Last week I returned from a few days away with my boys, to the awful news… we had a moth infestation. Because of my business this is something I dread, however before you worry about anything you may have bought from me, I’d like to state that all of my stock is kept in a airtight plastic bags in a shed so they are safe!
However, the same can not be said for all my hand knits and my jumpers… After some pretty grim spring cleaning I had to throw out 3 bin bags worth of clothes that were not salvageable – this included my mother’s pashmina and the last jumper she gave me before she died, and several things I have knitted over the years. In addition my husbands entire jumper collection! Literally hundred if not thousands of pounds worth of clothes… Devastated doesn’t come close…
Having cleared everything out the next job was to ensure that we got on top of the problem. We have carpets from the stairs up in our house and they pre-date us but I am certain that they are wool so I am sure that there is a population within them. Having telephoned various pest control companies and been given astronomical quotes I have decided to try and tackle the problem myself.
I am all for a natural life where possible, but equally I can not afford to have moths so where necessary I am also using some chemicals… There are 2 stages involved – erradicating them and then preventing them from coming back… I have spent the last week reading up as much as I can so these are the steps I am going to take:
I have literally washed all the clothes that we are keeping. Mine, my husband’s and my children’s. Moth eggs are tiny and not visible to the eye and I’m pretty certain that something has been eaten in each of my drawers. Anything that can be washed at high temperatures has been, and if possible tumble dried as this will kill eggs, larvae and moths. All woollens that haven’t been damaged or that are salvageable have been washed at low temperatures and when thoroughly dried placed inside ziplock plastic bags. I dread to think about my electricity bill…
Luckily we bought a chest freezer recently. It is nowhere near full so I have put as many woollens into the freezer as possible. I can’t find out exactly how long I need to freeze things for – some just say a day others say up to 2 weeks so I am going to pay it safe and leave them in for 2 weeks. When they are done the second batch can go in – but at least everything is now in bags so any moths/eggs/larvae that have survived the wash are contained.
Having emptied all the drawers, shelves and cupboards I have had the opportunity to clean everything. First I hoovered everywhere, and then used a polish. I have also made some lavender water using some dried lavender and boiling water which I have sprayed into all the drawers. I have also bought some moth killer that is suitable for clothing – this is where the chemicals come in, and I would not spray any of my children’s clothing but our coats, and suits have.
I have also hoovered the entire house thoroughly. I have moved all sofas and hoovered behind them, paying particular attention to corners and areas where they might be hiding.
Being a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate I have also been diffusing a mix of lavender, lemongrass and cedar wood around the house. These as they are widely renowned as being moth deterrent. I am under no illusion that this will kill them but makes the house smell amazing and hopefully prevent any new moths from entering my house.
In addition to the above I have also put several “moth traps” around the house – these have a pheromone that attracts the mail moths, hopefully before they have time to breed. It’s quite satisfying. In addition I have sprayed all the carpets with an anti-moth solution that I bought from Lakeland. Time will tell…