Some of you will remember my fibre-related "darkest day" last year when I discovered a major casemaking clothes moth infestation in my cloth diaper stash. You will also remember my panic that a) it was wider than just the diapers (and it was) and b) it would spread to my spinning stash (thus far everything seems fine).When I discovered the infestation, it seemed to be primarily concentrated in an Aristocrats cover and a Sugarpeas cover--not wanting to disturb the eggs, etc too much, I assumed that the other wool Sugarpeas stored with them was also infested and bagged them all. Today I finally decided to open the bag and see if there was anyway to salvage anything before tossing them. The Aristocrats cover will be boiled, felted, and quarantined for 6 months--after which I will mend it and return it to the stash. The plum coloured Sugarpeas--the favorite in my stash, by far--is mutilated beyond any hope of recovery. There is a grapefruit-sized hole eaten through two layers of wool in the centre of the cover, and the elastic casings around the legs are non-existant. I shook it out, photographed the damage, and sadly dropped it into the garbage can. I will miss it. I hope that someday I will find another one in the same colour, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
Miraculously, the yellow Sugarpeas stored on the same shelf and then isolated in the same bag is 100% untouched. I can't understand it--not one bit! It's like my own little diapering miracle! Maybe annointing my house regularly with the lavendar oil and invoking the name of Artemis (goddess of the hunt--and I'm hunting the casemaking clothes moth LOL) like some kind of half-baked Ancient Grecian priestess worked--or maybe this cover was made out of wool treated with a moth repellant. Either way I'm overjoyed! :D
I'll put the photo evidence of the crime scene behind a cut for the queasy:
The larvae shown in this image munching away on that beautiful soft, plum-coloured wool pulled itself 3" across our stone steps to seek it out. It's about 1/2" in length. The little blue-green specks are poop. The colour of the cases and excrement depends entirely upon what they've been eating.
Here is a picture of the damaged cover in its entirety--it is a medium-sized Sugarpeas cover with two layers of a fine woven wool fabric. It was a superb lightweight and breathable cover--it fit great and wore well. I often used it as a pair of shorts on the boys. I was so excited when I won this off her website--that was back in the day when you had to belong to the Yahoo group to get updates on when she'd restock and then stake out the items you wanted. I was ecstatic when I finally won one--this was my first! You can't quite see the gigantic holes here because of the way the fabric is folded, but its huge.
Moral of the story?
If you use wool diaper covers, use them in regular rotation--if they've been outgrown, clean them and store them in a breathable, moth-proof storage container. This had been washed and stored on an open shelf for at least four months. The hardest part of finding the damage was knowing I was entirely responsible for it being able to happen.