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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A fiber artist nightmare

In the process of sorting out the stuff from GGH house, I spread out moth crystals just because some of the old items had old holes and I wanted to be careful because there are over 700 lbs of wool in my rugs on my floors, not to mention the wool in my sewing room that I use for crocheting, knitting, felting, embroidery, and wool to make more rugs and wool in sweaters and other clothes such as winter hats and things. There's probably well over 1000 lbs of wool in this house, maybe more. I usually spread crystals twice a year when we go on week-long vacations so we don't have to live with the smell.

In GGH stuff there was a box that was opened last night around 10 pm; it had a funny, musty smell. It had two rugs and three pillows and was set aside to air out. Today I brought the opened clear plastic box from the basement to the main floor of my home, over two wool rugs and such. Then it was taken to my wash room where it was left for about 3 hours, open still. Then, around noon, I washed the first rug and left the room. When I came back to wash the second rug that was stored in the box, I noticed white things on it. Well, they sort of looked like white inch worms with brownish, reddish heads. I was panic stricken; called my mother-in-law scared of what I thought they might be. Asked her what cloth moths look like, and while talking to her I was googling it. At the same time, I was looking at the clear plastic box closer when I noticed some insects with wings. I instantly reached for the cupboard next to me and dumped a half gallon of ammonia in the box and closed it; did the same to my washer. Yes, they are moth larvae and cloth moths, themselves, and probably eggs. Terror is the only way to describe the way I felt at that moment. All the things I had spent years and years making are now in danger of moths. I had always been so careful (whenever I buy old or thrifted items they are placed in garbage bags in the garage and the bags have moth crystal them. 2 to 4 weeks later I wash the items and dry them, then bring them into the home). I always had crystals on hand for if anything came into my home. But I wasn't prepared for tons of boxes coming into my home that had been stored in a myriad of places over the years and some stored unclean, a real big no, no.

Now my house smells of moth crystals and our praying mantis has to go live at my husband's work and maybe the fish, too I will take them tonight when I pick him up. I don't want to kill innocent by-standers. But, usually, I don't live in my home, either, when I spread crystals. It isn't good for humans, either, definitely not in this amount, anyway.

But there is no way I am going to let them set up housekeeping in my home, either!


  1. Oh no Sunshine!! I hope it all is under control and there won't be any more damage or outbreaks of the moths. I hate the smell of moth crystals!!
    Good luck! I dealt with moths one time about 10 years ago in a rental house (I think they were there when I moved in!!) it was awful..but it can be done..no problem since then. You poor thing though..what alot of work and worry!!!

  2. Oh, dear! I hate moths, hate moths!
    I had not been as cautious as you are, but thank you for your information.
    I used to use moth crystals, but DH does not like the smell of them, so I switched to Bay Leaf, Lavender Leaves, and Diatomatious Earth. The combination is almost as effective as moth crystals.
    I had moth damage to my own homespun which I use when I do spinning demonstrations. They are put away, and only taken out in the Spring. I must have been too close to another spinner, once, and it was enough to ruin all my skeins--about 15 or so, of differing wools. I did 'arrest' all that wool and placed it in a big, thick, bag and put it all in the freezer for one week, to kill all the eggs and larvae. I am planning to weave something with it in my rectangular loom.
    It is devastating to find such damage.
    I am hoping all your moths will die and also all their offspring.


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