Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

If you follow me elsewhere on the internet, then you already know my heartbreaking tale of woe and destruction. But, for those of you not on the Twitter and the Instagram: In late summer, I lost a third of my wardrobe, a third of my yarn stash, and a sizable portion of both my fabric and felt collections to the dreaded clothes moth. Around my craft studio, this horrifying incident is referred to, in appropriately hushed and reverent tones, as either Moth Hell or The Mothing. And, in sharing my story (spoiler: I defeat the moths and emerge victorious), it is my hope that I can help save other crafters from the same terrible fate.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

OMG, MOTHS!
At first, I was deeply embarrassed. And I must not be alone in that initial reaction, because, bouncing around the crafty/home-related internet, there’s tons of information about how to protect your fiber and fabric from an infestation, and even what to do after you’ve seen your first moth, but there’s precious little reliable information about how to actually save your stuff when a full-blow infestation is already underway. This lack of visible online guidance and commiseration made me feel alone and ashamed. But, then I looked around at my clean apartment and organized workspace (that was still, nonetheless, infested with clothes moths), talked to fellow crafty friends who whispered about their own past infestations, and I got the hell over it. Because, you know what? Moths don’t care if your apartment is clean. If they get in, they’re still going to eat your yarn, your wool sweaters, your silky underthings, and anything else that might have ever come into contact with sweat, your skin, or pet hair. And they’re probably going to be pretty stealthy at first—they’ll hide away in your yarn bins, coat closet, or in the back of your drawers where you keep the stuff that you never wear—and it won’t matter that you vacuum twice a week and put away clutter, because you won’t even know that they’re there. The fact is, if you’re not specifically looking for signs of clothes moths on a regular basis, you can easily have an infestation on your hands before you even see that first moth fly out of your craft room. And it doesn’t matter how those stupid moths got there in the first place—perhaps you brought home an infested skein of yarn, or picked up the wrong wool coat at the thrift store, or maybe one of those little buggers just happened to flitter in through an open window—all that matters is dealing with it quickly and thoroughly and the FIRST time around.

After successfully dealing with my own moth problems, I decided to put together a guide to help other crafters who find themselves in the same situation. I live and work out of my Brooklyn apartment, and I have two very curious cats, so I did not use unnecessary pesticides or chemicals. Instead, I used common sense, good old fashioned white vinegar, and a whole lot of cleaning. These aren’t preventative measures. This is the unvarnished truth about what to do when a clothes moth infestation is definitely already happening, and now you have to fix it.

If you’ve got moths, this is how to save your stuff:

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

What you’re up against:
While the small tan moths fluttering around the room might be the most visible sign of trouble, adult moths aren’t actually responsible for eating your delicious, delicious fabrics and fibers. The culprit, as it turns out, is the moth larva. (Read: The caterpillar that hatches from the moth egg, which will, eventually, turn into that fluttering moth.) Moth larvae have voracious appetites, and, though they prefer animal fibers such as wool, cashmere, alpaca, etc., they will also munch on natural plant fibers like cotton, especially if the fabric is dirty/covered in pet hair.

Unlike many pests—and contrary to popular opinion—clothes moth eggs DO NOT lie dormant, only to hatch years later to suddenly reinfest your space. [Sources: Maine state government by way of Colorado State University and buildingconservation.com] They generally hatch within 4–10 days in the summer, but in cooler winter temperatures, it can take up to three weeks or so. That’s good news, since you won’t have to go around worrying about zombie eggs lurking in your stash FOREVER. [Source: Penn State University]

First steps:
When you spot a moth or moth damage, the first thing you should do is contain the problem. Close off the room, then carefully check the fiber/textiles/furniture/rugs/clothing therein. Take note of any location or item that shows signs moths, moth eggs, larvae, or casings. [Here’s what all of those things look like.] Temporarily seal the infested item(s) in a ziplock bag or plastic box with a sealed lid for cleaning or disposal. Go through the rest of your apartment/house room-by-room to see if the problem has spread. Close off any additional rooms that show signs of damage, and seal any additional infested items in bags or plastic boxes. (If you’ve got a thorough infestation in multiple rooms, you can skip the initial bagging step and go straight to the cleaning.) If you’re lucky enough to have caught things early, your moth elimination efforts might be contained to just one room. (Hooray!) If not, I’m not going to sugarcoat it: You’ve got some serious work ahead of you. But, rest assured, the moth battle is one you can win. Just take my advice: I speak from direct experience when I say that this whole EPIC Anti-Moth Cleaning of Doom thing sucks. You’ll only want to do it once, so don’t half-ass it.

You’ve only seen one tiny little moth and no signs of damage? Don’t ignore it and hope for the best. That road, I can assure you, will only lead to tears.

Recommended Supplies and Tools:

Please note that the links to supplies and tools that are provided below are affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you choose to make a purchase after clicking through.

Before you start cleaning, you should figure out how best to approach your space, keeping in mind that cross-contamination (putting clean things on or near infested/not yet cleaned things) can and will cause already clean places/items to become reinfested. If ever there was a time to be super-neurotic about cleaning, this is it. I recommend starting the cleaning process by wiping down a table with undiluted white vinegar and using it as a staging ground for plastic boxes with lids, where you can place clean items to keep them separate from not-yet-cleaned items while you’re working. This table can serve as a starting point for the whole cleaning process, and you can begin there and work your way out, cleaning as you go until you’ve finished the entire room/apartment/house. (Jumping around from place to place makes it more likely that you will accidentally re-contaminate an already clean area.) To protect your home even further, spray and wipe down any cleaning tools that you’ve used—including the vacuum/vacuum brushes/broom/etc—with undiluted white vinegar when you’re done with each cleaning session. During the cleaning process, your vacuum and your white vinegar will be the most important tools at your disposal, so be prepared to show them some love.

I’m sorry to tell you that there is no magic solution that makes moths go away, so the key to successfully ridding your home/workspace of them is, alas, being absolutely and tirelessly thorough. I am not exaggerating when I say that I touched and cleaned every single item in my craft studio and apartment during my own moth infestation, and the process took weeks. Not not hours, not days. Weeks. (Think of it as a good opportunity to finally go through and get rid of all of the junk that you’ve been meaning to toss over the years—that’s what my husband and I did.) Alas, if you take shortcuts in your cleaning, chances are good that you’ll have another infestation on your hands in a few months. And then you’ll have to clean again, and it will suck. Them’s the facts. So, just do it right the first time, and then it’ll only suck/take over your life/give you nightmares once, okay? Okay.

