common clothes moth

common clothes moth

Remember how appalled I was back in November after discovering that an infestation of clothes moths had decimated my wardrobe overnight?  Wool, cotton, silk, viscose/manmade – these voracious buggers were not fussy.  Well, an interesting thing happened the other day. No, unfortunately, it’s not good news on the moth front.  The deep freeze is now my wardrobe and all clothes storage places are hung about with pheromone traps, cedar wood balls and rings, and are sprayed regularly with a cedar wood deterrent.

I was working in the shop. Crede has a sale on at the moment (and an excellent sale it’s been too).  A customer was happily browsing and having chosen a jumper she asked if a particular dress she had her eye on would be reduced further. I replied it probably would and to keep popping in to check. We continued chatting about the glumness of January, the ubiquitous cold bug and the hope that the cold, dry snap had killed off a lot of the germs…

“As well as all the wretched parasites and pests, especially the clothes moth” I threw in.

“Oh” she exclaimed “don’t talk about them!”

“Why? Have you had an invasion?” I asked, ears immediately pricked

“Well not exactly me. But in my line of work – definitely yes!”

“I’m intrigued…if you don’t mind me asking, what’s that?” interested because of Robert’s mothly passions.

“No, not at all. I’m an entomologist. I work for the National Trust, moth control is one of the things I do”

“Oh wow, so do tell me – is there a big problem there? Is even the National Trust experiencing moth devastation?”

“It’s been quite appalling.” she said “Due to the very warm winters and wet summers the population has exploded and instead of just hatching one brood they may hatch three or even four!” She went onto explain that with such a population explosion, it really didn’t take long for the creatures to chomp their way through an entire stately home let alone a small farmhouse. She had developed such a paranoia she used to take her work clothes off in the garage to avoid contaminating her house!  I did take some comfort that I alone had not been singled out.

I went on to ask about the deepfreeze treatment and she said yes, that did help, but the temperature had to be extremely cold for effective short sharp annihilation.  Items have to be kept in a domestic freezer for a good length of time. It doesn’t finish there; one should then brush/hoover all the items very carefully to remove any debris or frass, and treat the whole of the room or even building!

“They are extremely difficult to get rid of.”  No new news there, unfortunately. She did however give me the name of the man, company and product the National Trust use, as they try not to, other than exceptional circumstances, rely on the use of toxic insecticides.
So this may be of some interest to you if you’re suffering moth damage and for those of you who don’t think you are…maybe you should just have a quick peek at those less frequently used items at the back of the cupboard!

clothes moth

clothes moth

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