minus 33 merino wool clothing, Merino Wool Folded

Wool’s Arch Nemesis: Insects

Moths, beetles, and other insects love wool. However, they can damage your clothing. To prevent insect larvae from eating your wool, follow these quick tips for caring and storing.

Tips to Keep Moths and Beetles Away

  1. Clean Your Wool. Keep your wool clean to avoid insects laying their eggs in it — the larva is what eats it, not the adult insects! Clothing moths are different from the moths you will most likely see. Carpet beetles can be more common than clothing moths in certain areas of the world. Both are nocturnal and can be small. Before storing your wool long-term, wash and dry it for best results.
  2. Clean Your Storage Area. Keep your wool storage area clean. For long term storage, keep your wool in an airtight, sealed plastic bag or box for best results. Put an insect-repelling product such as mothballs inside the container. If your storage area has carpet, vacuum it regularly.
  3. Freeze Your Wool. Try freezing your wool before you store it. This will help kill off any larvae that may be in the wool. Or store it somewhere cold - subzero temperatures work best.
  4. Use Deterrents. Store your wool with cedar blocks or in an airtight cedar chest. Moths don’t like the cedar scent. Be aware that the cedar scent will fade over time, so you may need to replace the cedar blocks. Substitute cedar for lavender. Note that cedar will not protect against beetles, mainly moths.
  5. Use Traps. Use a trap designed to keep insects away. Make sure you read the instructions of those products, as some repellents can be toxic. Keep them out of reach from children and pets. Some wool detergents also have insect-repelling ingredients. If you have a large wool collection, it might be worth it to invest in a wool-specific detergent.
By taking a little preparation time before you store your wool away for the season, you can help extend the life of your wool for many seasons. Have any other storage tips? Share them with us! -- Outside Resources: http://www.marthastewart.com/264609/the-basics-of-mothproofing http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C504/ https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-control-clothes-eating-insects-2145853 http://www.wikihow.com/Keep-Wool-Clothing-Safe-From-Moths https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tineola_bisselliella