Why white vinegar? Moth eggs/larvae aren’t particularly hardy, and white vinegar is a strong but natural cleaner. While it cleans, it changes the pH of anything on the surface being scrubbed and kills any moth eggs and larvae. And, when diluted with water, it also can be used to set dyes in yarn and fabric, so it’s perfect for cleaning your handmade items without risking a mess of running colors.

Ready to get started? Here’s how I cleaned ALL OF THE THINGS:

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

Yarn and Fiber:
Unlike many resources that I found in my own panicked googling, I’m not going to tell you to throw away your entire stash. And, while there might be skeins that are just too far gone, I’ll give you some options for saving what you can, and then I’ll tell you how to protect your stash in the future. I said at the beginning of this post that I lost ⅓ of my yarn stash during my moth cleaning process, but that number is a bit misleading. It describes real and upsetting losses, sure, but it also includes a much-needed culling of my stash, and a good percentage of the skeins I ended up tossing I *chose* to get rid of, either because they were colors I didn’t like or low quality fiber that I was never going to use. It’s amazing what an infestation can do to clarify which supplies you do and don’t want to keep—when you know that you’re going to have to put forth considerable effort to clean something, suddenly it’s a whole lot easier to make those hard to-keep/not-to-keep decisions.

How to clean it:
Sort your stash into three trash bags: keep, throw away, and undecided. The keep bag should hold relatively undamaged skeins, the throw away bag should include skeins that you no longer want and skeins that are clearly too damaged by the infestation to save, and the undecided bag should hold anything that you’re unsure about to revisit later.

* The oven:
Let’s get this out of the way first: This method can be a fire hazard. And, if you must do it, you should only do it for ANIMAL FIBERS. Not acrylics, not cottons, not blends. And you should NEVER, EVER leave it unattended. EVER. (No, seriously.) It should also go without saying that, should you decide to try this, you should have an appropriate fire extinguisher nearby. (Also, I’m not an expert on fire safety, so you should contact someone who is if you have questions or concerns.)

And, with that said, I will now admit that this is the method that I used to save my stash.

Exposing animal fiber yarn to temperatures of 120F for a minimum of 30 minutes will kill moths/eggs/larvae at all stages. I placed my my animal fiber stash on baking sheets and cycled them through my oven on the warm setting (I used my oven thermometer to ensure the proper temperature) for an hour. I watched it like a hawk, and didn’t have any problems. And it worked.

Following the oven adventure, I gently vacuumed away any leftover evidence of moths/eggs/larvae on each individual skein. This part took forever. If you’ve got balls of yarn and a backyard, you might also want to unravel the balls and shake them out vigorously outside, then use a ball winder to re-wind them.

Note: I am told that sealing yarn in an enclosed car in a sunny spot on a hot summer day can do the same thing. This seems reasonable, but I haven’t tried it, as I live in NYC and don’t have a car.

* The freezer:
If you’ve got a chest freezer that ISN’T frost-free (frost-free freezers periodically cycle their temperatures above freezing to prevent frost buildup), turn that baby down to below freezing, put your stash in Ziploc freezer bags with the air squeezed out, then freeze them at temperatures consistently below freezing (go with -10F or so) for one to two weeks. Allow them to return to room temperature, then repeat the process. Allow your skeins to return to room temperature one more time, then shake them out/gently vacuum them off to remove any leftover evidence of moths.

Note: If you’ve got 100% wool felt/100% wool fabric (NOT synthetic, blends, or ecofelt), these are also the methods that you should use to clean that.

How to protect it from a future infestation:
Always store your yarn stash in high quality plastic bins with sealed lids.

Before placing your yarn in the bins, double up on protection (and storage space) by sealing your yarn in reusable Space Bag-style vacuum storage bags with a couple of silica moisture absorbing packets inside to make sure that your yarn stays completely dry.

For yarn that I’m not planning to use right away, I include a couple of oxygen absorber packets in addition to the silica moisture absorbing packets in my vacuum storage bags to create a dry, oxygen-free environment that’s completely inhospitable to pests of any kind. In theory, this should also kill anything that I may have missed during the cleaning process. (Be careful–once you open a bag of oxygen absorbers, they start to work right away. They’re a one-time-use item and can’t be reused once you reopen your vacuum storage bag. Any leftover packets should be sealed in their own vacuum storage bag immediately to keep the oxygen in the air from ruining them.)

When you acquire new yarn, put it away immediately. Don’t leave it sitting on your worktable for a month. If you’re not using it, keep it safe, sealed, and protected.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

Hand-Knitted and Hand-Crocheted Items:
There are few things more upsetting than finding moth damage on hand-knitted or hand-crocheted items. But, before you mend, you need to clean!

How to clean it:
Fill a bucket or plastic tub with 50% water and 50% vinegar. Submerge the item and allow it to soak for at least half an hour. Gently rinse the item, press it with a towel to remove excess water, and lay it flat to dry.

Optional: Re-wash it with your favorite lanolin and scent-infused wool wash.

How to protect it from a future infestation:
Thoroughly vacuum out any shelves, closets, floors, or surfaces where the items will be stored, then wipe everything down with white vinegar before returning the cleaned items to the area.

When not in use, store your knitted and crocheted items in sealed plastic bins, heavy plastic storage bags (I like Ziploc’s L and XL Big Bags), vacuum storage bags, or cedar boxes/chests. (Cedar oil in cedar chests or boxes kills moth larvae that comes into contact with it, protecting the items inside. Lightly sand the wood periodically to refresh the chest/box and release the oil in the wood.)

If you’re keeping your handmade items in a drawer, place enough cedar blocks inside that the cedar scent is evident when you open the drawer. Lightly sand the blocks every 6 months or so to refresh them.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

Fabric:
Unless you’ve got a ton of silk or wool mixed in with your cottons and linens, chances are pretty good that your fabric is faring much better than your fiber. Even so, you’ll still want to clean it thoroughly and store it properly.

How to clean it:
* Wash it:
Wash your washable fabrics in water at temperatures of at least 120F and dry them in a hot dryer. (Yes, this might shrink certain fabrics. Use common sense and your usual laundry/dry cleaning methods for delicate fabrics.)

* Freeze it:
As with yarn, if you’ve got a chest freezer that ISN’T frost-free (frost-free freezers periodically cycle their temperatures above freezing to prevent frost buildup), put your fabric in Ziploc freezer bags with the air squeezed out, then freeze them at temperatures consistently below freezing (-10F or so) for one to two weeks. Allow them to return to room temperature, then repeat the process. Allow the fabric to return to room temperature one more time, then shake it out/gently vacuum it off to remove any leftover evidence of moths. This is a great option for delicate, shrinkable fabrics that can’t be washed.

