It is interesting how with the advent of Spring comes a definite wish to clear things up in your life. Literally and metaphorically. It is not something I used to do much when I was younger. Back then I proceeded to declutter my flat randomly though the year whenever it felt necessary. But there’s something quite therapeutic about spring cleaning. With nature blooming all around it feels like the perfect time to start afresh and mark the beginning of a new cycle with a clear house and a clear mind.
When you also own a big collection of yarns and knitwear a good spring clean can be a game changer. Keep in mind that moths are essentially a storage pest problem. Packing away your woolens in ‘safe’ conditions will allow you to the survive the moth season without any major dramas. Moths thrive in warm, humid, dark and dusty environment. They lay their eggs into wool and it is the actual larvae that does all the damage by eating away the fibre as they grow.
First steps is to make sure your wardrobe is clean and dust free. And do not wait for Spring to do so. Your wardrobe will benefit from regular cleaning so don’t shy away from any extra scrubbing.
Once that’s done your knitwear should be kept clean AT ALL TIMES. Moths are particularity attracted to soiled knitwear so packing away a stained item will put your entire wardrobe at risk.
Moth larvaes are fragile and do not like to be disturbed. Therefore you are less likely to find damages on items that are worn regularly. As a rule of thumb if you know that you’re not going to wear specific items for an extended period of time it is best to give them a good clean before packing them away. For example it is always a good idea to thoroughly wash your hats, scarves, gloves and heavy jumpers at the beginning of the Summer. To play it extra safe you can even store them in separate airtight boxes until the following winter. If you own a woolen coat now would be a good time to send it to the dry cleaner.
Again do knot leave your knitwear undisturbed! Airing, brushing and shaking it regularly will help driving the moths away. Same with hot direct sunlight. If you’ve got a garden lay your woollies under the sun, it will kill both eggs and larvae. Don’t forget to give the same treatment to your woollen carpets and rugs. They are as likely to attract moths as your clothes so make sure to hoover them regularly and give them a good shake every now and then.
Cedar and lavender are great natural repellents. Although you cannot solely rely on them to prevent moth infestation they are a good addition to your spring cleaning routine. Whichever your choose – cedar balls or lavender bags – you can always add few drops of their essentials oil when the smell becomes less potent. Not only it will reinforce their repellent properties but it will also give a nice scent to your wardrobe.
When it comes to your stash the same rules apply. Keep your storage clean all year around and regularly go through your skeins to give them a vigorous shake. Undo your skeins beforehand so anything stuck in there is more likely to fall off. Yarns shall be stored in sealable plastic bags. It is best to have your stash divided in multiple small bags rather than a fewer, bigger ones. In this way if one bag gets contaminated you will loose a smaller quantity of yarns.
Prevention is better than cure. Believe me you do not want to go through the trouble of having to get rid of a moth infestation. Follow those basic rules and you should – hopefully – never have to use any nasty pesticides into your home.
Until Next Time… Happy!