Help me not bring moths along on my move
March 14, 2022 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I have a light infestation of clothes webbing moths. I am also moving in about a month (locally). How do I not bring these assholes with me? I am prepared to go scorched earth on them.
posted by sugarbomb to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They generally don't do polyester, so most padded furniture should be safe enough, though vacuum it before and after moving. Wipe all furniture with spirit vinegar. Anything made from animal fibers, launder, dry and put directly in closed plastic bags prepared for the move, with cedar bits for extra safety. For safety's sake, launder the cotton/viscose stuff too. And I saved things that can't go in the washing machine (in my case, knitting yarn) by leaving them in an oven at 80C for a couple of hours. I didn't even move and I seem to have beaten the infestation for a few years now.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 1:36 PM on March 14, 2022

Best answer: I would do a poison spray right now, and then another one right before you move. The spray doesn't kill eggs, so you need to do at least two rounds, separated by a month or so. Full-scale, vacuum, including all the crevices, spray, including all the crevices, vacuum against the next day. Dispose of vacuum bag immediately after.

Everything that is washable should be washed and dried on hot. Everything!!! (*) Everything else needs to be either baked in the oven (where safe; you can find directions online) and/or dry-cleaned. In theory, freezing will also kill them, but it turns out that residential freezers often don't get consistently cold enough.

In transit, store all proteinaceous fabric in actual air-tight containers. (You can get them at Container Store.) Hopefully this will suffocate any new buggers hatching along the way.

I would just discard any carpets.

Respray again in new home after one month and then two.

Success not guaranteed. Fuck these guys. But I think this gives you a chance.

(*) I missed one goddamned cotton scarf last time and brought them with me, despite doing all this.
posted by praemunire at 1:41 PM on March 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

* Any carpets with wool or other proteinaceous content, that is.
posted by praemunire at 1:42 PM on March 14, 2022

If you by chance have anything made of fur, moths eat this, too. The coat I inherited from my mom brought them into my house, and only a furrier can eradicate them without damaging the fur.
posted by citygirl at 2:56 PM on March 14, 2022

Best answer: For the love of every thing that’s holy… be sure to empty/clean/change the bag on your vacuum cleaner. That’s how I managed to infest a new apartment after being super careful with everything else. I must have sucked up some larvae who happily grew to adulthood inside the vacuum bag. And I stored the vacuum in a closet…
posted by kimdog at 9:48 PM on March 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: My vacuum cleaner does not have bags, but I am prepared to abandon it before I move. This is excellent advice, everyone! Thank you.
posted by sugarbomb at 1:17 PM on March 15, 2022

Best answer: One other condieration - if you have pets, moths can live happily of build-ups of shed fur, in placea that are hard to reach for cleaning. I had a a bad recurring moth infestation in my old flat, where it turned out the moths were happily multiplying on a drift of cat fur behind a large bookcase.
posted by Fuchsoid at 4:18 PM on March 15, 2022

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