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Clothes moths and 40 weeks pregnant...what excellent timing....

(11 Posts)
LemonDrizzleCake11 Tue 04-Feb-14 16:53:32

So in an attempt to pretend that I have channel the 'nesting' instinct I decided to sort out DH wardrobe yesterday. In the bottom was a carrier bag of jumpers I'd lumped together a year ago in protest that they needed dry cleaning and I was not going to sort them out. On opening them, they were full of holes and had a few 'strandy' bits on them. I binned the lot of them and dismissed it as they'd been put away dirty.

Today I decided to tackle my wardrobe. I had a box in the bottom of clothes I don't wear much, and found a cashmere sweater with lots of holes in it and the synthetic hoodie underneath covered in what I have now identified as clothes moth lavae (thanks Mr Google)

I've chucked the sweater and washed the rest of the contents of the box on a 60 degree wash, and have been through the rest of my wardrobe and could only find a solitary lavae on one jumper (other cashmere things and wooly things fine)

My dilemma now is what to do about it.... if I weren't 40 weeks pregnant I think I'd take the room apart and use this but since I am and baby will be sleeping in here when born I'm not sure what to do... should I go for the nuclear option in the link above, or cross fingers it was a limited infestation?

BTW I am aware baby should be arriving any day but if they follow their sibling they will require medical coaxing into the world in about a fortnights time... unless the stress of clothes moths gets to my uterus which might almost make an infestation worthwhile as I'm fed up of being so huge

wightjellybaby Tue 04-Feb-14 16:58:59

Grannys use lavender bags as a natural deterrent if you dont want the chemicals

cloutiedumpling Wed 05-Feb-14 12:26:45

We had moths eighteen months ago. I would wash all woollen and silk clothes, whether they show signs of moths or not. If anything is dry clean only, I'd stick it outside on the washing line to blow about for a good long time. I've read that the larvae are quite fragile so often fall off clothes if they are hung outside. You can also put clothes in the freezer to kill the larvae, although we never have space in ours. I bought moth killer hangers from Lakeland and John Lewis which smelled of lavender. I know they had chemicals in them but I couldn't smell them. There are non-chemical remedies available but I know a lot of people don't think they work. Good luck. I felt sick when I found the damage they had done in my wardrobe.

specialsubject Wed 05-Feb-14 12:39:05

(boards the hobby horse...) everything has chemicals in it. Chemicals are falling out of the sky as we speak. Lavender is a chemical.

what you want is something that is ok for use with a pregnant woman or a small baby in the house. Freezing seems the harmless option.

cloutiedumpling Wed 05-Feb-14 12:49:43

The biggest problem can be the larvae - moths like dark spaces and so will often crawl into cracks and corners in wardrobes. You will need to empty the wardrobe and clean it properly. If you don't want to use a kitchen or bathroom cleaner you could use washing up liquid + water.

LemonDrizzleCake11 Wed 05-Feb-14 14:56:32

Thanks for the advice. I'm in the process of washing everything (not the 'optional' nesting I was hoping for) and have started to have a blitz on the wardrobes... problem is they are built in, circa 1900 and are more crevices than solid surfaces.

And even all this stress and cleaning doesn't seem to be encouraging the baby to arrive!

PigletJohn Wed 05-Feb-14 15:04:59

have you got a tumble drier? the heat will kill eggs. You can put things through to cook even without re-washing them. If you drape clothes around the house they may get re-infested with eggs without you knowing.

Everything needs to go into a sealed plastic bag or crate with a moth-killer containing Transfluthrin. It gives off a vapour which kills eggs and larvae, and has been calculated to give off the minimum possible chemical, so that it only works inside a closed container, drawer or wardrobe. The vapour breaks down in sunlight, rain or fresh air. The hangers last several months.

You need to hoover a lot, especially under, behind and inside furniture. Pay special attention to the edges, where moths like to crawl under the carpet at the skirting board gap. To avoid chemical contact, get someone to spray inside wardrobes and drawers for you, after they have been cleaned, then go out for an hour while it dries. Open the windows when you come back.

Lavender and Cedarwood do not kill moths, but they make your holey clothes smell nice when you throw them in the bin.

You can use moth traps as indicators to show you how bad the infestation is, but they do not kill eggs or larvae so do not prevent damage.

Using sealed plastic bags or crates will seal the vapour inside so it does not get into the room.

LemonDrizzleCake11 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:54:27

Thanks Piglet John

whitetigerlily Sat 08-Feb-14 08:09:27

I discovered I had moths when I was pregnant too. The only thing that seemed to work was the harsh chemical spray.

If it comes to that can you get someone who is not pregnant to spray the affected area then leave it for a while? Open the windows the room afterwards for several hours before you use it.

I actually did this myself but I don't feel comfortable advising you that.

Hope you don't end up getting induced again, that happened to me too.

Good luck.

LemonDrizzleCake11 Sat 08-Feb-14 13:51:16

Thanks Whitetigerlilly - I've gone for the harsh chemical approach and have blackmailed persuaded DH to do it. Fingers crossed!

As for getting induced again... I'm almost resigned to it... which in a way makes it easier. Although I am sick of 42 week pregnancies (which in my mind is a grossly unfair ten and a half months)

PigletJohn Sat 08-Feb-14 15:54:06

There may be eggs hatching and larvae emerging for some months, so I am very much in favour of putting things in a sealed plastic bag or crate with a sachet of mothkiller. This also means that the chemical vapour is not floating around the room.

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