Are You Protecting Your Expensive Merino Wool Kit From Moths?

What? Moths? Isn’t that something out of comic books?

Not at all. “Clothes Moths” are a real hazard for woollen fabrics – merino is no exception.

A good friend of mine showed me a 200 weight Icebreaker top that had some nasty holes in it. I wouldn’t expect a thick top like that to show such holes after only a year or so.

So I wondered if it might be moths, and sure enough, there are people who have had kit destroyed by the daft, candle-suiciding critters. And there are methods of preventing it.

By far the most simple, cheapest and probably most effective method is to put the garments into a breathable clothing cover (like a suit cover). Edit 10 August 2011: Maybe not, see Bill’s post on dry bags below!

I nosed about online and found that an eBay shop had cheap and effective ones when I searched for “clothes cover”.

I just bought one and have hung all my t-shirts inside it, and stuffed a couple of tissues around the top to attempt to seal it and prevent the moths crawling down inside.

Well worth doing considering how expensive all that merino kit is.

9 Replies to “Are You Protecting Your Expensive Merino Wool Kit From Moths?”

  1. This has happened to me! I’ve got huge holes in my favourite Icebreaker top caused by the nasty little noshers!

  2. It didn’t occur to me that I could prevent it, though. Doh… So thank you for the suggestion, which I’ll now follow :)

  3. I’ve kept my merino baselayers in tightly-rolled backpacking drybags for the last few years and had no damage, when suits and jackets in the wardrobe in covers with various chemical deterrents have still been nibbled on. No cost if you already have them, and multiple-use gear, too.

  4. That’s very interesting to hear Bill.

    I had figured it was best to keep them in something breathable but if that means that they still get nommed then the bags may be a better way to go! (In fact I’ve just edited the post to point at your comment).

  5. I was worried about mildew forming, but putting the clothes away dry and giving them regular airings has been fine so far – touch (cedar)wood. Something breathable and genuinely impervious would be ideal, though. A fabric sided box, maybe?

  6. It becomes rather involved eh? Perhaps just a good quality, well sealed (“candy cane twist”) stuff-sack would do the job.

    Though I’m hoping that the suit cover I bought is well sealed enough (what with the tissue stuffed in the hanger hole!) that it will keep them out…

    1. That really was fascinating thanks James!

      It seems clothes moths are an increasing problem, probably due to tightening up of regulations around the use of carcinogenic pesticides.

      One thing that caught my attention was the use of a commercial freezer for three days at -30 to kill “most insect pests” – but you can apparently use a domestic freezer for two weeks to get the same effect. Handy to take note of!

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