Don’t lose your favorite fall and winter pieces to bugs and moths in the off-season!
Characteristics of Silverfish
Silverfish are tiny light grey and blue wingless insects. They grow to ½ inches long. These little creatures can be found anywhere humidity levels are high. They thrive in cool, dark, damp locations such as attics, closets, baseboards and bathroom fixtures. Bulky textiles are also welcoming environments for Silverfish.
What they like
Silverfish feast on a diet of starch, sugar and protein. This makes linen, cotton, viscose rayon and silk prime targets of these scavengers.
What to look for
Silverfish eat the surface of textiles, leaving the garment with a shaved appearance. Other signs of damage include small irregular holes and small yellow stains on fabrics.
Proper storage is important in preventing Silverfish damage. Make sure the storage area is dry. Always wash clothing before storing garments away for the season. These insects are attracted to perspiration, perfume and body oils – not washing clothing before storage is asking for trouble! Storage boxes should be wrapped in nylon netting to prevent entry of Silverfish. There is no protein in nylon which makes it non-digestible to Silverfish. Avoid cardboard, paper and plastic storage.
Cedar and lavender emit a smell that is noxious to Silverfish. Try adding our Laundress Natural Lavender Pouches to your garment storage.
If an infestation is detected, the clothing should be isolated. Freeze the garments for 72 hours in plastic storage bags or containers. Silverfish can’t withstand freezing temperature.
Wash everything before packing at the end of the season and at the beginning of a new season. Perfume, body oils and food from wearing can appear and leave stains behind and become a potential food source for moths.
If you don’t store items seasonally, you should do a thorough re-organization once or twice a year. Clean your wardrobe and drawers for the new season – take everything out, wash, vacuum & re-organize your drawers.
There are non-toxic moth products out there – avoid moth balls which are toxic (and deadly) and impossible to remove their odor. We do not recommend cedar wood blocks or chips. If you are using cedar wood, avoid direct contact with the textiles as they can transfer oil to fabric which will create stains and are hard to remove. Use Laundress Natural Lavender Pouches or The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray which are natural moth and bug repellants. If you’ve been attacked by moths, quarantine the scene! The freezer is a good holding spot with air tight bags (throw away after) while you wash everything such as clothes & drawers in the exposed areas. It is imperative to clean your machine after. Do not go to the dry-cleaner or laundromat as you will infest other clothing and the location.
Pack clothes in a breathable fabric such as a cotton or linen and with a zipper closure, such as The Laundress All Purpose Storage Bag or The Laundress & Beckel Storage Bags. Never store in plastic, cardboard or in humid/damp areas such an attic or basement which are the optimal environments for moth breeding and attacks.
Post Moth Attack
Quarantine the scene. The freezer is a good holding spot with air tight bags (throw away after) while you wash everything such as clothes & drawers in the exposed areas. It is imperative to clean your machine after. Do not go to the dry-cleaner or laundromat as you will infest other clothing and the location.
REPAIRS & MENDING –
Consult your local tailors/dry-cleaners – if any buttons have fallen off, holes need mending or clothes have grown too big or too small, take them to be altered and repaired. Don’t leave anything in the wardrobe that needs something done to it; chances are it will not be worn. Keep the yarns that come with your knitted items in one safe spot – they come in handy at the most desperate of times. A good tailor can repair holes, snags, tears, and even shorten/alter items.