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Old 05-18-2010, 11:26 PM   #1
catwitch
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OT: Moth Problem
I spotted a few moths and my husband found 2 holes in his pants!
I understand that moth balls are toxic so I ordered cedar blocks from
Amazon. With all my stash laying around I feel guilty that I may have caused this problem. Can anyone give me ideas on how to rid my house of moths?
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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Get thee stash in moth-proof containers, posthaste! Put screens on windows etc???
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:28 AM   #3
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Moths could be coming from two things, the wool (and alpaca) or grains in the kitchen. I've had the kitchen sort and they have never invaded the wool but I don't trust them!

For the kitchen clean out your cupboards, look in every flour, cereal box, oats, grain anything with some sort of grain/bread like product. You are looking for little cob webby things on the edges or lids and little worms (larva) in the food items. If you see any sign toss it. Also clean the cupboards, wipe them down, look on the top ceiling of the cupboards, and inside the upper lip of the cupboard where you can't normally see---I've found them in those unlooked at areas. Just a good cleaning will do the trick, don't have to use anything special. Any grains you think are good make sure they are in tight sealed containers, not plastic bags--the larva can chew through them particularly the cheap grocery ones from the bulk section. You might also consider storing flour and oats in the freezer.

For wool it is similar. Look through all your stash, you are looking for the same cob webby stuff and larva. If you see any toss it. Carefully check any yarn near any contaminated yarn and if it seems okay freeze it. Clean out storage areas completely, wipe down. Make sure when you re-store the yarn it's in tightly sealed containers.

If you have lots of wool clothes like your husbands pants clean the closets (and the mitten and scarf drawer) hand wash or dry clean any clothes where you think there might be a problem. Clean, clean, clean! I have heard that the moths are less attracted to clean items---thus a good reason to wash the winter mittens. And the cleaning gets rid of them.

Also if you get used yarn from others--freeze it for a few days before letting it live with your other yarn.

I have also read that one should freeze suspected yarn, then pull it out for a few day. If present, the moths think it's spring and start to hatch, then re-freeze, thus killing them before starting a new cycle.

Kill any moths you see about the house, they are tiny and light brown/ beige. But it's the larva that eat things.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:32 AM   #4
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Are the zip-lock bags effective at keeping moths off wool etc yarn?
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by catwitch View Post
I spotted a few moths and my husband found 2 holes in his pants!
I understand that moth balls are toxic so I ordered cedar blocks from
Amazon. With all my stash laying around I feel guilty that I may have caused this problem. Can anyone give me ideas on how to rid my house of moths?
I have an issue with the kitchen-type moths. I spoke with my exterminator, who not only gave the information that newamy gave, but informed me that the larvae tend to come out of the packaging and crawl up into/behind the walls to build their cocoons before hatching. So when he came, it was a little too late for deal with larvae. I'd already thrown out the grains and stuff, but he also gave me a pheremone trap. There are no poisons, but a pheremone that attracts them to the glue trap, where they stick and die.

I was going to check at Wal-mart or Home Depot or somewhere and see if that's something you can buy yourself (should be!) or not...just in case!

Between cleaning out the grains, the traps, and the kids and me running around smacking moths like crazy, the worst seems to be over. I haven't seen any in my stash, but have put most of it in ziplocs now. (I hope that helps)
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by N0obKnitter View Post
Are the zip-lock bags effective at keeping moths off wool etc yarn?
They should be. I keep my wool in one of those giant Ziploc bags.

I've heard that you can put the yarn in the freezer for awhile, but leave it in the Ziploc and keep it there when you take it out.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:19 PM   #7
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Thank you for all the good ideas. I have been cleaning and sorting for days now and I found one other hole in a clapotis that I had set aside and was hibernating. I have gotten cedar blocks and will continue to sort and clean . I threw out my clap. sad but it was a pretty big hole almost the size of a dime. Most of my good yarn is in large and some small zippered bags I get with bedding and ziplocks. I am learning that mothballs can be harmfull, I don't much like that smell.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:22 AM   #8
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I'm glad I saw this topic. We've lived in the same house for 22 years. This is the first spring I've noticed we have these tiny little moths flying around the house. I had no idea why they were in the house. I always keep my flour and similar items in Tupperware containers, but my stash has been in a couple of open baskets and on a book shelf in one room.
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