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Linen and Moths

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,

I keep on reading mixed signals on this topic. Does moths enjoy laying eggs and snacking on linen or is it really just wool and cashmere? As of now I'm keeping my linen sportcoats and trousers out next to my cotton stuff so figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

I'm also keeping a sweater with old moth-holes out in the open as bait in case they prefer something they'd hopefully lean towards that.

Are these sound tactics to use? Just curious. Thanks!
post #2 of 17
My understanding is that moths can really only digest animal-based materials, like wool or furs. However they may still eat plant-based fabrics like linen or cotton if they are dirty and have enough sweat/dead skin cells/food stains/etc. which they are attracted to. Probably as long as the linens are clean they should be okay.

Don't know if the sacrificial garment works, but if it does you probably need to keep it in the dark. While adult moths like light, they lay their eggs in dark areas, and the larva that hatch are what eat your clothes.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewfoot View Post
Hi Guys, I keep on reading mixed signals on this topic. Does moths enjoy laying eggs and snacking on linen or is it really just wool and cashmere? As of now I'm keeping my linen sportcoats and trousers out next to my cotton stuff so figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I'm also keeping a sweater with old moth-holes out in the open as bait in case they prefer something they'd hopefully lean towards that. Are these sound tactics to use? Just curious. Thanks!
I have a terrible flu and it hurts to laugh today, but thank you Slew. So far as I have experienced, my linens have never yet suffered moth holes, probably because, like yourself, I have provided them with more tasty alternative treats in woolens. I feel your tactics will gleen dubious results but I admire your ingenuity. Probably better not to bait them at all, if possible.
post #4 of 17
I left my linen jacket in the wardrobe without any protection for 3 years, no moth holes while my father's cashmere jacket on the side was completely destroyed...Don't know if my experience helps.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys!
post #6 of 17
As a side note, what do people use for general moth prevention/protection?

I just brush my clothes before hanging back up and dry clean only if absolutely necessary. I used some cedar blocks, but that's about it.

Sorry, too lazy for search right now.
post #7 of 17
The "bait sweater" idea is hysterical.

I pulled out one of my favorite light wool sweaters this Spring and found several holes.

Here is what I don't get. So the moth makes it into the house through an open door. How the heck does it find it's way through the house and into the closet where it decides to ruin my sweater?
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
As a side note, what do people use for general moth prevention/protection?

Not as much as I should! Would love to hear some other ideas especially in cramped closets out in the suburbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadAboutPlaid View Post
Here is what I don't get. So the moth makes it into the house through an open door. How the heck does it find it's way through the house and into the closet where it decides to ruin my sweater?

I'm sure they have some crazy sonar-type detection that we humans can't even fathom.
post #9 of 17
Moths don't just eat any kind of wool, they specifically eat dirty wool, or at least their larvae do. With regular dry cleaning, moths won't find anything appealing to chew upon.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandySF View Post
Moths don't just eat any kind of wool, they specifically eat dirty wool, or at least their larvae do. With regular dry cleaning, moths won't find anything appealing to chew upon.
The conundrum of course being that with regular dry cleaning a suit/jacket can lose some of its elegance in terms of things like the lapel roll not to mention simply worn down over time with multiple cleanings. At least so I've been told which is why I generally avoid the dry cleaners!
post #11 of 17
D-

Cedar and camphor are your friends. Also screens on your windows - they can't lay eggs if they can't get in.

-J
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Camphor, eh? Know anywhere that sells good Camphor oil? Did a quick search online and doesn't seem to be everywhere. Thanks! PS - even with screens everywhere they still find a way to get in occasionally.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewfoot View Post
Camphor, eh? Know anywhere that sells good Camphor oil? Did a quick search online and doesn't seem to be everywhere. Thanks!

Camphor balls.
post #14 of 17
supermarkets sell those things you can hang in your closets and they repel moths. They are like cedar blocks, but look like camphor.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Got it. The oil came up as I was searching. I'm not the biggest fan of cedar blocks as the smell seems to go away after a few months. I've heard you can place some cedar oil back on it to kick the smell back into gear, but I'm lazy.
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