* Vacuum it:
In some cases, especially when there isn’t an obvious infestation, you can thoroughly vacuum fabrics to remove any stray moth eggs, then store this fabric in vacuum storage bags or ziploc bags until you’re sure that there aren’t any moths or larvae.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

* Do NOT set it on fire:
The oven may have worked for your yarn, but you should NEVER use this method for fabrics. It’s dangerous, and it will probably result in burning quilting cotton and evenweave. I know this, because I set some of my own fabric on fire. Twice. Then I stopped being an idiot and took boxes and boxes of potentially contaminated fabric to the laudromat, which is what I should have done in the first place.

How to protect it from a future infestation:
Thoroughly vacuum out any shelves, closets, floors, or surfaces where the fabric will be stored, then wipe everything down with white vinegar before returning the cleaned fabric to the area.

Once all of your fabric has been cleaned, seal the yardage for each design/color in its own large Ziploc freezer bag (or larger storage bag if needed), and then store the bagged fabric in a plastic bin with a sealed lid. This does three magical things: It keeps all of the fabric for each project organized and in one place, and it protects the fabric from dirt, dust, and pests, and it helps prevent any future infestation in one piece of fabric from spreading to the rest. I now do this every time I buy new fabric.

If you have a large stash or tons of fabric scraps, you can also use vacuum storage bags with silica packets and oxygen absorber packets for long-term storage to create an inhospitable environment for pests, just like you did with the yarn.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

Wardrobe:
Dealing with a moth-infested wardrobe requires nerves of steel. Drink a beer or a cup of coffee while you gather your courage.

How to clean it:
* Freeze it or wash it: If your clothes are washable, follow the instructions in the fabric section above.

* Dry clean it: Take all dry clean only garments to the cleaner. It’ll be expensive, but you’ll want take every garment that needs to be cleaned at the same time so you don’t risk reinfesting clean garments or cleaned storage spaces.

* Check your shoes: Shoes don’t get cleaned very often, so they can be a perfect breeding ground for moths. Toss any pairs of shoes that are beyond saving, then vacuum out the remaining pairs. Once they’ve been vacuumed, wash any canvas shoes or sneakers that are washable in a washing machine, and wipe out any shoes that aren’t machine washable with white vinegar. If you’re cleaning leather/silk/satin shoes, skip the vinegar and brush them thoroughly with a toothbrush or a nail brush, then vacuum one more time. Pay special attention to shoelaces.

* Check your handbags/backpacks/totes: Much like shoes, bags are also items that are used often, but not regularly washed. Follow the shoe guidelines above, or dry clean if appropriate.

How to protect it from a future infestation:
Thoroughly vacuum out any shelves, closets, floors, or surfaces where your clothing will be stored, then wipe everything down with white vinegar before returning the cleaned clothes to the area. This includes any cracks or crevices, the spaces on the sides of shelves, and under and behind any storage unit. Don’t forget to remove your drawers from the dresser and wipe out the inside of both the drawers and the empty dresser frame.

Store clean seasonal items in either plastic bins with sealed tops or in vacuum storage bags with silica packets. Keep special occasion garments in sealed garment bags to protect them from dirt, dust, and pests. Store folded sweaters in sealed plastic bins or sealed plastic storage bags year round.

Use cedar blocks in all clothing storage areas, taking care to use enough of them to make the scent evident when the drawer/door is opened. Lightly sand them every 6 months to refresh the scent and oil in the wood.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

General Tips for Cleaning Your Home and Workspace/Post-Moth Maintenance:
As I said before, the key to success is to be absolutely thorough and to avoid cross-contamination between clean and dirty areas as you work.

How to clean it:
* Furniture: Vacuum thoroughly, removing cushions and using the hose to access any cracks and crevices, taking care to clean the back, sides, and bottom of the furniture as well. If you discover signs of damage, rent or buy a steam cleaner to deep clean the item, then continue to vacuum thoroughly at least once a week until no signs of moths remain.

* Rugs and Carpets: Vacuum thoroughly on both the front and back (where possible). Rent or buy a steam cleaner to deep clean the item. Continue to vacuum thoroughly at least once a week until no signs of moths remain.

* Mattresses: Like furnuture, rugs, and carpets, vacuum your mattress thoroughly on both the front and back, then rent or buy a steam cleaner to deep clean it. Allow for plenty of drying time before you need to sleep on it again. Continue to vacuum it thoroughly at least once a week for a few weeks. Consider encasing it in a protective covering.

* Everything else: Remove every item from every shelf/cupboard/cabinet/closet and wipe down all surfaces, and clean all of the items that you removed before putting them back. If an item can be washed in the washing machine (pet beds, curtains, placemats, potholders, aprons, throw pillows, etc.), wash it. If an item or surface can be wiped down with white vinegar or diluted white vinegar (nicknacks, recycling bins, lampshades, etc.), do it. (A 1:1 white vinegar to water ratio is generally safe for most surfaces, but spot check if you’re not sure.) If not, vacuum thoroughly, then use an appropriate cleaner for the item or surface (say, oil soap for wood/wood floors). EVERY SINGLE ITEM OR SURFACE IN YOUR HOME SHOULD BE CLEANED. I cannot stress this enough. If you skip an area because it looks clean, you’re probably going to miss something and end up with more moths and another round of cleaning.

How to protect it from future infestation:
* Vacuum and wipe down your craft room shelves monthly, and do the same in your closets and dressers at least once every three months. This will keep these surfaces inhospitable to pests, and will help you catch any new infestations early.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

* Place hormone clothes moth traps in places prone to infestation (closets, drawers, linen cabinets, near your yarn and fabric stashes). Replace them regularly, according to the instructions on the package. This does two things: It will alert you to any new moth issues, and it will attract male moths, preventing them from mating with females. The traps that I linked to in the supply list at the beginning of this post are the most effective traps that I’ve found thus far.

* Pet hair: One of the most important lessons that I learned from this whole debacle was this: moths effing love cat hair. And, despite regular cleaning, I wasn’t always doing things like moving the couch or heavy shelves so I could clean under and behind them. So, that’s where the cat hair gathered, and that’s where the moths did too. (Shudder.) Make sure you’re doing a thorough move-all-the-things cleaning every few months.

