hint: flutter flutter flutter.
OH yes. *shiver* Moths. Happily, I found the source right away and was able to discard it and clean up the area really well. But I still had exposed yarn that needed to be saved.
After scouring the internet for advice (much of which is conflicting.) I discovered the following things:
- Cedar: Don't bother. It has to be refreshed every year to be any kind of deterrent. How many of us do that or even know how to do that? And it's just that -- a deterrent. And just like any deterrent, when the little critters are hungry enough they cannot BE deterred. This goes for bay leaves, citronella, lemongrass and all other sachet-like methods of moth-repelling.
- Freezing: Well... there are moths in Antarctica, did you know? First of all, you have to have a DEEP freeze. Like none of us have in our kitchens. And it has to be set lower than you would use a deep freeze for if you were using it for, as most deep freeze owners are, meat. And you would have to freeze it for over 2 weeks. And even then... the eggs could still thaw and hatch.
- Microwave: The Internet advice I read said "Microwave on high for 20-30 seconds." So I tried that. On a little moth caterpillar I found on some yarn I immediately threw away. He was still wiggling.
So, I have been baking my yarn. At 160 degrees F for 40 minutes. ALL of my yarn. Even things that I think are pretty safe. Including all sweaters I've not unraveled yet and all other sweaters in that room.
And when they've been baked, I bought an Industrial size box of 2 gallon zip-lock bags at Smart & Final and am placing each yarn in quarantine in its own bag.
It's actually helped me organize a good deal more than I was doing even through the entering-stash-in-Ravelry exercise.
Henceforth, I will immediately quarantine any yarn that comes into my house - even if it comes from a shop (did I ever mention that I saw a little moth fly out of the sock yarn at Dharma Trading Company this summer?) I am determined NEVER to have this happen again.
My oven's been running all weekend and will probably still be going at least until tomorrow night. OK, probably the night after that.
And then -- I'm cleaning the oven.