MY MOTH STORY
SEE THE SIGNS
As I sit to write this blog, my room is bare, I can see the floor boards, the wood of the shelves and the metal of my wardrobe rail. Do not fear I haven’t been burgled, I am in the midst of Moth Gate!!
Moth Gate or Moth-A-Geddon started a few years ago when I lived in a condemned council flat in Hackney. We were property guardian-ing in a dream location by Shoreditch Park (if it looks too good to be true then it most certainly is not true). After two years living the hipster bo-ho life style, our time had come to an end and we had to leave to cheaper climes. Whilst in our Hackney abode, I noticed the odd hole in my clothing. I thought nothing of it, as I have personal attachments to my clothing so a lot of it has been with me for a VERY long time and due a hole every now and then. I also noticed a lot of little moths. Uneducated as I was I didn’t put two and two together and so the battle of Moth Gate is happening 2 years on in South London.
I had moths, eating my clothes… well this is mistake No.1. It’s not the moths that eat your clothes it’s their larvae, and no amount of moth squashing is gonna help you. Also, putting your head in the sand and letting nature take care of it won’t help either. Nature will just eat through your vintage one of a kind Vivien Westwood dress from the 60’s right on the tit for all to see and no amount of tailoring to fix!!
PREPARING FOR BATTLE
So after realising I had to do something, the next question I had was what?! Here comes Google, my favourite go-to wise aunty. First thing is these moths are trixy, the same chemicals that would nuke their asses will take you out with them too! (I only considered chemical warfare on a dark and lonely day after discovering the Westwood damage).
So what’s the next step? Well, there is LOTS of information on prevention- which I found mightily irritating as I didn’t realise I had something to prevent against! But if you are reading this with a dry eye and are not nodding along in recognition, then you still have hope. Please assume at some point soon you will get a moth infestation so you have to act NOW on the PREVENTION.
Some things moths don’t like: CEDAR, cedar is a lovely smelling wood that puts Moths off. You can get cedar balls, cedar hangers, cedar sheets to line drawers and wardrobes with or if you are minted, cedar furniture. Also lavender bags! There I was thinking these were just for chintzy fun or for people who like going into those shops that sell things you never need. Oooh and if you’re crafty like me you can make your own lavender bags, the blog for that will be coming soon! Luckily for us Moth prevention smells like a summer garden which is ironic! Anyway I digress.
If like me you pull your head out of the sand and find a moth on your butt, then you could freeze your clothes and/or wash them on at least 48 degrees. Oh yeah did I mention that it should be ALL fabrics from the infected area!!
Oh gosh I never knew I had so many clothes!! WTF!! So now as I type this (my freezer is pathetically small) I have 2 loads of washing outside on the line, one on the clothes horse and 15 bags of clean clothes waiting to be washed before re-entering my Moth free haven… the moral here is don’t ignore a hole in your clothes especially if you weren’t drunk at the time of its last outing.
- Try and find the source. Moths love natural expensive fabrics like wool, silk, fur. Get rid of it. Bag it up and get rid!!
- Always thoroughly check any item you buy from the chazza shop or ebay or the like
- Always wash second hand clothes straight away after buying them, on as hot a heat as they can handle
- If it says dry clean only and you can’t afford to dry clean it, give it a brush outside, comb through any vintage furs, leave it to hang in the sun (Moths hate the sun
- When checking for larvae, it looks like a sticky white substance (no rude jokes please
- Check the seams, armpits and all the crevices (Still no rude jokes)
- You can freeze your clothes to kill the larvae or Wash everything at as high a temperature as possible
- Steam your clothes after washing (be careful as not all fabrics can be steamed- shiny things don’t tend to like steaming, or rubber prints on tees)
- If storing your clothes, get moth proof storage, or those bags that you can suck all the air out of.
- Go though any stored clothes every 6 months and give them a shake out and if you can hang items in the sun.
I found these sites and articles particularly helpful
Martha Stewart: Basics of Moth Proofing (google it as I'm not allowed to link to it)
I will show you how to make lavender bags AFRORETRO style in a blog coming soon. Follow us to keep upto date.