* Sunlight: You know how your grandma used to air her quilts once a year by shaking them out and then hanging them in the sunshine for a day? Well, sunlight is an extremely powerful natural cleaner. If you’ve got the backyard and the sun to do it, it’s a great way to prevent infestations and rid your textiles of unwanted pests, even before they become a problem.

* Contaminated trash: While you’re cleaning, remove any trash/trash bags immediately. Do NOT keep bags that aren’t quite full in your home to use the next day.

* Contaminated vacuum cleaner: When you’re battling an infestation, make sure you empty your vacuum canister and/or remove the bag from your home at the end of each cleaning session. Also, take care to wipe down the surface of the vacuum with white vinegar to prevent any moth eggs that might be on it from hatching or spreading.

* General cleaning and upkeep: By far the best way to prevent new infestations is to clean thoroughly and regularly. (And behind things and under things!) If used often, your vacuum can prevent most moth-related issues from ever becoming a problem.

Note on pesticides: I’ve got cats, so I’m not a fan of toxic moth balls or chemical sprays. And, turns out, most of the “natural” sprays aren’t any safer for cats and kids. I didn’t use them, and I didn’t need to.

The above methods are how I handled my clothes moth infestation, but there are tons of additional ways to treat and prevent one. Definitely feel free to share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below—your fellow crafters will thank you!

62 thoughts on “Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your moth saga. It is good to know about the effectiveness of white and I will start wiping craft room surfaces with it. I haven’t had moths yet but I worry about it. Today I brought home two thrifted cashmere sweaters and one had a couple of tiny moth holes (at least I think that’s what they are). I bagged each sweater individually in Ziploc to guard against bringing in eggs and both will get felted within the next week or so.

    This article will be kept as an important resource but I hope I don’t need it. Sounds like you deserve some stash replacing time now. ;)

  2. hi haley! thank you for the great guide! i was always wondering who chewed little holes on my sweater! i must tell you again how much i like your drawings, you should make a book with them! xx

  3. this article is awesome, thanks so much! WHen I had my infestation last year, I struggled to find good resources on how to curb the slaughter, but not poison my infant daughter or my 2 cats. I had a lot of luck with the freezer method, and the pheromone moth traps, and sticky bug catchers in the closets. There is one thing I’d like to add, not relevant for everyone, but was an unfortunate discovery for me- feathers aren’t’ safe, either. I had some vintage feathered headbands, didn’t think that I had to worry about them, then found them thoroughly chewed by moth larvae. It’s amazing how something so small can cause so many tears- I literally wept over some of the things I lost.

    1. Hi Julie,
      Am dealing with my infestation right now, and it’s extra hard to do everything while taking care of my new baby. I noted that you dealt w yours when your daughter was new – any tips for finding time for cleaning, prioritizing, cleaning a pack n play, etc? Did you get rid of your moths for good (really hope so!)? Thanks for anything you can share!
      Sarah

  4. Thank you so much for this! I tried to ignore things this summer, but a few weeks ago discovered holes in handmade items and had to deal with it. I had no idea what I was looking for or how to handle things other than to wash items and spread sachets of lavender and cedar blocks around. While I am not looking forward to the next few weeks, this guide will make things SO MUCH easier and give me such peace of mind!

  5. This is a fantastic resource – I wish I’d had this when we were dealing with an infestation last spring (I was already keeping my knitting things in sealed bags after a moth problem 10 years or so ago, but part of our oriental rug got eaten :\ ). One question – do you have a link for sealable garment bags? I’m exceptionally careful about storing out of season/infrequently worn clothing at this point, but I have yet to find a reasonable storage solution for suits. The various sizes of ziploc storage bags are my best friends, but I’d like to keep the suits wrinkle-free if possible, which means hanging them up.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. I don’t have a specific garment bag to recommend–we keep our suits and gowns in regular zippered garment bags (the heavy vinyl kind with closed bottoms, zippers all the way up the front, and additional flaps that cover the shoulders). I also hang cedar around the hanger and place a handful of cedar blocks in the bottom of the bag.

      After googling around quickly, I found hanging vacuum seal garment bags (I haven’t tried them), but I’m not sure that they’d help with wrinkles: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MOXFAJ2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00MOXFAJ2&linkCode=as2&tag=thzeofma-20&linkId=BWBNAKCQFQQTJVU6

  6. Thank you for this! It’s so refreshing to find a solution that doesn’t just say “throw everything away”! I’ve had to deal with a couple horrid moth infestations, and most recently I’ve had to battle carpet beetles, which are just as destructive. I keep all of my yarn in freezer bags now, and some of it in the freezer!

  7. Just the moral support alone! Thank you. I live in Alaska where I thought we were immune. Luckily, winter temps are well below zero so there is a deep freeze right out the door. I didn’t know about vinegar; that’s great. But – everything I could read on cedar plus talking with AK Cooperative extension folks says that cedar really doesn’t work. Other than smelling clean.
    I’ve been frustrated by cleaning and cleaning but apparently missing something because one or two still show up. I miss having my yarn stash available to my fingers and eyes without having to plow through the unyielding plastic bins and bags.
    When I first found them in my yarns I went through every skein, froze most but found the buggers on last skein of expensive luscious chocolate alpaca. So I froze and froze the alpaca then spent an entire afternoon spit-slicing the gazillions of pieces together then froze again and bagged. Sigh….this is a scourge. I’m glad I found you; no one in my knit group has ever had any problems. I believe I brought it back from a trip to New Hampshire.

    1. Oh man, I hope you make something really, really special with that chocolate alpaca!

      Re: Cedar: In blocks/sachets, you’re right–it’s one of those things where the scent *can* be a deterrent for adult moths (this could-help-and-definitely-doesn’t-hurt reasoning is why I use it), but it doesn’t always work, and it won’t do a darn thing about the larvae once they’re in your stuff. But, cedar chests do work when properly maintained (read: sanded to refresh the oil), because, from what I understand, the larvae can’t survive on the surface of the cedar because the oil in the wood kills them, making it unlikely that they’ll infest what’s stored inside the chest.

      Best of luck!

  8. Not to be a downer, but I have to say that sometimes all the above steps aren’t enough. I first discovered my rampant infestation in October 2013 and am sadly still dealing with the moths. I’m also in Brooklyn and live in an apartment in an old brownstone, and despite cleaning every single surface and item in our home, they keep coming back! After trying everything on my own, I’ve had 2 different kid/pet-friendly “less toxic” exterminators come. They have done their own investigation and treatments, but the moths keep showing back up. Their theory is that the moths are either coming from a neighboring apartment or living on decades of accumulated pet hair under our floorboards. And there’s just no way to deal with that!

