Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chemical Warfare

Looks like I'm moving, hm?

Well, I'm not.  While I hate admitting this in a semi-public forum, let's consider it a public service as I have lots of friends who are fans of the vintage...

The moths are back.  And they mean business.

First off, if you weren't aware, the moths first popped up in Philly.  It was a random moth sighting here and there, but I didn't really think anything of it.  Me, have moths?  Surely not.  And then a wool Marc Jacobs dress was hit.  Right smack on the chest--a moth hole.  Those bastards.  I knew it was on.

I went about eradicating them--putting clothes in the freezer, getting almost everything dry cleaned (the things that weren't put in the freezer, that is), laying things out in the one directly sunny patch we had in our apartment, putting cedar blocks in the closets and drawers.  It was quite an effort and a maddening one at that.  I had to move the clothes in shifts so that the clothes that hadn't been cleaned yet weren't around those that had.  Oh, I'm boring you.  But it was a bunch of suck.

Things seemed to be calm on the moth front.  And then we moved.  Ain't no moths gonna make a transatlantic voyage, I thought.  What a dummy!  Moths are huge fans of dark spaces, like those of say a cardboard hanging garment box inside a shipping container.  They basically had an expenses-paid honeymoon of sweet moth lovin' compliments of yours truly.  They have spawned to high heaven and have regenerated here in Brussels!  Again, a bunch of suck.  I opened a rubbermaid container of winter hats and wondered why my gorgeous fox fur hat was so sheddy... and then I found (look away, those who are weak of stomach) two larva on another blue wool hat.  SICK.  What did I do?  I cried.  My beautiful, vintage things.  I felt defeated.  I threw things away and hung others outside in isolation.  The language I want to use is not fit for this forum.  I was sad/mad/all-of-it.

So today begins the second battle in my war on the moths.  And I'm pulling out all of the stops this time. There are chemicals involved.  The questionable garments have been isolated in sealed off bags with said chemicals to sit for 3 days.  I don't care about the smell, people.  This must be done.  The clothes must be saved.  This is my collection.  It's the only STUFF that really matters to me.  (Yeah, I know, it's just stuff, but this is the stuff I care about.)

The good thing is these are strictly clothes moths.  They don't care for food or anything else, so that's somewhat comforting.  The bad thing is, they are attracted to human smells, etc... so the perfume, etc attracts them.  Not cleaning things after every wear attracts them.  But we all know it's BAD to dry clean your things often--especially after each wear.  And I love perfume, even though I've rarely worn it since the moths came to roost.  So there's a wicked trade-off.  All I know is I want them gone, and I'm taking drastic measures to make it happen.

* I must note, these bags contain maybe 1/3 of my clothes.  I'm going to be bagging and isolating for a while, people.  A while.*

**Another note:  mothballs in French is boules des mites or you can just straight-up ask for naphtaline.  Boo-yah!**