Use the cold weather to control moths naturally

Any fellow knitters out there? Anyone who likes the feeling of natural wool fibers, or who owns a sheepskin? If you have anything made of wool there is always a risk that tiny little moths can destroy it. Moths are tricky to get rid of and can ruin a yarn stash or sock drawer in a horribly quick time.

If you are vegan you shouldn’t have this problem. Moths and carpet beetles can’t digest cotton, linen, rayon, polyester, acrylic or nylon. They might have a go if the fabric is dirty though so it’s always worth cleaning clothes before storing them.

How to test fibre content

You can’t generally do this in charity shops because it requires burning a bit of yarn to see how it reacts. Search in the seams for a tiny bit of loose yarn and snip that off. Hold it with a pair of tweezers and burn the very end of it. You don’t need to set the whole thing on fire, just singe the end of it. Very synthetic fibre will burn fast so that is a good indicator that it isn’t susceptible to moths.

Wool will blacken and turn to dust. Synthetics will bead up into plastic balls. Your fibre might be a combination of natural and synthetic so if you are in any doubt treat as if it is vulnerable to moths.

Check charity shop jumpers for holes

I found 3 gorgeous hand knitted jumpers this week but all of them have holes in. That is ok though because I’m going to mend one of them and unrip the others to make something else. If you don’t see visible holes you might still have moth larvae in the fibres though so it is worth taking precautions.

Freeze them out

For us non vegans there is a really easy way to control moths with winter weather. They hate frost, sub zero temperatures kill the larvae so frosty days are the best for us wool lovers!

You can bag woolies up in reusable zip lock plastic bags and put them in the freezer for 48 hours but they do take up lots of space.

The easiest option is to pop them on the washing line, or outside for a couple of days when it is frosty. They will be damp when you get them back in and you will have to dry them off slowly, but that is better than moths!

My neighbours might think I’m nuts but I’ll be warm and moth free 🙂