What can I say? Pests enter your home through cracks and come in on other furniture, like that great find at the yard sale down the street! Before long you have a pest infestation. Keeping a clean home is helpful, but pests can be present in a clean home.
Pests can be critter-like, but more folks see the telltale signs of mice and squirrels. What is most troublesome are creepy-crawlies. When you clean you home, look for these signs, and also turn furniture over or peek underneath once a month:
- Teeny tiny holes, or tiny worms in textiles or in wood are good indications of an infestation. Check underneath furniture before vacuuming from time to time. You are looking for small neat piles of organized debris, like little mountains of chewed wood. These are indications of infestations.
- Moths need to be shown the door. When I pack my winter cloths away, I do two things to combat moths: make sure they are cleaned before you put them away, and pack a bit of lavender oil on a tissue in a sealed container. I put a few drops of pure essential oil (this is important) on the tissue, then take an old clean t-shirt and loosely wrap the t-shirt around the tissue. This allows the oil to breath into the box, but keeps the oil away from my sweater in case it can be stained.
- IF you want to use a cedar chest for grandma’s wonderful quilt, great — but do not put items directly into the cedar chest. Place them in an acid-free box, wrapped in acid free tissue, then place the box into the chest. And tuck some lavender into the corner of the cedar chest. Cedar oils will seep through lovely blankets and leave stains.
- Spiders keep most bugs in check, but you surely don’t want the poisonous spiders near you. Get to know your spiders, for they are helpful insects! The presence of spider webs is not a bad thing. If you have an active spider you might want to see what she is catching!
The pest chart from the Textile Museum in Washington DC is a good item to bookmark or print. If you find larva:
- Take the item out of the house and brush all the larva away, then vacuum, then empty and thoroughly clean your vacuum;
- Call a conservator!
- Isolate the piece from all other items!
Below, we are filling holes from a lovely Louis XIV chest of drawers which was badly damaged by larva.
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