Monday, June 02, 2008

They're back!!!!!!!

Those of you who are my long following friends may recall the hell that I went through a few months ago when I was battling fiber moths at the Craft College. NOT good times. Well, any way, just as I was recovering from floods, flies, and weeds, I discovered moths in my own house.

Oh yeah. Moths. And you all know how I feel about that whole set of circumstances. I have lived this particular nightmare at work and I did not think that I would have to deal with these little destructive beasties in my personal life in the near future. I was very careful to keep home and work very separate as far as fiber was concerned. But alas, it has happened.

Do you remember a number of months ago when we went on a expedition to a fiber farm? I bought some locally produced mohair fiber as well as a "sampler" bag of some of the fibers that her farm had. There was Jacob, Mohair, Angora rabbit, and a couple of other fibers that I really can't remember. In any case, I bought the sampler bag and a bundle of mohair that had been processed into roving and went on my happy way home. And knowing that I would not get into processing anything in the fiber front right away, I just dropped the wee zip lock bags into my "stash" and proceeded on with my life.

Oh, yeah. I hear the collective gasp from those of you who are in the know. Any thing that comes from a new source needs to be isolated and scoured for infestation. Frozen at the very least if the source is unknown. Oh yeah. I can hear the collective gasp right now. And for those of you that do not know why I am spreading this cautionary tail, PAY ATTENTION!!!!

In my bid to support "the little guy" I purchased a sample bag of 6 different fibers from a local fiber farm. This farm has been acting as a "rescue" farm and really didn't know how to deal with raw fiber. There were bags of raw fiber lying around ( as in bags of fiber straight off the sheep/alpaca/goat) that had not been washed and not been processed into roving. And when I say "raw" I mean that the critter had been shorne and the fleece has been stuffed into a pillowcase or green garbage bag. There were at least 20 fleeces that were in the raw stages that were laying around in bags. There were a lot of other fibers that had been processed into roving from a local mini mill. I purchased some of the sampler pack that she had made up for us and also some of the mohair that she had had processed from her wee little mohair goat. She had a bit of dandruff but she was a good little goat. In any case, fast forward 7 months and cue the scary music.

Moths in my front room where a lot of my fiber is stored. Moths in my bedroom where the bulk of my fiber is stored. I freaked out and started to go through what was in my front room. Within the "sampler pack" was some Angora rabbit that has the tell tail sign of " coloured sand like particles" in the bottom of the zip lock bag as well as having bits of the bag eaten away. Not to mention the larva (ick) that I found in the angora fleece itself. How fast did THAT bunch of fiber get tossed? Everything stored in my back unheated shed is fine,(freezing kills moths and larva) but all of the fiber stored back there is my "bulk yarn". The "not- special" stuff. It was all frozen throughout the winter months. I do live in Canada , people.

All of my high end fiber is stored in my bedroom. Not frozen. Under my bed. Next to where some of the moths have been feasting (unbeknownst to me) for the past 6 months. How many times have I been into those bins and not noticed any moth activities.

I am afraid.

I am very afraid.

But I have a plan.

I can get some of the Vapona Strips for my local Canadian Tire and I am off to said store within the next few days and I am going to pick some up and fumigate all of my woolen goods. Including my hand woven blankets. And all of my high end yarns. And all of my hand spun yarn.

Anything that is not going to be fumigated will be steamed and we will see if those little bastards (there goes my "G" rating) will survive the heat.

I am so pissed off.

And I have learned a good lesson.

Anything that comes from a place that is in any way suspect shall be frozen and considered suspect.

Fiber shall be processed quickly. And by processed, I mean steamed and cooked and dyed and rinsed and processed to .... shall we say ... DEATH?????

Or maybe I just won't buy stuff from someone who has their dirty fiber stored in bags in their house.

So much for supporting the "little guy". I've had enough grief, thank you very much.


Sue said...

Oh no. No no no no no. ACK!

jessie said...

Now that you mention it, I'm lucky this has not happened to me. Yet.

Good luck!

DaviMack said...

Glad you're getting a handle on it.

My only issue with moths is that they've eaten the horsehair off of my violin bow twice now! I've since had to start keeping the odd moth-ball in there, just so that I don't have to keep on spending in excess of $100 on the thing to be re-haired every year!

The rest of everything we have dropped cedar-wood chunks into, or have sprayed with cedar-wood oil, or both.

B said...

Two full days, almost 100 jumbo ziplock backs, god knows how many feet of plastic tube and my heat sealer.

Every. Single. Bit. of loose fiber and yarn I own is packed and away. All of the loose fiber that was in the same room is double sealed and waiting for winter. The ONLY thing not in plastic is a couple of cones of warping cotton I just spied on top of the cabinet.

o.O I haven't seen a moth in a week, but that means nothing.

Anonymous said...

Poor Jackie, I feel sorry for your moth problem. At least you have discovered it and you know how to treat it. If you need me to go to Canadian Tire to get some Vapona Strip Just let me know.

I don't know if there is only one type of moth that attacks wool, but if it is any comfort to you, I ran over a brown moth on the lawn twice last evening when I was mowing the lawn. Yes, I backed up the lawn mower and ran over it again. There it was fluttering in the grass. It disappeared never to be recognized as a moth again.

I better go check my own little stash of Briggs & Little yarn. It is sitting in an opened cloth yarn holder that I bought at Value Village.


Margene said...

Oh dear...oh no! This is a fiber lovers nightmare. Your plan sounds good...I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Dave Daniels said...

Oh, Jackie, that's horrible. I learned my lesson with your last infestation and isolate ANY fiber/yarn in a sealed container right away.
Good luck with the fumigation. Can you run some of the skeins through the microwave oven to banish any of the critters?

Anonymous said...

Dare I ask if baby Felicity survived the moth attack?

I am sure that all of your fiber artist friends will take heed.

Curious Llama

TadMack said...

Oh, crap, not again. I feel ya on 'supporting the little guy.' Got some fiber with cat hair in it -- and I'm horribly allergic. The yarn was just unevenly spun and the dye wasn't fast, and I was trying to be supportive, but I think supportive + really careful = better bargains in the long run. So, so sorry!!! Ugh. HATE larvae.

Leigh said...

Oh Jackie. What a horrible experience and hard lesson. It could have happened to any of us though. We all "know better" but moths happen. Much sympathy from my part of the world!

Teyani said...

holy crap batman.
I think that this is one of the few times that I would consider microwaving everything I owned that had wool in it....... gaaack.
I have heard that flea bombs work well to kill moths as well..
sending you good wishes for a speedy fumigation.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

OMG, I feel your pain! I only hope and pray it never happens in my house. In fact, I should shack things up this very weekend to be sure.