Moths in your wool fiber, now what??

Do you have moths in your fiber or yarn stash?alpaca fiber

Also read: More Wool Moth Prevention Tips

So you took all of the precautions in storing your fiber… washed it and carefully put it in an open, airy place with dryer sheets or herbal sachets and yet, you have wool moths.  What to do??

First, you need to check all of your bags or bins of fiber and figure out where the moths  are.  Is it just one or all of them? Once you find the infested fleece, get it away from your other fiber to prevent further damage. Take it outside, open it up and see how bad it is.  In some cases, the fiber is not worth salvaging.  If it is, here are a few suggestions:





Freezing – stick your fleece in the freezer for about a week. This will kill the moths and larva however, there are a lot of differing opinions about whether or not freezing kills the eggs.

Washing – wash your fiber as you normally would but using HOT water. I’d suggest several washings.

Solar heat – Place the fiber with the little critters in a black garbage bag. Close it up tight and put it in the bright sunshine for a few days. I have not tried this method personally, however, I do a lot of solar dyeing and if it gets hot enough to set dye, it’s bound to be hot enough to kill the little boogers.

If you were planning to have that fiber processed at a mill, contact them first. Many mills won’t accept a fleece that has evidence of moths.

I am not an expert on fiber moths so feel free to chime in here.

Good Luck!

Annette









Comments

  1. Thank you for bring this up! I even go as far as to put my finished needle felted pieces in the freezer every now and then just in case I get a moth infestation. It sure is heart breaking to see an outbreak of the little pests.

  2. We use the Alpaca & Llama Insect Spray (natural spray) has cedar oil in it. You can get it at http://www.alpacasALLnaturale.com or Quality Llama Products.
    We spray a light spray across the fiber of the open bags after shearing & before we close up the bags of fiber to store. It repels moths and kills any lavae & makes the eggs hatch premature killing eggs. Any alpaca products we store we spray using this natural spray. I have a friend that makes rugs and she sprays the rugs before she rolls them up for storage or shipping. I use it to spray in cedar wardrobes & cedar chest to repel moths. It’s a great product & safe to use.

    • Great info, Candace! I assume it smells like cedar? Does the smell fade over time?

      • The smell does fade over time. It is not overwhelming.
        I use it in our alpaca shop to spray around hats, socks, scarves, etc. that are displayed on racks & shelves to repel moths. It works really well.