Don't let woollens become moth banquet

Tuesday, 8th August, 2017

Save your leftover orange peels to create natural moth repellents.

NOW is the time to give some positive thought to protecting this year's winter woollies so they don't become a summer banquet for moth larvae.

Once winter is over, precious woolens, blankets and other warm clothes are put into storage and usually forgotten about until next year. Without adequate protection they can become badly damaged and unwearable or useable.

You can use mothballs or spray to protect your clothes and other woollen items. Both options are poisonous and should be avoided, because there are safe and natural alternatives that will work just as well.

Herbs have been used for centuries as protection against clothes moths. They can be added to small muslin bags and placed in drawers and cupboards between woollens and other clothes. You can also put them in suit and jacket pockets or hang them on coathangers or wardrobe rails.

A suitable repellent can be made by mixing together, in a large ceramic bowl, 25 grams each of dried rosemary, wormwood and lavender, 15 grams of freshly crushed cloves, and two tablespoons of orrisroot powder. Use your hands to ensure a good mix.

Add the mix to a plastic bag, seal so that it is airtight, and leave to cure in a dry, dark spot for four to six weeks. Give the mix a good shake every other day.

Check the scent of your moth bags every six months and if it is not strong enough, make up a new batch.

Small cottonwool balls dipped in essential oils, such as lavender, lemongrass, camphor or rosemary, and put between clothes in drawers, will repel moths.

So will drawer liners cut from blotting paper or other absorbent paper, dotted with your chosen oil and then brushed over with orrisroot powder to fix the scent.

Dried orange peel or lemon peel scattered in drawers and cupboards will also act as a deterrent. Alternatively, soak a cloth in natural turpentine and rub it thoroughly over all internal wood surfaces of drawers and wardrobes, including joints and crevices.

Blankets can be protected by adding a moth repellent infusion to your final washing machine rinse.

If washing by hand, rinse well in clean water and then a final rinse of the herbal infusion.

Put four teaspoons of dried lavender, and two teaspoons each of dried rosemary and wormwood, in a ceramic bowl and add two cups of boiling water. Cover, infuse overnight, strain through muslin cloth and add to your final rinse.

Natural alternatives in and around the home are far better choices. Not only are they kind to human health but they are environmentally friendly as well.

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