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  #1  
Old 10-26-2010, 02:55 AM
HazelNutCoffee HazelNutCoffee is offline
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something is eating my clothes?

I pulled out a 100% merino wool sweater dress out of my closet today (new, never worn or washed) and after putting it on found several tiny holes in the fabric that I am absolutely sure were not there when I bought it.

I've heard of moths eating clothes but I can't *see* any bugs in my closet. Are these mythical moths invisible to the naked eye? I would normally suspect my cat but some of the holes are in places that would be out of her reach.

I'm quite annoyed because it's a lovely new dress. If it is bugs, what can I do about them?
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2010, 03:13 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HazelNutCoffee View Post
I pulled out a 100% merino wool sweater dress out of my closet today (new, never worn or washed) and after putting it on found several tiny holes in the fabric that I am absolutely sure were not there when I bought it.

I've heard of moths eating clothes but I can't *see* any bugs in my closet. Are these mythical moths invisible to the naked eye? I would normally suspect my cat but some of the holes are in places that would be out of her reach.

I'm quite annoyed because it's a lovely new dress. If it is bugs, what can I do about them?
Yes, it's moths! I had them too, decimated my woollens. I believe it's moth larvae that do the chomping, I don't think they're easy to spot.

You can google for more authoritative remedies, but I was told to put all my clothes from the wardrobe into the freezer to kill the larvae, as well as disinfecting the wardrobe. Seemed to do the job. Those anti-moth things you can buy to hang in your wardrobe seem worse than useless.

Whatever you do, do it NOW, or everything else in your wardrobe will get it too.

Last edited by SanVito; 10-26-2010 at 03:14 AM..
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2010, 03:13 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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It's probably moths. They dined well on my jumpers over the summer. I didn't use enough mothballs.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2010, 03:42 AM
HazelNutCoffee HazelNutCoffee is offline
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Eek. I'll have to deal with it when I get home tonight, I suppose. So much for a relaxing evening.

Thanks everyone.
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2010, 05:25 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Could be carpet beetles as well. Very nasty critters.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2010, 06:06 AM
freckafree freckafree is offline
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It's not the moths that eat your clothes. It's the larvae, which are somewhat harder to spot.

Or, exactly what SanVito, who beat me to it, said.

Last edited by freckafree; 10-26-2010 at 06:07 AM..
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2010, 09:33 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Moth balls work by killing the larvae when their off-gas reaches a certain density. Sealing the clothes in plastic tubs with them will kill the larvae. Alternatively, yeah, just freeze the stuff--but for at least a week. I'm sure there are guides online.

The larvae aren't attracted to the fibers but to residues left in the fibers... skin flakes, sweat, oil, bits of food. Thoroughly laundering garments before storing them will make it less likely you'll be attacked in future.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2010, 10:37 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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freezing kills adults and larvae. eggs might survive and hatch when in warmer temperatures. you need to freeze again after the eggs would hatch and before adults are produced.

you could also store refrigerated.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2010, 10:49 AM
lindsaybluth lindsaybluth is offline
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Freeze all your sweaters if you have room in your freezer.

This buys you time to go out and make little cedar sachets out of these cedar balls. (Read my review on how to do little sachets. Just make sure you have an opening to stick the balls in). You don't really want the cedar touching your clothes directly. To freshen, spray some cedar spray on them in a few months.
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2010, 10:58 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsaybluth View Post
This buys you time to go out and make little cedar sachets out of these cedar balls. (Read my review on how to do little sachets. Just make sure you have an opening to stick the balls in). You don't really want the cedar touching your clothes directly. To freshen, spray some cedar spray on them in a few months.
Why not just use the cedar spray (which I assume is cedar essential oil) in the first place? Why buy the balls if they need to be freshened?
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  #11  
Old 10-26-2010, 11:08 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Why not just use the cedar spray (which I assume is cedar essential oil) in the first place? Why buy the balls if they need to be freshened?
Because, unless you do, you don't have the balls to deal with the problem!

Duh.
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2010, 11:17 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
Because, unless you do, you don't have the balls to deal with the problem!

Duh.
LOL Oh, I know HazelNutCoffee. She's got balls like you wouldn't believe!

(Seriously, though, I'd get some cedar essential oil and put it on a knotted old gym sock or something. But if the balls are easier to find, you can "refresh" them with a little sandpaper, too.)
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  #13  
Old 10-26-2010, 11:27 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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In a closet, one of those no-pest strips works wonders. They shoudl only be used in a closet or store-room, not in the open.

There's also clothes moth traps, which use sticky stuff.
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2010, 03:40 PM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is offline
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I'm enjoying this...

...because wool itches me too much and I don't have any. Still, there have been a few mysterious cases where unexpected holes showed up in garments.

Cedar chips, among other things besides moth balls, help with the problem.
http://frugalliving.about.com/od/doi...d_of_Moths.htm
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2010, 06:23 PM
dzero dzero is offline
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I've had that problem too but with my cotton t-shirts (all I wear pretty much). Aside from the recent invasion of the stink bugs here in NJ over the past couple of years, it's pretty rare to see a bug indoors and even then it's usually the stray fly or mosquito or (ewwwww) those bugs with a couple hundred legs. I just assumed it was from the radioactive decay of all of the radon.
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  #16  
Old 10-26-2010, 07:36 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I don't know if it works, but the dry cleaner in my neighborhood has a sign that says they have a special treatment to "moth-proof" your clothes
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  #17  
Old 10-26-2010, 08:10 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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The little bastards just chewed up my best suit. Very aggravating (and expensive) pests.
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  #18  
Old 10-26-2010, 09:17 PM
lindsaybluth lindsaybluth is offline
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Guys, don't throw out your stuff because you think it's shot. You'd be surprised what a good tailor or seamstress can do with it. One of my good cashmere sweaters has an imperceptible fix in it where moths chewed through it. So don't toss it out, go to a reputable tailor to see what they can do.
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2010, 10:28 PM
lindsaybluth lindsaybluth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Why not just use the cedar spray (which I assume is cedar essential oil) in the first place? Why buy the balls if they need to be freshened?
Whoops, didn't see this. I don't think it's kosher to spray your clothes directly with the cedar spray. Everything I've read has advocated actual cedar, with it wrapped in a layer of fabric to prevent staining the actual clothes.
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