Moth alert, Part 3


Last night while working with my dyed silks in our lounge down the hall, a clothes moth happened to fly by. I couldn’t belief it! It had the nerve to fly over my worktable and I dropped my needle and gave it a lethal swat. Then I took its photo: front and back. I was looking for the golden whiskers mentioned in the previous post! I saved it until I got back home and photographed it again with a penny for scale. Now I think it’s time to throw it in the garbage.

A few more responses came in for my last moth report. One person wanted people to know the important fact that moths don’t like light and certainly don’t fly around a light bulb like other moths. That fact reminds me not to let clothes hang in dark closets without wearing them, or shaking them out, or airing in the sun on occasion. Several places on the web say if you want to store things, do in plastic and seal the seams. Moths can eat through a cloth bag.

They like body oils and oils in fleeces. I once (in the 70’s) hung a couple of fleeces in my loom room because I thought it looked neat. When I took them down and looked inside, it was awful. One year I didn’t wash my main sweater in the spring and left it in the drawer. The next fall, it was crawling, too. And a cashmere bathrobe from my mother-in-law languished in the back of the closet when I stopped wearing it and a mess as was on the dress next to it.

One person suggested they put trimmings of cedar in with the wools when they pruned the trees. A word of warning: cedar only kills young larvae, not older ones or eggs! And the effect fades as the scent dies.

One person wrote from the Philippines that they were battling termites.

3 thoughts on “Moth alert, Part 3”

  1. I’ve noticed that it is common for American bloggers to describe small things in relation to the size of US coins; I don’t think it’s common amongst bloggers from other countries. I’ve also seen it used by shops selling fabric to show the scale of a print, and quite frankly it’s baffling.

    The problem is that many of us have either never seen American coins, or aren’t familiar enough with them to make sense of the image. Would you mind using a ruler with both imperial and metric markings? Most of us use metric, but there are still countries using imperial measurements 🙂

    • Hi /anne, Aaahh yes..when we adjust the feed dog heigth on our sewing machines the “rule of thumb” is to adjust it the thickness of a US dime (10 cents)…. so it extends to other dimensions I guess a 3 dimensional coin comparison 🙂 Wikipedia say (how could we live without Wikipedia) on an article about the penny: 0.75 inches (19.05 mm) diameter. Best regards, Mike

  2. Hi Peggy, There are different species of termites here in the Philippines. The super tiny ones are called “book book” is the way it sounds when spoken which I’m assuming is to mean bukbok (dry wood termites). They will and do get into stuff like flour and rice or any other dry goods type food (dog food). They can also eat cloth. I’m really grateful that you brought up this thread as we are preparing to order several bolts/rolls of cloth here. We have had some in storage on shelving for quite some time. It makes sense now that they will wrap the bolts in plastic likely to keep clean but also keep intruders out. I did some giggling (googling) about textiles and the ravaging “wee little beasties”. It seems some material might be treated at the mill with permithrin but of course that would not be made common knowledge if it is. What I can say is that we are very fortunate so far in that I’ve not detected any damage from them. However we had a problem with mice in the studio and they did nibble on some maong (denim) but nothing too serious as it was the edge of the roll. They were coming in from a drain and also a small hole on the side of the studio. Put Starbucks, our rescue kitty that was found begging for treats outside of Starbucks coffee house, in the studio and it amazed me. He went to the corner where the hole was right away and waited. When a mouse came in he pounced on it in true ambush style. It was easy pickin’s for him. Now I’m in alert mode on how to protect the bolts of fabric….thanks for the post and sharing the dangers we need to look out for. Best regards, Mike


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