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Posts Tagged ‘moths’

MOTHS?!?

I was all set to start on a neckwarmer and just debating whether to use some of my yarn from Fibrations, or maybe the alpaca I picked up at the Saanich Fair.  I’d spent all evening Ravelling for patterns and had settled on one for the neckwarmer and another to use up some Kidsilk Haze that has been waiting patiently in the back of a drawer for ages.  I opened my “fuzzy yarns” drawer (containing primarily alpaca and mohair, with a few bits of other things) and saw, crawling on my Saanich Fair skein, a moth.

I’m fairly sure it was a clothes moth.  Not 100%, we do get lots of moths in the house and some of them are small and I don’t always close the drawers tightly.  But it did look mostly like the picture I looked up moments later.  And as I started pulling yarn out and jamming it in zipper-lock freezer bags I started to realise just how much animal-fibre yarn I now have.  And I started to think about my sweaters and shawls and how devastated I’d be if the next time I pulled out my wedding shawl little beads pattered to the floor, released from their lacy suspension by holes eaten in the slender threads.  PURE TERROR.  So I’m treating this as a clothes moth infestation despite the approximately 16.7% chance that I failed to correctly identify the critter I saw.  All animal-fibre yarns in that storage area are quarantined to the freezer for 72 hours or until I can make time for them next week.  Then, I’ll be taking them outside to shake out – apparently while freezing DOES NOT KILL EGGS, only adult and larval moths, you can get them to fall out, thus identifying any infested skeins.  I’m hoping it’s just one (and I think I know which one).  If not that, I’m hoping it’s just that one drawer and that none of them found the wool drawer underneath or the silk drawer (which contained a large amount of silk-wool blend) above.  O god, please let them not have made it up to my “hope chest” which is not actually a chest but rather the space on top of my second set of plastic drawers (used for storing doll stuff, notions, needles, etc.) where shifting piles of future baby apparel hover with threatening cuteness.  Apparently by being open to the air that stuff might actually be safer?  But still.  I would cry if a year or two down the road I finally got to pull out some of that stuff I’ve knitted and it was full of holes.

Depending on what the affected yarns are, I may bake them at 150˚ for 4 hours (which kills the eggs, yay) or allow to thaw (and eggs to hatch thinking it’s spring, ha ha fuckers) and then re-freeze after 48 hours (hopefully before they have a chance to nom my yarn!) to kill the larvae with cold.  Either way, BOOOOOOOO TO INVERTEBRATES!  And if anyone knows where I can get Pyrethrum/Pyrethrin spray (derived from chrysanthemums and apparently quite an effective spray that’s not toxic to mammals) in Victoria, please let me know, because I was told to check Amazon, but they won’t ship it to Canada, dammit!

And of course this means I have to come up with a new plan for what to knit today, one that doesn’t involve any of my beloved squishy wool type yarns!  Curses!

Oct. 28 edit:

I found a good source of pyrethrins!  Of course the moth scare has blown over by now, but I am putting this out into the world.  Flea and tick sprays for household pets are based on pyrethrins, or at least the Zodiac brand stuff we have in the house is.  I was reading the label…it’s theoretically for spraying directly onto your pet, but I’m pretty sure they make a household spray as well that might be slightly different in composition.  In any case, it seems like a great option for occasionally spritzing my stash storage.

Also, once the scare blew over I totally knit that neckwarmer from the alpaca from the fair, and then promptly lost it.  Like, 48 hours after I cast off.  Headdesk.

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