    If anyone finds themselves in a similar situation, this is what I’ve done: Any animal fiber yarn/fabric/clothing that I want to keep was cycled through the freezer and/or microwave, individually plastic-bagged, put into plastic bins, topped with “old-fashioned” mothballs, and then the bins were sealed with packing tape. The bins now wait until we move to a different apartment or somehow kill off all the moths in this one. Sigh!

    Thanks for letting me vent, I’m glad you were more successful in fighting your infestation! It really is a nightmare.

    1. Oh man, that IS a nightmare–I’m so sorry.

      I’m sure you’ve already tried just about everything, but just in case: If you’ve got hardwood floors and think they might be in the floorboards, have you tried waxing the floor to seal those buggers in? Seems like it might help. (It’d also be an epic pain in the butt. But, alas.)

      Thanks so much for sharing your story and tips. I hope you’re able to figure it out and/or get the heck out of there soon. You must have the patience of a saint!

    2. Yes, we’ve had a similar problem in our old house – an exterminator suggested that they are likely in the walls as well, which contain 100+ years of dust/feathers/horse hair (from the old plaster). Moving to escape them isn’t really a good option for us, but we’re trying to focus on keeping them from being a Problem again. Mitigation, not elimination, basically. Not ideal, but the best we can come up with for now.

    3. I’ve had good luck with putting wool sweaters in the microwave. I put them in for a minute & a half. I read somewhere that it should be 3 minutes, but that is too long! It burned holes in my beautiful Pendleton suit

  9. Hello everyone,

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. It certainly is horrible to deal with these moths. I think I am lucky that I have found mine early but I do have a friend who has had it for a very long time and had real difficulties getting rid of it.
    Thanks as well for the thorough list of tips . I just wanted to share one that my friend used and seemed to have reduced her infestation significantly. Indeed she put a net On each of her windows. (like the ones to prevent Mosquitos coming in) . Basically she bought a roll of the material and strips of Velcro. A cheap way to ‘net’ all the windows and easy to remove.
    Now she is able to contain it as the moths can’t come through her Windows.

    Hope this helps.

  10. Hi Haley. Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been at a real loss to know what to do, and your article is very helpful. I’ve just discovered webbing clothes moths on a wool carpet that was rolled up in a closet upstairs. Before I found the moths the carpet was moved to the living room. I have a new baby and have to direct my cleaning time to the highest priority items to try to control the moths. Though I don’t doubt it’s true, it’s scary to hear the I’ll have to clean and wipe everything in my house because we are lucky enough to live in a 4 bedroom 3 level house, but with the baby there’s not a chance I can be that thorough. If you have any thoughts that can help me target the most important steps to take considering my situation (more info to follow) I would appreciate it so much!
    From what I’ve read, I need to treat / clean all fabric items that were in the closet with the carpet, even of there’s no sign of larvae on the item, just to be safe, do you agree? Do I also have to throw out or clean non fabric items, like open boxes containing gift bags and wrapping paper? What about a hat box? Will wiping the inside of the closet (walls, shelves) with straight vinegar be enough? The closet and the room it adjoins have (synthetic) wall to wall carpeting – will vacuuming the wall to wall carpet be sufficient? The rolled up (mothy) carpet was in a plastic bag open at both ends, standing up in the closet on that wall to wall carpet. The closet door was often left open and the room the closet is in is the baby’s room. Do I have to wash clean cotton baby clothes that were sitting right in front of the closet in laundry baskets? Do indeed to wash / treat stuffed animals, cotton quilted wall hangings, and toys in the room? Any thoughts re what I need to do / clean in the living room where the carpet sat for a week before I noticed the moths? I’ve seen a flying moth in the living room downstairs, and another in the nursery on a baby towel hanging in the back of the nursery door. So sorry for all the questions – am just so overwhelmed trying to figure our how to tackle this! Any advice would be a huge help! Thank you.

    1. First, to prioritize your cleaning, I’d go through each room of your house and check for any signs of moths. It’s possible that you’ll get lucky, and the problem will be contained to just one or two rooms. If you think you’ve got a room that’s clear, you can place a few hormone traps in nooks/closets that room–if they don’t pick anything up after a month or so, you’re probably fine. (Hormone traps are great alarm systems, and can alert you to a problem before it gets bad while also helping to eliminate it. I swear by these: http://www.amazon.com/Pro-pest-Clothes-Moth-Packs-Traps/dp/B002YAEA1Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1427472215&sr=8-2&keywords=Pro-pest+Clothes+Moth+Trap)

      Next, in the baby’s room, where you know there have been moths, do an extremely thorough check. Because baby clothes generally get washed frequently, there’s a good chance that they’re fine. Moths like dirty things and animal fibers, so check laundry bins, folded blankets, coats and other seasonal items, and on/around the mattress and curtains. Vacuum/wash/wipe down anything that you can, including the closet walls, with white vinegar. (If you’ve got wallpaper/paint/surfaces you’re not sure about, try the vinegar on a hidden spot first.) Definitely wash all stuffed animals–they tend to get dirty from being loved up by kids, making them potentially attractive to moth larvae–in the washing machine and use the dryer to dry them where possible. If there are decorative toys that can’t be washed, vacuum them thoroughly. In the closet where the carpet was stored, yes, you’ll definitely want to do an extremely thorough cleaning, including non-fabric items. And, to be safe, I’d put any newly-cleaned fabric items that are usually stored in the closet in plastic bins with lids. Then, once you’ve done that initial cleaning, keep at least 2 hormone moth traps in the closet to alert you to any future problems.

      In your case, I think your vacuum is going to be your best line of defense. Vacuum all of the carpets/curtains/furniture in rooms where you suspect/find moths, and do it often. Empty and change the bag each time to get any eggs/larvae out of the house.

      You should also regularly wash all throws and blankets, especially if you have pets that shed. Moths think pet hair is delicious.

      Hope this helps!

      1. I’ve had a horrible time and after spending a fortune in the last 2 years washing and drycleaning and vacuuming, most but not all are gone. All my yarn and sweaters are in plastic and I’m always checking and shaking out.
        However, the traps really helped last year but now they are NOT getting any customers and I have several different kinds placed all over. Anyone have this problem?

