Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mothra attacks

Great aubergines and greens, large format (10 x 13), silky fabulous wool. Problem? Live moth infestation.

This rug sat in the office of an older individual where there was little activity and the moths got a foothold. SO - here's some handy dandy moth info.
Moths that attack wool or silk are NOT seasonal. They can hide in dark, unused areas like under furniture or on the back side of rugs and furnishings to attack when you least expect it.
"Prevention is easy--when storing articles, place in tight fitting garment bags or plastic storage containers. All garments should be cleaned before storage. Consider using plastic or zip-locking bags to store sweaters in dressers. Storage cartons can be sealed with good quality tape. All seams and joints should be taped over. Vacuum closet floors, shelves and dresser drawers before putting clothing away for summer. Furs can be professionally cleaned and placed in cold storage for protection. Good housekeeping will remove lint, dust, or hair. Be sure to move and vacuum under furniture ifyou have wool rugs, and the ½ inch space along baseboards that is missedby many vacuums. Areas that are frequently vacuumed do not become damaged. Cedar oil, cedar chips and cedar closets have generally been overrated as a control of wool pests. Very young larvae of clothes moths that are exposed to high concentrations of cedar oil vapor are killed, but older larvae,adults, and most carpet beetles are not affected by the oil. Cedar lumber in closets or chests will lose oils over time and after three years are useless in killing any fabric pest. Tight fitting, well-constructed cedar chests makes it difficult for insects to get to the clothing. If you have found a problem, vacuum or brush the insects off the article.Washing or dry cleaning will kill all life stages. Freezing is an option if the article has been kept at room temperature before treatment. The shock of going from 70 degrees to near zero will kill the insects. Place articles in freezer bags loosely packed, expose to below zero for 72 hours. Clothes moths and carpet beetles can survive in unheated attics, bird nests, wall voids and other sites if they have a chance to acclimate to slowly falling temperatures. Heating articles to above 130 degrees for one hour will also kill all life stages. Direct spraying of fabric with insecticides or moth proofing agents creates the risk of staining, discoloration, shrinkage, and weakening fabrics.Chemical reactions caused by water, solvents or the chemical themselves can also occur. These chemicals are also difficult to find. There are clothing sprays that contain pyrethrum, permethrin, allethrin or resmethrin. A wider selection of insecticides are registered for carpet treatment. Moth balls (naphthalene) and PDB (paradiclorobenzene ) change into gases and work as fumigants, but are ineffective as repellents. To work effectively,they must be confined in a closed system with little air movement such as asealed plastic box. Hanging these products in a closet will usually not build up to toxic levels. If toxic levels occur, there is the concern of people breathing the vapors. Items will need to be aired before use. "
Rotate your rugs regularly, vacuum often.
This is a really long posting, but if it helps with the heartbreak of moths it's worth it.


Dave said...

Excellent entry Thea. Very helpful information and great to see you on YouTube talking on/about Chinese Rugs!

Seattle rug cleaning said...

Thank you Dave! Nice to see that someone reads the posts. My personal favorite for my textiles at home are "Space Bags". You can put small items in, vacuum seal them AND drop them into the chest freezer for a double whammy.

The video thing has been a gas....
Barry seems to be having a good time with it.

Have a great Thanksgiving, Thea