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Freezing out Clothes Moths - comments, cautions or effective practices?

triathlete

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Last summer, I had clothes moths appear for the first time. Total casualties were 1 pair of suit trousers, a weekend of time deep cleaning and vacuuming, and about 2k in dry cleaning bills.

I've kept those sticky moth traps in each closet to monitor over the cooler months, and last night I found two more of the little buggers in the CM closet.

I'm thinking about taking a belt-and-suspenders approach to keep in front of this: with temps forecast below freezing from now until whenever, I'm considering buying a few jumbo Rubbermaid bins , piling in any and all garments/ties/accessories, and putting them outdoors for a 24-36 hour stretch when I know it will be dry and below zero. questions:

  • would this likely be effective? I'm guessing that it's the larvae I'm trying to kill, given the winter season, right?
  • cautions? my SoP would be to freeze garments only (no hangers) laid flat, sealed container,
    • and then hang the items loosely on shower curtains to further air out when returning indoors
  • fabric considerations? The lots would comprise wool, cashmere or cotton tailored stuff, and silk / wool ties and accessories.
  • aside from another deep clean of the empty closets during the freezing period, is there anything else I could do?
  • Freezing would also include fabric garment bags
  • I'm willing to go medieval on these pests, so is there anything else I can do (short of bringing a wheelbarrow full of clothes to the dry cleaner)?
Thanks for any and all tips
 

Patrick R

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I interviewed a museum textiles conservator once about this. You may find her comments helpful

Ha! I am glad you were inspired by my scary photo. I'm glad to report that single moth I saw this time last year is the only sign of a moth I've ever seen in my house. Definitely nothing since then. Was it overkill to freeze everything I own? I'm going to pretend it wasn't. :)
 

Patrick R

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@Patrick R - what was the duration of the freezing period?
I put everything in the garage during the coldest week of last year in Chicago and then I flew out to CO for a quick ski trip. So it was probably 5-6 days or so. If I was home, I would have brought everything in much sooner.
 

Ziqianzhu

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Got the same issue. One sweater got damaged by cloth moth. It was stored in the box with two other wool items. But nothing happened to the rest. Throughly examined the wardrobe however didn't find any moth or moth larvae or other casualty. The cloth moth trap is on the way to identify the source.
 

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