Friday, July 27, 2007

Moths! Moths!

There are MOTHS in my house! Not the kind you find in the pantry when you forget about that pound of old chocolate that got buried behind the cereal boxes (which we had a few months ago). Real, scary, ugly little black closet moths! Wool moths!

Picture this scene: My 10-year-old son is in his room. He yells, "Hey, Mom, there are moths in my room!" I figure, okay, a moth got in through the open front window. I go in to remove it.

"Where?" I ask calmly.

"On the ceiling. And there are these little wormy things on the wall."

Little wormy things?! I look up. There are maybe 20 little black moths hanging upside down from his ceiling, like tiny bats. And, much more alarming, there are little yellowish larvae crawling on the walls! Larvae! You know, wool-eaters?

As horrified as I am by this repulsive turn of events, I still have the presence of mind to appreciate the true magnitude of the disaster. My yarn stash is ten feet from my son's door. Still looking up at this little preview of hell, I reach out and slam the door shut. I'm sure moths (and larvae, too, considering the rate at which the little monsters were inching across the walls) can get past closed doors. But I see no need to make it easier for them.

"Honey?" I yell. "Get the vacuum cleaner!"

Ten minutes later, I have removed all posters, bedding, and pets and vacuumed the entire room--walls, ceiling, floor, furniture. Twenty minutes later, hubby has returned from Home Depot with a bug bomb, which we promptly detonate. Four hours later, the room is airing out, and my son is sleeping in his brother's room. The next day...we have moths. Aaargh!

More things are removed from the room. More vacuuming is performed. Another bug bomb is detonated. The stash (mostly sealed in plastic bags, thank god) has been inspected and double bagged. Four hours later, the room is aired again and re-vacuumed. And the next day? We have moths!

My son has permanently abandoned his room, which has been declared a bio-hazard zone. The door is sealed. I make hourly moth-and-larvae checks and vacuum up any offenders. What else can I do? What? What?

If anyone has any suggestions, you'll find me quietly sobbing in the stash closet.

15 comments:

Karen said...

Oh man. That is horrible. I am itching from reading it. I don't have any good advice on what to do. I had pantry moths once in a previous house and couldn't even get rid of those. Every time I thought they were finally gone, I'd find another one. Yuck. Good luck!

sophanne said...

I am so running in place with my hands over my ears and squirming uncontrollably (I don't think there's any shorthand for that) How can it be with yarn in bags? Call the local person person that people call about bugs and such- not the exterminator but the one who really knows-the 4-H kind of environmental guy.

kmkat said...

I think Sophanne means the extension person -- could be county extension agent, could be a University extension person.

Yikes. Good luck.

Suzanne said...

Tear down your house and I will help you out by taking all that yarn off your hands! Or you could sell your house and move to Alaska. I don't think we have that kind of bug up here, its too cold! Aren't I helpful? Heheh!

P.S. Did you say you had uneaten chocolate in your pantry????

Mother of Chaos said...

Noooooooooooo!!!! We have spiders, flies, and no end of earwigs - but at least the only moths I've found have been the 'just fluttering in from the heat out there' variety!

UGH!!!

Kim said...

Holy shit! That sucks. I am so sorry and will pray that they don't get into the stash. If your son has a wool rug, get rid of it. Larvae could be deep in the pile of the carpet and are almost impossible to vacuum out. Maybe call an exterminator and see if they have any suggestions. Good luck. I'm sending moth-be-gone vibes your way.

Romi said...

Eeeeeeeeeeeek! :(

Quail Hill Knits said...

You have to find the source of the larvae. They are hatching from something. Do you have pets? Check the food. Also look at the edges of you carpet. About four years ago one of the lawyers in our group had and infestation and it turned out they are in his new wool berber carpet. I would also immediately get an exterminator into the house. They can recognize the variety of moth and use the right bait and/or spray to kill the moths, eggs, larvae and pupae cases that they hatch from. Keep us posted!

Sharon said...

OMG. I am thinking good thoughts for you and I hope for a speedy solution.

Kristin said...

Bad news!! If you are worried about your yarn you can put it in the freezer. Perhaps not all of it at once but alternate it. Freezing will kill any eggs or larvae that you can't see.
It terms of in the house, call a moth/bug person for sure.

sophanne said...

yea, the extension agent. Thanks kmkat.

Mrs. H said...

EEK! I agree with the others. Call in the professionals. As much as I don't like chemicals, I think a little pesticide exposure is worth saving the stash. Praying for you!

knottykitty said...

Eww. I didn't know they came in HERDS! I thought that the rotten little wool-eaters sorta slipped in here and there and all you find is the chewed wool remnants!

Now I'm really afraid, because if I had to go through all the work that you have to try to get rid of them, it would exhaust me so badly I'd probably just toss the wool into the room and surrender!

Hope all of your efforts pay off soon! I can't believe you have so many! I'm leaving to cringe now...

Sarah said...

Oh I am so sorry about your current plight. You know how I feel about creepy crawlers. I hope you can kick some serious buggy butt.

5elementknitr said...

I've read freezing your bags of yarn will kill any critters, but how do you freeze a whole room???

Have you called an exterminator? Maybe they are getting in through a hole in the wall your not seeing?