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Subject: Moths

Moths

From: Lori Arnold <woodbldg>
Date: Monday, August 27, 2007
I write for personal reasons for advice anyone can offer regarding
moths and textiles. About a year and a half ago, I visited a job
site (a house museum) that had a terrible moth problem. They were
more concerned with their roof leak and damaged wood finishes--the
reason for my visit. They didn't seem too alarmed by the moths, but
it was a very apparent problem.  I spent a long time at the site and
somehow, brought a few  of these moths home with me. At first, it
didn't seem to be a problem. I thought I had dealt with the articles
of clothing affected. I was wrong. It slowly has gotten worse. I
don't know what their life cycle is, but we have a full  blown
infestation of them now. They are everywhere.

They are tiny little moths, yellowish beige in color. The damage
doesn't appear to create a hole in the clothing, though. An infested
sweater will have little web-like casings all over it, usually in
the direction of the knit. Another characteristic of the damage is a
sandy debris under an object that hasn't been disturbed. For
instance, a wool cat toy recently was discovered covered in the
webbing. When I picked it up to throw it away, there was a pile of
this sandy substance. Whenever I think I have found the article that
is housing the majority of them--the "nest" lets say--I find
something else that's worse.

I know that freezing will get rid of infested pieces, but this is
too big a problem for that at this point. What I need to know is

    What are they, i.e., species, behavior, etc?
    What is their life cycle?
    Are they eating the fabric?
    What remedial measures can I take to get the infestation under
    control?

and any other pertinent facts that will help me get on top of
the problem.

I thank you in advance for any recommendations short of bombing my
house.

Lori Arnold
President
Architectural Conservator
Arnold Wood Conservation, LLC
1822 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA   19130
215-763-3120


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:22
                Distributed: Monday, September 10, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-22-026
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 27 August, 2007

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