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Eeek! Clothes moths?

(13 Posts)
HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Wed 19-Feb-14 13:56:52

My mum gave me some woollies that had been sitting at the back of her spare room wardrobe, untouched for at least 20y. They smelled and looked fine, but I'm allergic to the detergent mum uses, so I put them in the wash with the rest of my woollies, and then folded them away in my wardrobe.

I just went to put one on, and it is full of tiny holes! Mostly really tiny, 1-2mm wide, the biggest is about 5mm wide and looks unravelled, as if a smaller hole had come unravelled in the washing machine. I can't see any holes in any of the other woollies she gave me, which all date from the same time, and would all have been put away and forgotten together.

Have I introduced clothes moth into my wardrobe?

My cashmere!
My merino!
<Clutches pearls!>

worldgonecrazy Wed 19-Feb-14 14:02:36

I'm guessing you didn't wash over 60 degrees as it's wool? Hopefully you have already thrown the offending woollens out. The moth eggs tend to fall out when you shake clothes, so vacuum everywhere that you carried the clothes.

Then fill your room with cedar balls, moth repellant and sprinkle cedar oil around your furniture (not directly on your clothes). Wash anything that has been near the moth-eaten clothes again and give it a good shake outside.

I have managed to beat moths using this method, and I need to be hypervigilant as I have a collection of antique fur.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Wed 19-Feb-14 14:08:48

Oh shit I have no idea where the things have been! Apart from in the same drawer as my much-loved cashmere, merino, and silk!

Used the wool cycle on my machine. 30deg, IIRC.

How long do moth eggs live? How come only one item was affected, out of all the things on that shelf?

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Wed 19-Feb-14 14:09:42

And we've got new carpets. Oh bugger!

PigletJohn Wed 19-Feb-14 18:43:53

cedar and lavender do not kill moths, but will make your holey clothes smell nice when you throw them in the bin.

Lay in a good stock of wardrobe moth-killing hangers containing Transfluthrin, which kills eggs, grubs and adults.

Hoover a lot, especially in, under and behind furniture.

Put everything through the tumble drier (the heat kills eggs) and put it from the drier straight into a sealed plastic bag or crate containing a moth killer. Continue for at least three months.

You may find this has been covered before

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Wed 19-Feb-14 20:18:04

Oh dear god what have I done?

I am a complete domestic slattern! How on earth will I keep doing all that for 3 months!

If I didn't see any moths, larvae or pupae, is it really likely that there are live eggs? <clutches at straws>

PigletJohn Wed 19-Feb-14 20:37:43

if you prefer, you can wait and see how many holes you have got, in three months.

Putting the hangers in all your cupboards, drawers and wardrobes is a minimum first step.

They are not especially expensive. Read the label, but each hanger will usually protect half a cubic metre of air in a closed container, and will last for about three months.

LaTrucha Wed 19-Feb-14 21:06:18

Listen to what piglet says. Shes the daddy when it comes to killing moths. I still think of how grateful I am two years on.

Hoover everything to within an inch of having to chuck it out. Lift carpets if you can. I never saw a moth or anything else btw but I must have killed them.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Wed 19-Feb-14 21:07:59


I've already ordered lots of pheromone traps. I'll order those hangers, too.

worldgonecrazy Wed 19-Feb-14 21:16:56

Cedar won't kill moths but they don't like the smell so won't lay eggs on clothes that have cedar near them. No eggs means no larvae means no holes. I use it in combination with the nastier chemicals. Unfortunately one of my furs stinks of moth killer so is unwearable, probably why I prefer gentler methods.

PigletJohn Thu 20-Feb-14 09:05:19

The traps will not wipe out moths, but will trap some of the emergent romantic adults, so will show you if you still have a problem, long term. Once you have killed all the eggs and grubs, you will stop getting new adults in the traps.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Thu 20-Feb-14 09:31:20

Can you still get the old naphthalene mothballs? My grandparents had them everywhere. They are the smell if childhood and holidays to me.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Fri 21-Feb-14 20:19:39

I just had a "Doh!" moment, literally slapped my forehead, right in the middle of supper - I've only gone and stick all the pheromone traps on back to front, ie pheromone side down!

Damn but that glue is sticky! I've turned them all over now. They're still sticky on the paper, but, inevitably, some of the stick is still stuck to the holder. Will they still work?

(I'm also using the transfluthrin things.)

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