the Reads: Home & Environment

SOS (Save Our Sweaters)

the Antidote to... moth holes

We sometimes have to mourn the loss of our most beloved clothes thanks to pesky moths, lurking in our homes. They can be impossible to get rid of but don’t despair, here are some tips from Stacy Marking of The Lemongrass Trading Company on how to banish these unwanted houseguests once and for all:

Why must we SOS?

A massive moth invasion We are buying record amounts of cashmere in the UK which, combined with a wet winter, can create the perfect conditions for a massive moth invasion. What’s the connection? All winter those moth eggs lay snug and safe in our dark, warm wardrobes, and when spring arrives, their horrible larvae (those tiny caterpillar-like things that actually do the damage) are hatching out. Even now they are munching on their very favourite food, cashmere, at our expense.

Urgent action is needed As soon as spring is here it’s time to act – quickly. Clothes moths are active from April to November. Of course, we all want effective deterrents that will save those costly fashion favourites. But remember, we’ll almost certainly be spraying in bedrooms and closets, breathing harsh – even toxic – chemicals as we sleep. One of the ‘greenest’ experts fighting at the front line of the War on Moths is The Lemongrass Trading Company, which specialises in pure and natural plant-based insecticides containing no added chemicals. They also happen to smell wonderful. Follow their 10 vital suggestions below to Save Our Sweaters.

Attack the larvae: The Lemongrass Trading Company is launching a new and revolutionary formula that targets not just the adult moths but also the actual larvae.

Try it now, urgently, before the larvae start on their feeding frenzy!

10 WAYS TO FIGHT THE MOTH INVASION – 

  1. By the time you spot one of these tiny moths (Tineola bisslliella) fluttering from a cashmere sweater, a woollen coat sleeve or a silk pashmina, it’s already late in the game. Embark on a cleaning frenzy, now.
  2. Moths love every speck of dirt, every splash of food, every trace of sweat.
    The adult female lays up to 50 eggs, and she’ll choose any spot of dirt or bodily traces where the larvae (tiny caterpillar-like creatures that do the actual munching) can feed. Check garments when you take them off, sponge off any splashes you can see. Wash frequently and thoroughly.
  3. Dry cleaning is expensive, but essential for suits, coats and jackets before you store them away. But even dry cleaning does not destroy the eggs which the female likes to lay in dark, warm, undisturbed havens like seams, turn-ups, crotches, armpits. Turn inside out and brush seams fiercely. (Do this over the bath, or onto newspaper – you do not want the eggs to hatch later in your carpets or bedding.
  4. Moths hate the light; so hang clothes by an open window in the sun. If you possibly can, take your clothes out of doors, and beat them briskly with an old-fashioned carpet beater, an old tennis racket or even a ping-pong bat! You are aiming to dislodge any remaining eggs.
  5. Storage: once every item is clean, wrap individually in plastic bags (clear ones are best, so you can see what is what) then seal. Keep each sweater or cardigan or scarf in its own bag – this is a terrible bore, but then if some larvae do unfortunately hatch, they can only eat one item and not the whole pile.
  6. Now embark on the floor and furniture (I know, but try it in one great blast of energy). Moths lay their eggs on dust balls, fallen hair, old sticky bits of who-knows-what, and single socks! Vacuum every inch of carpet, under rugs and sofas, in dark corners. Vacuum the cracks between floorboards, wash out the dusty corners of wardrobes, wipe shelves, shake empty drawers. (And throw out all those things you thought might some day come in handy!)
  7. The freezer is cashmere’s best friend! The same rules apply – clean clothes and wrap well in plastic. To avoid condensation, enclose a tea towel. Freeze in a normal household freezer for at least 3 weeks, and then allow to thaw out gently. (Add a label showing the date – it is easy to forget how long it’s been there).
  8. Pheromone traps There are small, tent-like cardboard pheromone traps with sticky strips that give off a female scent and trap the males. These are useful because they reveal the extent of the problem (they can come thick and fast) but by definition it is only the males they catch. Females are still free to flutter into your cupboards and lay their eggs.
  9. Natural, ‘green’ and evironmentally friendly insect sprays Many insecticides are effective but heavy with man-made chemicals. They smell harsh and unpleasant, and some of them have toxic fumes you continue to breathe for many hours, even days. That is the reason The Lemongrass Trading Company uses only Natural Essential Oils (such as lemongrass, cedarwood and eucalyptus) and other plant extracts that are traditionally anti-insect, anti-bacterial and smell divine.
  10. The revolutionary new Lemongrass Anti-Moth Spray, which targets the larvae as well as the adult moths