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How to prevent mothing ?

Article about: Gentleman and fellow collectors.. I have read and seen a few if not many posts about mothing or nip bites.. I have never witnessed a moth in my house... Why and how does this happen and what

  1. #11


    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    When an item already has moth damage, it is possible the item has moth eggs. These little critters will hatch with an immediate meal at hand. Several days in a freezer will kill the eggs and cause no harm to the garment.
    Great advice Bob!! As all ways... Many Thanks !!

    I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "

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  3. #12


    I have an overhead fan that I run fairly regularly in my room as I understand they don't appreciate air movement. I also have a couple of renuzit Fresh Lavender in my office. I've read they don't like Lavender either and it keeps the office smelling quite magnificent.

  4. #13


    You are all somewhat correct. It is the moth larave that cause damage to wool. However they are not consuming the wool per se, but rather the proteins left on wool from sweat, skin, etc. Clean wool does not host moths. Things like cedar and citronella are not effective, more of an anecdotal correlation,people tend to put clean things into cedar closets or trunks. Storing in plastic bags is a huge no-no, use unbleached cotton slip covers. sealed bags more typically create ideal micro environments to hatch eggs, stimulate mold or fungal growth or encourage corrosion on metals.

    Napthalene/moth balls are very effective, if not stinky and will kill eggs over time in a closed environment like a bag or plastic bin if you have an infestation. Freezing will kill eggs and larvae but oly of the temperature is below -20C for more than 3 weeks. A household freezer won't do the trick in one pass, you need several freeze thaw cycles 3 freeze, 1 thaw at least three times if you have an infestation.

    good practice for new items is to vacuum all the pockets, seams, linings etc. and then go over the cloth with a clothing steamer with distilled water in it along the same seams and areas. Let it air dry thoroughly before storing. Never dry clean! it is terrible for wool, old thread, old synthetics etc. Moth larvae also don't like light, the storage conditions for light preservation are also ideal for moth gestation, cool, dark, humidity around 55% RH and undisturbed.

    There is excellent professional conservaton information on all manner of old materials that we encounter as collectors here: Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes - History and heritage - Culture, history and sport

    and pest specific stuff here: Preventing Infestations: Control Strategies and Detection Methods - CCI Notes 3/1 - History and heritage - Culture, history and sport

    and this is a great moth specific guide to prevention and care:

  5. #14


    Thank you for that quite detailed post asterperious! I too steam all of my uniforms when I receive them and vacuum the pockets of most. I will be more diligent in my vacuuming now.

  6. #15


    Very informative and welcomed Gents !! I believe this will and may help fellow collectors very much.. G
    I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "

  7. #16


    Quote by asterperious View Post
    Storing in plastic bags is a huge no-no, use unbleached cotton slip covers. sealed bags more typically create ideal micro environments to hatch eggs, stimulate mold or fungal growth or encourage corrosion on metals.
    Someone needs to tell this to FB then, as he has always shown photos of his enormous collection of black woolen SS caps and tunics as being stored in clear plastic bags....

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  8. #17


    Not "Me"... G
    I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "

  9. #18


    My wife spins, as in turning fleeces into yarn, which she then dyes, and knits all sorts of things, and we've had plenty of wool moths in the house... They are not attracted to light for one, so if you see small moths that flit around lights at night they are probably not wool moths, Tineola bisselliella.

    They make pheromone coated traps that attract wool and other moths, covered in a sticky material, like the roach motel... moths check in, but they don't check out ;-) These are somewhat effective, will get a few.

    As astperious says, it's dirty wool they like.

    Old trunks with mothballs are great for keeping old wool blankets and rugs from these pests, working very well for decades, but the smell can be a bother for a while...

    I still have an attachment for an old Electrolux canister vacuum that fits on the exhaust side, you were supposed to put Naphtalene crystals (no longer available and banned in certain countries) in the container, turn on the vacuum and pump the fumes into trunks full of woolens, drawers, etc.

    Cedar chests were said to work, and were found in many homes.

    You'll know if you have moth problems, you'll see them flying around, tiny moths, easy to swat between your hands as you chase them around the house, provides a little extra exercise...

    We finally won the war on the wool moths in the house. All fleeces are in sealed plastic bags, all excessively dirty wool discarded.

    Not bringing dirty wool in the house is very important, and always inspect any woolen item for traces of woolen infestation when getting a new item or article of clothing.

    Interesting article on wool moths;

    Freezing is a great remedy, if you live in the country and people don't steal items left out at night, you can leave bagged woolens outside in a shed for weeks on end during the winter, bye bye moth eggs... ;-)
    Last edited by Larboard; 01-10-2016 at 06:03 PM.

  10. #19


    Thank you G man for bring this subject up for discussion and ditto to asterperious for those fine links that have been save to my favorites.

    Semper Fi

  11. #20


    Great info - air cleaner is also a great idea - it removes all odours, reduces dust and circulates the air.
    Looking for following WWII German items:
    - anything dealing with Allenstein (Olsztyn) and Wehrkreis I in East Prussia,
    - entrenching tool carrier (straight and folding),
    - forestry and hunting items,
    Join my Facebook group -

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