Well I had hoped to show you my latest sewing project this week, but the weather has been so blinking dreich for the full week since I finished it that I haven't been able to photograph it. So I thought instead that I'd post this article from Everywoman magazine, October 1943 on dealing with moths. Moths aren't considered a modern problem in a world of polyester clothing, but are a real concern for anyone who, like me, favours wool for winter wear.
Once moths have gained a hold, it is a very difficult job to get rid of them. Dirt, darkness and warmth are all allies of the moth.
Directly a flying moth appears,it means that it is looking for some suitable place in a dark, warm corner in which to lay its eggs. Every one that is seen should be killed at once - not because it eats holes in the clothes itself, but because it lays the eggs. It is the larvae which cause all the damage, and it is amazing the amount of descruction these minute worms can do.
To prevent the moth from laying its eggs in the first place, keep a constant watch on cupboards and drawers, especially on articles in them which are not in continual use. Silk and wool, felt and fur, are all fabrics dear to the moth - cotton, linen and rayon do not attract them to anything like the same extent. Line drawers and shelves with paper, and lay small net or muslin bags containing a moth preventative between the layers of clothes.
Summer-weight woolies, silk blouses and frocks which are going to be put away for the winter should all be washed before being stored. Stained or grubby articles will be the first to attract moth. Wrap in soft paper, laying net bags of moth preventative between the folds. Then wrap in brown paper or newspaper and seal the parcel with strips of gummed paper - this is the surest way of preventing moth from getting into the parcel.
(NB: modern vacuum bags are a good alternative)
It is a good plan to take furs into the garden occasionally and give them a good shake, hanging them up in the sunlight, for a few hours, if possible.
If, in spite of all precautions, the moths succeed in obtaining a footing, preventative measures are no good. The only thing to do then is to attack! Several chemicals can be purchased at all chemists and big stores which will kill moth whether in egg, larva, pupa or flying stages. Carbontetrachloride, which is a liquid, or naphthalene and paradichlorbenzine which are in crystalline form, are excellent for the purpose.
Take the articles out into the air, shake and brush them, and leave them in the sun for a few hours. Then spray them with the liquid.
A very excellent method is to sterilize the articles with one of the chemicals. A large suitcase or old trunk is suitable for the purpose. Lay all the articles which have been attacked by the moth loosely into the case. Place some of the liquid or crystalline chemical into a shallow bowl and stand it on the articles. Shut the container firmly and seal it all round the opening with strips of gummed paper, making sure that it is done very securely to keep out all the air.
Leave the articles in this "sterilizing chamber" for twenty-four hours if you have a liquid chemical or three or four days if crystals, so as to be quite sure that the destruction is complete.