        1. If it’s winter where you are, the process of moths going from larva to adult moth slows way down when the environment is cooler and dryer. You might just be in a slow cycle, so you’re not getting any adult moths emerging from cocoons right now, and thus no moths in the traps.

          1. Well there are certainly much less than before but this winter, we have killed about a dozen moths just flitting by but none in the traps

  11. Hello. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m currently going through the horrifying experience of dealing with clothes moths. I’ve been a knitter since I was a child and more recently a spinner.

    I brought a bag of unwashed alpaca into my home that had been in the trunk of my car for most of the winter (because I didn’t want it in the house!), but then I was going on a trip and needed the space in the trunk of the car. The room where I stored the alpaca is very bright and sunny, but, I stupidly threw the bag into the closet at the last minute so that my cat wouldn’t get into it. She chews on plastic all of the time. Oh, wow. Big mistake! Like you wrote, what does it matter from where the moths came at this point. I can’t be certain the first arrived with the alpaca, but they got into a “closed” bin of alpaca in addition to the bag that I brought in. In all my research on the subject, these unwelcome pests seem to prefer alpaca, cashmere, silk among other fibers. I threw the alpaca–container and all–right into the dumpster and am now dealing with the aftermath of all of this. Fortunately, the majority of my yarn/fiber stash (I have a huge stash) was already in freezer bags inside plastic, closed bins, so I haven’t found any damage to my stash or my clothes for that matter (knock on wood). Everything wooly has gone to the dry cleaners or is hanging outside closets and has been taken outside to beat and hang in the sun.

    I have read from others to do all of the things that you suggest, which I’m in the process of now (for about four weeks now). My one big question is around the traps. I bought them in the grocery store and then ordered some online, but they don’t work for casemaking clothes moths, and I do know that’s the type of moth I have in my home. What kind do you have and are your traps just general clothes moth traps or specific to one of the two types of clothes moths?

    The only positive out of this disgusting experience is that I’m paring down big time. I just wonder, do you or anyone else here have any thoughts on open storage? I’m contemplating taking the doors off of my closets and leaving them off.

    1. I used the Pro Pest brand clothes moths traps that I linked to in the recommended supply list in my post. They’re for webbing clothes moths, which were the kind of moths I had. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any recommendations for casemaking moth traps, but maybe someone else will join the conversation who does?

      Sorry I can’t be of more help–wishing you the best of luck in getting everything sorted out!

      1. No need to be sorry. From what I have read, management of getting rid of the moths is the same for both types. I appreciate that you blogged on the subject and shared your experience. I think the webbing moths cause more economical damage to clothes; perhaps the reason I have no holes in mine (yet!).

  12. I just discovered your article from a Ravelry link. I’ve just been through remediating years of living in a 100+ year old house while accumulating yarn and vintage clothes over the years. Nonetheless, I learned a lot from your article and your process and thank you very much for the information.
    I have 2 questions: 1) now that all the “at risk ” stuff is sealed in plastic, what do you do when you actually pull out and wear a woolen item or even make a swatch with your skein of merino? Do you wear the hat, scarf, sweater, etc or sample the skein and simply put it back in the plastic bag/bin? Do you wash it and freeze it again (after each wearing or using)? This problem deters me from wearing my woolens as freely as before when they were stored openly. What do you do?

    2) My second comment is about moths. We many have different moths in different seasons. Only specific moth species eat fibers. I’m not sure the goal is to kill all moths but rather to protect our precious fibers and clothes. Do you have any additional information about this?

  13. I was considering writing a post like this, but I think I will just link to yours on my blog! Excellent and thorough job.

    My own personal moth hell started last October. I thought I got ’em good, but in the past month I’ve started finding two or three moths per week in my traps. NOT GOOD. I’m concerned they found refuge in the insulation of the crawlspace or some such spot, and I’m not sure how to deal with that. So far they seem to be isolated in a single room, and I can’t find damage (yet) to my yarns and shawls–just my husband’s tux. (I don’t feel super bad about that because he left it lying on the floor after unpacking it from an out-of-state wedding.)

    It is so discouraging and stressful to see them back. Hopefully this time I find whatever I missed before. And I will try the white vinegar–it will be better than the chemical cleaner I used last time!

  14. Thank you so much for having the courage to write this post. I am not having a moth problem, hopefully not anyways!, but we found ourselves dealing with another bug- I believe it is a cereal bug. It seems to have started in a bag of wholewheat flour which my daughter purchased and then stored in a large cupboard where we store extra groceries which we purchase when they come on sale. Since the cupboard is massive, one shelf holds bed linen, and another is used to store some of my stash. (I bet you were wondering why my issue in any way related to your specific one but hopefully it is beginning to clarify) We have been dealing with this for about 5 or 6 weeks now. Its good to know we did many things correctly- isolation of the problem and treating my stash in the freezer, and the fabrics in the washer/dryer, but I have learned some new strategies- vinegar, the sun, and treating yarn in the oven. Since these bugs seem to have the ability to slither into the tiniest of spaces, (ie behind the paper on tin cans as well as into unopened paper packaging), it has been a slow process to eliminate them. Like you, and anyone else for that matter, I only want to do this once! I will be going through the rest of my stash to check for moth problems, doing a thorough inventory, and repackaging my stash as per your suggestions – after we have successfully eliminated these bugs. Hopefully I do not have a moth problem , but I need to make some changes in order to prevent a problem in the future. In the past I also worried about moths, but knew nothing at all about how to prevent having a problem other than to “use cedar or mothballs”. Because of your information and links I can perhaps prevent a problem in the future. I do have a question. Where do you buy silica pouches and the O2 ones you were suggesting? A big thank you for your post, and a thank you to the many others who wrote about their own experiences.

  15. Thanks for the well-written and informative info. Yesterday was my hell, having noticed some weird things in one clear decorative cubicle. I actually used the strategy you mentioned-quick decisions (yes or no) on as much as I could after segregagating all the obvious problems. No stopping to feel emotional ties. Worked outside. Then bagged all the skeins that were nearby. A very small portion of my stash. My plan is to get more quart size bags to wrap indidual stuff and then the oversized bags for grouping. Buy hormone traps. Get some cinnamon sticks and cloves since any perfume or fragrance bothers me. And do the freezer and hot car trick. I live in Texas and the sun is very strong. Today I’m looking forward to buying a few skeins as a reward.
    Have you ever tried placing some shavings of white unscented soap as a deterrent? It was mentioned someplace.
    Again, thanks. What you wrote here is better & more comprehensive than my hours of Internet research. And you compiled it into a fabulous source.

