Ever had this maddening experience?
You step outside and see your breath for the first time in the season. Yay, it’s sweater season! You run up to your closet and reach for that favorite sweater that’s been tucked away since spring. Eager to feel the comforting hug of snuggly wool (or maybe luxurious cashmere) on your arms, you pull the sweater over your head.
But, wait, what’s that? Is that a little piece of lint? No! It’s a hole! And there’s another! Nooooo!!! Moths have feasted on -- and ruined -- your favorite sweater.
You go through the five stages of grief:
Once you’ve made it to acceptance, it’s time to take charge and combat those pesky clothes moths.
The first and most important step in controlling moths is to pare down your sweaters and other woolen clothes.
The reason to pare down is because clothes moths are actually on the rise and one of the contributing factors is that nowadays we have so many clothes that we wear each piece less frequently. Sweaters sit undisturbed in a dark closet for months or even years, an ideal setting for moths.
Moth larvae like to be left alone, so taking out your sweaters and wearing them disturbs and kills the larvae, making it less likely that your clothes will develop moth holes.
If you have more sweaters than you can count, take them all out of your closet and pile them on the bed or floor so you can realize the true scope of your collection. Go through them and let go of any that have holes or stains, no longer flatter you, have lots of pills, or just don’t thrill you anymore.
Now that you’ve whittled down your sweater stash, take these steps to prevent further damage.
1. Clean the clothes and kill the moths.
2. Since your closet is empty from having sorted your clothes, give it a thorough, top-to-bottom cleaning. Vacuum every crevice and dark corner. Dust and wipe down surfaces.
3. Use pheromone traps to break the moths’ breeding cycle. The ones from MothPrevention work remarkably well!
4. Every couple of weeks throughout winter, shake out sweaters and brush them with a clothes brush.
5. In the off-season, store your CLEAN sweaters and woolens in weather-tight containers (I like the ones from The Container Store or Iris.) or ziplock bags.
There’s no guarantee that the moths will never reappear, but if they do, you’ll be ready for them!
Now that we know how not to let moths feast on our clothes, here are some questions for you to chew on. Post your answers in the comments section!