Will an ordinary ziplock bag keep out moths?

Dammit, moths (or other critters) got to my husband’s cashmere wool vest, the one he wears in his office because it’s so cold in there. So if there are moths now in our house, we need to take steps to keep all of our other woolen garments safe.

I’ve heard about zippered plastic bags sold for this purpose; can’t I achieve the same thing with a plain ol’ ziplock bag? They seal up pretty tight, and I’ve got some oversize ones somewhere around.

Will this work?

I think they’d work OK, but I’d be concerned that eggs have already been laid on the garments. It’s the larva that eat the wool, not the adults.

Do they still sell moth balls or flakes? Throw a few of those in each bag.

I once took my cashmere sweaters out of a zippered plastic bag and put them on the ironing board for a day or so until I could get around to ironing them. I was shocked to see there were BUGS on them, so I guess the eggs did hatch in a short time. I hate the thought of mothballs, though. There are various herbal things (lavendar, cloves, rosemary, thyme, etc.) you can make sachets from. But the best remedy I’ve heard is to put your clean sweaters in the sealed plastic bag and put them in your freezer overnight to kill things before storing them away.

Freezer, huh? That’s a good idea.

I doubt Mr. brown would go for lavender-scented sweaters, or any other scent, for that matter. The sweater in question was kept in a cedar-lined drawer, yet the moths got at it anyway.

This appears to be an authoritative discourse on cedar and moths. I was going to offer that one can get small pieces of cedar to put into garment storgage bags, but after reading this I can see that it’s not that simple.

And upon clicking around and reading, I’m now convinced that our problem is not moths but those little icky woolly larvae of carpet beetles that we often see on our bathroom floor. They’re there to nibble at the strands of hair which build up there between cleanings. It’s true that I need to clean our bathroom floor, it having been neglected because of holiday tasks.

So I’ll spend this evening vacuuming, mopping, bagging sweaters and cramming them into our freezer.

Hey, did you ever smell moth balls?
(timing how long it takes for the punchline to get posted)

How did you hold them … by their wings or by their feet?

What did I win?

larvae can eat through plastic. if there are eggs or larvae on something in plastic they can eat their way out and turn into adults. i think the noneating adults sense the food source and lay eggs where appropriate.

Well, I put my best cashmere sweater in the freezer overnight, and it sure looks silly shouldering for room in there with the frozen pizza and pot pies.

Meanwhile, I thoroughly swept and vacuumed both bathrooms. I think they’re the major source of foodstuff for the woolly bear larvae. My 53-year-old eyes don’t see how fast my light blonde, nearly invisible hair accumulates on the bathroom floors, and I’ve seen those little fuzzy bastards down there more than once. So I swept up a whole bunch of hair and whiskers and scrubbed the floors, and tomorrow and this weekend I’m going to rummage closets and vacuum them as well as a chest where my husband kept his sweater.

You can figure out what stuff has eggs in it by holding it over a plastic garbage bag and shaking it - the eggs drop out and sound like grains of sand. Moth larva also leave web-like stuff on clothes/yarn, so look for that. It’s similar to spider web material.

After you freeze it, microwave it, then freeze it again. The eggs are surprisingly resiliant, and freezing alone may not kill them. Some people freeze, then lay the item outside for a day (if it’s warm) so the eggs start hatching, then freeze again. The larva are easier to kill than the eggs.

I’m not sure if carpet beetle eggs are as tough to kill, but it won’t hurt the sweaters.

I have a lot of yarn. Yarn is not cheap, and an infestation of moths horrifies me. My husband laughed when I found a web and started microwaving my yarn, but I’ve spent way too much money on my stash to lose it to moths.

We used to have carpet beetles that would get into the dog food. I thought I’d be clever and put the dog food in a ziplock bag. It slowed them down, but it didn’t stop them. They chewed right through the bag eventually.

You need to do two cycles of freezing. Put the item in the freezer, take it out. Wait a bit and put it back in the freezer. This makes sure that all of the eggs are killed.