Sunday, July 31, 2011

It Doesn't Even Look Like a Fish

Microwaving  Yarn

This past week I finally quit procrastinating and started dealing with my moth problem. That means there's been a lot of a yarn everywhere. It's on the living room floor in organized piles, double bagged and stuffed in the freezer, and, of course, in the microwave. It's nice to have it out of storage, but I think Mom and Dad are getting tired of it, but I think they understand.

While inspecting the yarn, I saw at least one ball with frays like I found before. I see specks on some of the yarn, but given the state of my apartment at one point, it's very likely that they're just pieces of lint.

I've come up with my own method for dealing with the infestation based on the information I found online. I've been focusing on animal based fibers, since they attract moths.

I choose yarns to freeze based on how much I care about them (all my handspun is being frozen), how expensive they are and how likely they are to have pests.

With the freezing, I'm going with three days in, three days out and three days back in. Everything I've read said it's waste of time to freeze if you only do it once. The second freeze gets the larvae.

The rest of the protein-based fibers are microwaved for 10 to 30 seconds. I'm taking out staples, and I'm being careful not to out in the acrylic blends for too long.

I'm cleaning the tubs themselves with vinegar and water. Then I'm making sure everything is in plastic bags before it goes back in the tub, along with some cedar chips.


I found what I assume are cobwebs on the outside of one of the tubs. I don't know if this helps identify the problem, but I thought I'd share.


I'm not sure what this is. I've been taking the tubs outside to clean them with the water hose. This was still stuck to the inside of one of the tubs after the first rinse. I saw something like it stuck to the outside of the wrapper of my Magic Ball from the late Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe.

It could be a piece of a moth, but I think it might be a baby silverfish. Mainly because I saw a grown-up silverfish crawling around the same tub while I was sorting through it. I didn't have my camera on hand, but it looked like this. I'm very confident of my identification.

Everything I've read says it's unlikely that silverfish would eat yarn. However, I've seen silverfish in other boxes that had been in storage at the same storage place.* But now that I've actually seen them in the yarn, I'm considering the possibility that they are causing the problem. The good news is that what kills and repels moths also kills and repels silverfish.

The problem is that silverfish tend to be attracted to cotton and linen. Like the cotton and linen I didn't bother to microwave. Crap.

However, moths are still a possibility. All the frays I found were in wool yarn,and the owner of the storage place advised us to put moth balls in the storage unit. I can thank Dad for actually taking the initiative to do this. Perhaps we waited too long to change them out.

I still refuse to put moth balls inside the tubs with my yarn.

Microwaving Yarn

Who wants some piping hot yarn?

* - We've moved units a couple of time depending on how much space we need.

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