Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Infestation

This is the sweater Troy showed me yesterday. He pulled it out of his closet and discovered these holes, presumably caused by wool loving moths or possibly, carpet beetles. Horrors!

The sweater is no great loss as it was obtained second hand and was getting rather worn. But the idea that we may have an infestation on our hands--that is a big deal.

I've had several occasions when I've wondered if I had moths; several balls with frequent breaks (like I mentioned on my Outside In socks). But since I never saw any other signs of actual bugs, I didn't pursue it. I know, not very smart of me.

With this proof, though, I could no longer ignore it and sprang into action today. There's lots of advice about how to deal with it, but the general consensus seems to be heat. Either in a sun-soaked car, or an oven. Not having the weather I needed for it today, I was left with the oven:
(Yes, my oven operates with an open flame. Long story.)

I cooked four batches of wool in the oven, 45 minutes at about 140^F. (I was aiming for 120, but the oven isn't too predictable at the low temps.) I then stopped storing them in paper bags and have moved the wool into a tin can. (The big ones popcorn comes in at Christmas time.) I'm thinking it will keep the bugs out. The other option is ziplock bags and I'm not keen on buying a bunch of those.

The best way to keep the bug population down in the house in general is vacuuming and cleaning. With my housekeeping habits, that's not encouraging!

And now that the important stash has been dealt with, I need to get up the energy to go through the rest of Troy's sweaters in the closet. There's a lot of wool in there...

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