    1. First of all thank you SO MUCH Haley for your post! It brought me sanity during a very insane week of dealing with a moth infestation. Also thank you Hilary for mentioning the hot car trick! I don’t have a frost free freezer and I didn’t want to risk my fibers in the oven. For anyone who wants to replicate it in Canada,
      you need: a hot day, a car and a thermometer
      1. put your wool, fur etc. into sealed plastic bags.
      2. load them into your car on a hot day (30C or 86F) and park in full sun
      3. put a thermometer in the car (if you’re using a meat thermometer instead of an outdoor thermometer, put it in a cup of water in the cup holder to make sure you get an accurate read) I had a digital meat thermometer so I put the probe in a cup and left the wire trailing outside the car door so I could take the temp without opening the door.
      4. leave them in the car until it gets up to 48C or 120F and stays there for about an hour to make sure the heat penetrates all of your fibers. (I went to work and got back around 5 and the clothes were at 58C, 138F)
      5. Take your fibers out of the car and continue on with Haley’s amazing instructions.

      1. @ Laura Dunn – did the hot car trick work? We wondered if that might be an option for wool (without washing it in hot water), but then worried that if there were eggs in the material that we hadn’t seen, that the heat might speed up the hatching into larvae?

        1. Hi Salt!
          It worked SO well!
          I think it worked because the weather was unbearably hot all day 35C (95F), so the clothes and moths heated up quickly. There wasn’t much time in between the temperature at which the moths like to hatch and the temperature that is deadly. I wouldn’t risk the car method on anything other than a scorching hot day in July/August when you’ll have many hours of hot sun. Using the thermometer gave me peace of mind to know that the clothes definitely hit 138F, well beyond the 120F needed to kill eggs/larvae. Thanks for asking!

          1. Thanks – I think that window of extreme heat has passed. We are scrambling to get everything out into the sun while there is still sun in the yard, but it takes so much time and we keep finding “evidence” in random parts of the house that the moths have been there at some point (so it’s impossible to isolate them/seal off a room), but they haven’t done much damage (they’ve done some) and we don’t see them flying around. We have caught nothing in traps in the past 6-8 weeks since we’ve started this. I’m finding it hard to figure out whether we are on top of it or whether they are lurking and munching away and we will have a big future problem. I read somewhere that the larvae can live 1- 29 months (!). Does anyone have tips for assessing when you might be close to “done” with this process, and when you can start to be hopeful that it is over? We’ve wondered if things will get worse if we take away their “favourite” food sources (leather slippers trimmed with animal fur that I had forgotten about) – will it just force them to go elsewhere? And how do the larvae move around so much from one part of a house to another without being seen?

  16. Hello,

    Thanks so much for your article! It’s nice to know that we’re not alone!

    We’re dealing with an infestation right now and it is a total pain in the neck! So far we’ve found damaged clothing in 3 bedroom closets and counting…. Ugh. I can see how this is going to take weeks and weeks to clean up.

    We have a small home, so use our bedroom closets to store many things in addition to our clothes including board games, boxes of old school work papers from the kids , etc. Any ideas on how to clean these? Would it be obvious if a moth had gotten into the boxes?

    Also, since we’re going to clean room by room and we sleep in those rooms, I’m afraid they can’t be sealed off. If we keep the closet doors closed, do you think we’ll be OK until we can get in there and clean up or will the moths try to fly our and see what else they can munch on?

    Finally, do the clothes you’re wearing need to be cleaned any time you’re throwing another potentially contaminated load in the washing machine? I just didn’t want to take a clean load of the dryer and possibly cross contaminate, but right now am changing my clothes a lot since I have lots of clothes I now have to launder.

    Thanks!

    Linda

  17. This is an amazingly useful site. I have one small piece of information to add, about a danger of microwaving. I had read an article written by a museum fabric conservationist, about microwaving fabric to rid it of moths. So I tried it on a ball of recyled merino yarn. After 2 minutes, a disgusting black goo blebbed out of the ball, like lava, and the house smelt awful for about 6 hrs. There was so much of it that it couldn’t have been dead bugs–I guess it was the lanolin in the merino? Maybe microwaving for 30 sec or something would be ok> But I am no longer allowed to use the microwave, so I can’t test that.

  18. I’m so sorry this happened to you. And me.

    When I took one of my mothers handknit mohair sweaters out of an *opened* bag that was lying on my shelf, and saw the moths had attacked it years ago, I went into shock. I haven’t opened up any other bags with her sweaters in years.

    But it’s time to face the (possible) horror. You’ve given me the tools and steps I can take so thank you. I gotta put on my biggirlpants and face it! AAK!

  19. I have been dealing with this in Alaska for 4 years. This is a new pest up here. My experience is that the freeze thaw works very well – I can just put them outside in winter but I still see occasional flying monsters from ???? I keep an eye out and one of my cats is a pro at pointing me to them. But, unfortunately, I have noticed that when the moths are flying, they do land on things that I wear often, even on a coat rack. I don’t know if that includes laying eggs but I have even inadvertently transferred them to my office, on a scarf, I assume.

    I have also had an infestation this winter in a heavy plastic snap lid box!! How they got in I don’t know. I found big plastic boxes with 6 snaps that are absolutely air tight. All of my yarn stash is in them and all the sweaters I have made. I have moth traps all over and I have put lavender bags and cedar balls everywhere to discourage the flyers.

    I think it is never-ending.

  20. Thank you for all your wonderful tips and writing about your experience as it has kept my resolve and spirits up as I have been dealing with a severe infestation. I have so much wool as living on the west coast is damp and wool is the best fibre for keeping cosy. I really appreciate your approach. I have been using vinegar, washing endlessly, sorting some finer items for dry cleaning and vacuuming daily. I am resorting to using trichogramma wasps to beat the moth life cycle. They are used extensively in Europe and the UK. Luckily I have found after much googling and a week of research, a Canadian supplier. The practice of this is not well established here despite being a successful method and an amazing natural solution for a severe infestation like mine. I have them in my carpeted space as I had a wool rug stored rolled, not a good move, under my bed, which seems to have been the source which then moved to closets. I wanted to share this with you as with the help of nature and your post I am finally able to sigh with relief and have become a fastidious cleaner and am much better organized. Your photos helped enormously. Thanks again. I love your info.

