Beth Markel

A Moth in my Sewing Room. Let the shreiking begin!

Posted on July 6, 2014 by Beth Markel

A couple of months ago I saw a sort of strange flutter when I opened the doors to my sewing room.  SHREIKING ensued when I discovered it was a tiny moth.  I clapped my hands around it, turning it into dust.  I was not a happy camper!  Let’s be honest, moths and fabric should never live in the same closet, room, floor, house or neighborhood.  Yes, I am biased against moths!  Then I began to ponder where the dreaded, flying, fabric-eating creature came from….pantry upstairs?  Back-up pantry near the sewing room, which is normally full of long-term staples…soup, coffee, TP, paper towels, homemade canned applesauce, etc.?  Regardless of how they found their way in…they had to go!

After looking online for possible solutions, I sent an email to my Yahoo SAQA group looking for suggestions, and was rewarded with numerous ideas on how to control them.  First, however, I had to discover where they were coming from…the source.  So I spent 2 full days cleaning out the pantry of anything flour/pasta/rice related.  I tossed a lot, much to my chagrin!  In a wise and frugal manner, however, I dutifully washed all the bottles of alcohol on the top shelf of the pantry and scrubbed all the shelving with vinegar and water, as part of the proposed treatment plan.  I then let the doors stand open and had both a fan and lighting on, remembering to scrub all the interior corners behind the doors to make sure there weren’t any flying critters there.  I repeated the vinegar-wash routine every couple of days for 2 weeks.

In order to make sure there weren’t any moths in my fabric, I took it shelf by shelf, washing every single fabric, drying it, then placing in in the freezer.  I’m sure if somebody walked in off the street they would have wondered about my sanity to find perfectly clean, folded fabric in my freezer!

Freezer Fabric!

Freezer Fabric!

At any rate, I’m moving the last of my fabric along, as the freezer is only so large, and I’ve worked in shifts, keeping the freshly laundered fabric in freezer “storage” for 3 weeks, just to be on the safe side.  So today is a big day – I’ve talked my DH (darling husband) into lining the back of my sewing room storage unit with cedar planks.  I do NOT want my fabric to smell like cedar, but it will protect it from critters, and when I start a new project, I’ll probably just drop the fabric in the dryer for 10 minutes with a dryer sheet…that seems to remove any cedar smell…and since the cedar isn’t coming into contact with the fabric, there shouldn’t be any problems.  NOTE:  we’re using aromatic cedar like they line closets with.  Just an FYI.

The source?  A box of long-grain, wild rice.  Dang it.  Never buying rice again!

Does anybody have a recipe for Cheetos Pilaf?

Happy Sewing!




Kristin McNamara Freeman on July 6, 2014

Many years ago, 40 plus, I lived in Southern California and found some creepy things in my flour....unopened bag was riddled with the creatures. I dumped everything, scrubbed with vinegar, invested in French canning jars with sealing rings for things used regularly and every new purchase of any grain to this day goes into my freezer when it comes home. Still have had a few battles with moths in my wool fabrics and yarns from time to time, yet the horror of bug-riddled food sources has not revisited my homes. Once in a while during hot August evenings there will be moths congregating near an outdoor light source and your description of the focused and unrelenting search and destroy mission fits well what my family sees in me at those times. Glad you have a plan to eliminate the critters from your fabric storage area.

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