Monday, June 2, 2014

I don't even have a guest room...

Happy June, everyone! (How is it already June?? We're literally almost halfway through the year... I honestly don't understand how each year seems to move more quickly than the last. It's rather disconcerting...)

At least we're finally firmly planted in the middle of spring now. It was touch and go there for a while... winter kept attempting to creep back into Chicago, but Chicago was having none of that. I haven't had to use my heater in weeks... and I've been running the A/C every night -- because as Rick will tell you, I like it to be "freezing" in the house when I sleep. (In reality I keep it around 69 or 70... apparently that passes for "freezing" in Rick's world. :))

Spring usually brings an influx of uninvited guests of the six- or eight-legged variety. In Texas, this usually included weird little unidentifiable creepy-crawlies (which would be quickly dispatched with a cloud of Raid or a handful of paper towels), and the occasional hand-sized spider (the removal of which would involve a carefully choreographed "argh, it's a spider as big as my hand" dance, plus some sort of hazmat suit and an unbreakable, airtight container).

But we've been really lucky in Chicago -- MOST of the bugs stay outside, where they're supposed to be. Every spring, spiders start to appear in the corners of our windows -- but always on the OUTSIDE of the windows, where they spend lots of time and effort creating intricate webs... and then they sit back, take a break, and wait for the food to come to them. (Until the first good thunderstorm of the season washes away all their work... then they start the whole thing over.)

But there's ONE type of unwanted visitor we've been struggling to eradicate -- moths. We started noticing them last year, when every now and then one would flit past our field of vision when we were watching TV... or we'd see one of the cats batting the air with reckless abandon, and know they'd found one. But then I started noticing them more and more frequently -- especially in the closet. I would frantically riffle through my clothing, fearful of finding random holes in my favorite outfits... and then chide the cats for not catching enough of the little annoyances.

I bought cedar blocks and hung them all over the closet. I researched "natural moth repellants," since the idea of spraying my clothes with any kind pesticide was extremely unappealing to me (although at one point, Rick, in a fit of frustration, sprayed some of his own clothes with Raid). I read that lavender oil was a good repellant, so I hung up about ten little lavender sachets in the closet -- this succeeded in nothing more than making the closet smell like lavender for about a day and a half. The moths would still dive bomb my head in a mocking display of superiority, and since the smell of lavender wore off so quickly, I wasn't sure it even had to time to have an effect.

And then as I was perusing Amazon one day, I found moth pheromone traps -- they're non-toxic, and filled with sticky glue to trap the moths. No pesticide spraying necessary. Still, I was skeptical, so I only bought a few of them. I set up a couple in the closet, and waited to see what would happen...

Within 24 hours, there must've been ten moths in the traps... in another 24 hours, there were ten more. I was actually a bit shocked by just HOW many moths these things were trapping -- because I'd never seen more than one moth flitting about at a time. Confident that they actually WERE working, I placed a few more around the house -- the one I set up in Rick's office caught about a dozen of them... the others around the house caught a few stragglers, but not many. So the closet and Rick's office are definitely moth hot spots.

Now, between the pheromone traps, the cedar blocks, and the pest control services of two very agile cats, the moth population has been greatly reduced. I'm slightly less worried that the next time I get dressed I'll look like an extra from "Oliver," but I still go through the clothes in the closet on a regular basis to make sure the moths haven't elected a president to help them oversee their tiny little moth community. So temporarily, anyway, things seem to be relatively under control...

And by the way, I'd take moths over hand-sized spiders ANY day. :)          

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your solutions are working. If they are as tough to get rid of as pantry moths, it may take a little while to really know there are no more.