      1. Hi Marisa, The wasp “armies” of trichogramma brassicea will come in 4 days and so I will keep you posted as to how they work. I was assured they had worked very well in Northern Ontario for severe infestations and that nature does its wonders very well. You have to use them for 8 weeks and put new cards out every week ( rest kept in the fridge) in order to ensure you have beaten the moth life cycle and eggs that lay dormant. Trichogramma only eat moth eggs and smell them so search them out as they are hungry when they hatch. This can get rid of them even in clothing where new eggs could have been laid or if my cleaning didn’t get them all. (almost impossible as still found a live adult flying!!! yikes) When I found a supplier in my area they were just used for handling moths in farms and green houses and came on cards with 100,000 eggs per card rather than the household 2,000 per week so not appropriate. Trichogramma are not interested in humans or cats so completely harmless on that front and not even noticed by humans as so tiny.Planetnatural.com ships for household use in the US. Thanks for your reply as this has been such a saga for me and extremely worrisome to get rid of eggs. Again I appreciated your blog as it really kept my spirits up and gave me strategies when I was overwhelmed. I read it so many times. Have a great day.

        1. I am in British Columbia and I just found a whole more batch of the darn things in my basement…I am in fear of all my fabric and crafting items……can you provide the link where you found a Canadian supplier? I just contacted Planet Natural and they only ship domestically. Thanks!
          Penny

    1. Hello there! I’ve been searching for a way to purchase (in the USA) trichogamma to combat clothing moths. Ialso find it bizarre that although they are obviously used in Europe (Germany and England for example) they aren’t used here in the U.S. I contacted the German company but they can’t ship to the USA. I also found one seller in Montanna but they only sell trichogramma that target pantry moths. Can you give me the name of the Canadian supplier and I will contact them and hope they will ship to me in the US? thanks!

  21. Sandra, would you be willing to share your source of the wasps? I have read about this natural option and might have located a source in Vermont. It is nice to hear direct from a user that this method works. My only concern is what if one has cats and they kill all of the wasps?

      1. Thank you for sharing the link. I contacted PlanetNatural directly before seeing your post. It will be interesting to see how you two ladies make out. I am definitely ordering some from somewhere as soon as I hear back from PlanetNatural, and then I plan to call them as well.

  22. Re: the Trichigramma wasps… I found http://www.arbico-organics.com sells more than one species depending on where you live, you can buy a minimum amount and they are much cheaper. They werent able to answer all my questions when I called them. But they said when they are done with the food source they die or leave. So there is a potential danger of them becoming invasive in the environment when they leave your house. There are many Trichogramma wasps in the environment and they are not all specific for clothes moths. They are used for agricultural pests which means they may also go after butterfly larvae.

    I called my Cooperative Extension who said that biological controls are not without potential hazards. I can say from experience. I did have a problem several years ago with aphids in my small home greenhouse. I bought some sort of parasitic wasps, they did their job but because they lay their eggs in the host’s eggs, they leave the shells. After a short time, I had egg corpses all over my tomatoes and that caused a mess with mold on the leaves and I lost half of the plants. Just saying…

    I am really looking forward to feedback from the folks who have tried them. I will try almost everything… I just found a larvae on
    a polyester dust cloth on an empty shelf!!! Wha???

  23. Update on the wasps:

    We ended up having better luck with the ones from PlanetNatural actually hatching (the ones from Amazon must have been exposed to either heat or cold – they never hatched). We’ve been ordering new ones every 2-3 weeks from PlantetNatural (shipping is free). It’s definitely reduced the number of moths, but so far doesn’t seem to have eliminated them.

  24. Hi Everyone, I was asked about an update since I began using the Trichogramma wasps in March after finding a severe infestation throughout my apartment in every closet hidden away in many cases. For those interested in Canada, I found a wonderful supplier at Anatis BioProtection in Quebec. The woman to contact is Roxanne Bernard at 1 800 305 7714. Anyone I found that had Trichomites in BC were using too large a number for organic crops. They are delivered in cold packs the day of shipping and go immediately into the fridge for an 8 week period where I put cards out weekly. We in Canada,are unable to order from the US as they are too sensitive for any time at borders. I would not recommend Amazon. The trichomites are working very well although it has taken longer than expected and I have reordered as some recent though minimal activity in one closet. They are not harmful to pets or people, become hatched in about 3 to 5 days according to Roxanne, and live about 5 days. Then they are dust and vacuumed up. I have been leaving cards out for 2 weeks as still sometimes seeing the pencil dots (size of wasps) moving on some cards so takes more time sometimes. I am happy with how things are working. Generally you don’t see them. All my other closets have had no activity now for many months after the inital 8 weeks of cards.
    BioProtection has been wonderful and very supportive. I will add more later as I finish with this batch o f cards. All the very best as I know how how troublesome it is to have an infestation. Have no idea how I got them since I have never had them before. I hear of more stories here in BC though of late.
    All the very best everyone.

    1. I also used the tricho wasps from the supplier in Quebec and I am also in BC. We have had a total of 4 (perhaps 5) kinds of moths–pantry, case-making, webbing and believe it or not either the monopis crocicapitella or monopis obviella. A mouthful. We had the whole house heat treated and some spray around the baseboards. Everything g was gone and then we began to see them again. No idea how we got them again. I am hoping they were a few strays that escaped the heat because I have any seen any for a few days now–but am too paranoid to relax. We have used our last tricho cards (I actually caught one accidentally , which was sad but comforting to know they were hatching). All my fabric has been put into sealed bags and I have had to toss over half my clothing including a precious vintage fur coat I’ve had for over 30 years. I hate moths. If they come back in the spring I am moving.

      1. We got our first shipment of moth cards today, and I am very excited to try them out. Still haven’t figured out how to fully eradicate the larvae that might live for up to 29 months (that scares me), although we haven’t found a live one yet, but I feel better knowing that the moths will hopefully destroy any eggs that we can’t see. Thank you so much Sandra Jones for the Canadian reference!

  25. I have WAY TOO MUCH needlepoint yarn.
    I store it on a heavy duty clothes rack In the basement, in hanging vacuum garment bags. They hang vertically, it doesn’t take a lot of room, and has been way easier than bags in tubs (those always seem to poof up).

  26. Oh to have too much of either….wouldn’t that be great!! My 1963 ranch has shoebox size closets. my mom says she never had as much stuff as I do. I believe her.
    You mentioned the oven? I also use the dryer- 30 mins on high, you can put yarn in those small round bra bags, or in old pantyhose if you think it will unravel. I don’t know where I read that but I do it before packing with new yarn (just in case, I get a lot from eBay).
    I LOVE reading these tips, I hate to throw away my treasure!

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