only savage, direct action worked.

On an optimistic note, I did manage to demoth both futon and futon base and they're both fine now (albeit in a different house). Oh! Watch out for slippers and soft toys -- moths love felt.
stellanova
Mar. 12th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
Re: have to say
How exactly do you steam stuff? I'm now worrying that they might have got the lovely old footstool/pouffe that is in my room but I'd be scared of damaging it by getting an iron near it.
leedy
Mar. 12th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: have to say
You can get a special steam-cleaning device that just jets out steam without touching the thing you're steaming - lazy_hoor has one, AFAIR.

Also, argh, sympathies on the mothiness.
cleanskies
Mar. 12th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
I'd worry too much about getting something like that damp (moths love damp) to take a steamer to it. I'd check it out by eye and then brush along the seams/piping to dislodge dust then hoover it all over to lift dust out of the fabric.

If you find any moth worms (they're what does the damage -- little worms in white silk cocoons, about a centimetre long) they can be hoovered off or brushed off with a soft cloth. Always hoover afterwards to lift any eggs (they're really too small to notice).

Something often used/in plain view isn't very attractive to moths, so I expect the footstall's fine. Far more likely they're somewhere seldom visited, like in the dust caught inbetween your futon base and the floorboards.
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