Monday, March 24, 2008

D is also for Discouragement, Disillusionment, and Destruction

I thought of multiple titles for this post, including

Another reason why I don't like wall-to-wall carpets
I am not so good at the non-violence when it comes to protein-fiber-consuming insects

I spent part of the weekend cleaning up an infestation of carpet beetles. These little bastards have been appearing around the house for months now, but never in large concentrations until just recently (Friday). I found ground zero on Saturday - the upstairs linen closet/cat litter box location.

The first time I saw one of them, maybe a year ago?, it prompted me to bag up almost all of my yarn in plastic ziploc bags. Unfortunately I got a little lax.

Possibly infected yarn is now going through a freezer regimen.

Fortunately they don't seem to care for cotton (which I have a lot of and isn't bagged) unless it's soiled. Instead they've got caviar tastes: it's wool and silk and feathers all the way.

There are 2 casualties so far:
1) some holes in a length of woven silk, and
2) a well-eaten Pomatomous sock, not even worn once. I discovered this just as I finished sock #2 and took them outside to take pictures. So I'm back to 50% on that project.

So I was a vacuuming fiend this weekend, albeit one that didn't bend over much and had a temperature and a dripping nose. I feel better today, much better than Saturday (slept 11 hours). But I know they are back there, breeding. Grrrrr.

To anyone I've sent yarn to recently: I don't think you need to worry, as I have found no beetles, larvae, or sign of infestation anywhere near where that yarn was kept. However, if you want to be absolutely safe, stick it in a ziploc bag in a freezer for 2 weeks, or throw it in a pan and heat it a 150 F oven for 30 minutes. That should kill all stages of the insects. I'm sorry about the runaround on this.

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