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Moth prevention...by Paul R
Old 01-06-2008, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Moth prevention...by Paul R

Hello all - Here is another thread by Paul R (fellow forum member).

All the data provided in this thread was put together by Paul and I am assisting him in getting the data posted on the forum.

Comments and feedback appreciated...
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:22 AM   #2
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Clothes moths are usually blamed for insect damage on fabrics, but other insect pests, most notably carpet beetles, are also able to cause serious damage.

The immature stages (larvae) of both the clothes moth and the carpet beetle feed on a variety of animal-based material, including wool, fur, silk, feathers and leather. Items commonly infested include wool sweaters, coats, clothing, blankets, carpets, down pillows and comforters, natural bristle brushes, toys and animal trophies.
Neither the clothes moth nor the carpet beetle can digest cellulosic fibers such as cotton, linen, or rayon, or synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic, so these are usually safe. However, synthetic fabrics that are blended with wool may be eaten. Cotton, linen and synthetics heavily soiled with food stains or body oils may also be occasionally attacked.


How to Identify the Clothes Moth:
Clothes moths are small (about ½ inch), buff-colored moths with narrow wings fringed with hairs. Adult clothes moths are seldom seen because they avoid light. Adult clothes moths do not feed so they cause no injury to fabrics. However, the adults produce eggs, which hatch into fabric-eating larvae. In the larval stage, clothes moths are creamy-white caterpillars up to ½ inch long.

Clothes moth larvae spin silken feeding tunnels or patches of webbing as they move about on the surface of fabrics. They often deposit tiny fecal pellets similar in color to the fabric.

Case making clothes moth larvae enclose themselves in a portable case that they drag with them wherever they go. Often they leave the material they developed on and can be seen crawling slowly over walls or ceilings. This moth may travel a considerable distance to spin a cocoon in a protected crack or along the juncture of a wall and ceiling.


How to Identify Carpet Beetles:
There are many different species of carpet beetles. The adults are small, oval-shaped beetles about 1/8 inches long. The most common, the black carpet beetle is shiny black; others are brightly colored in various patterns of white, brown, yellow and orange.

The larvae are about 1/8 inch to ¼ inch long and densely covered with hairs or bristles. Only the larval stage feeds on fabric and causes damage. They will also feed on seeds, pet food, or cereal products. In nature the adults feed on flowers outdoors. If they are seen indoors, around light fixtures and windows, there is a larval infestation present somewhere within the home.


Habits of Both Pests:
The larvae of both prefer to feed in dark, undisturbed areas such as closets, attics, and within boxes where woolens and furs are stored for long periods. Clothing and blankets in constant use are seldom damaged by these pests nor are carpets that get normal traffic or are routinely vacuumed. The edges of carpets next to walls or underneath furniture are often attacked.

These pests may also be found in upholstered furniture (both inside and out) and in air ducts where the larvae may be feeding on lint, shed pet hair and other debris. Infestations may also originate from bird or animal nests, or an animal carcass present in an attic, chimney or wall space. Adult carpet beetles may fly from one house to another or eggs or larvae may be transported into a home on articles containing wool or other animal fibers.

Damage to articles may consist of irregular surface feeding or holes eaten completely through the fabric.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
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Prevention:
Good cleaning is the best prevention. Vacuum carpets thoroughly and frequently. Pay close attention to dark, out-of-the-way places. If you have pets, clean more often since pet hair is a good source for these pests.


Elimination:
If insect damage is suspected check all susceptible items carefully. Look in back corners of the closet, hat boxes, remnants of wool fabric or carpeting. Clothes moths and carpet beetles often breed in hair-based accumulations that might be found behind baseboards, under door jambs, inside heating vents, etc. Clean and vacuum carefully.

When infested areas are cleaned well, it may not be necessary to apply an insecticide. If an insecticide is used, treat only cracks, crevices, and invested areas. Sprays may be applied to infested carpets (especially along and beneath edges adjacent to baseboards) and underneath furniture. NEVER spray clothing or bedding directly. These items should be removed before spraying inside closets or drawers. Always read the label on household sprays and follow product directions carefully.

Before returning items to storage areas. And before you vacuum an item check to make sure that the garment is safe to vacuum. No loose liners, insignias, thread, buttons, fasteners or bullion. Vacuum the item toughly. Use the vacuum wand attachment on the vacuum. Place a small piece of NYLON window screening over the fabric. (the nylon screening will not raise the wool napping). Vacuum over the screen several times. Continue vacuum over the entire garment. Moving the nylon screening along. Don’t forget the interior as well. When completed discard the vacuum bag .A widespread infestation may require the services of a professional pest control operator who can better access difficult places such as walls and attics.


Laundering/Dry-cleaning:
Not recommended for historical artifacts. NOTE: Most animal-based fibers cannot tolerate hot water without shrinking or other damage. However both laundering in hot water and dry-cleaning will kill all stages of fabric pests and will also remove perspiration odors that are attractive to pets. Dry cleaning chemicals do leave a film like substance behind. That can not be removed from a garment. Over dry cleaning will lead to fabric break down.


Storage/Fumigation:
Prolong exposure to the vapors can cause lung ailments and upper repertory problems

The vapors from moth balls, crystals or flakes containing paradichlorobensene (PDB) or naphthalene, are lethal to fabric pests, but only when maintained at sufficient concentrations. To ensure this, enclose the manufacturer's recommended dosage in containers that are practically airtight. Trunks, garment bags, boxes and chests, when tightly sealed, will be effective. Do not use PDB in plastic containers Contrary to popular belief, cedar chests and closets are seldom effective in preventing fabric pest infestations because the seal does not keep in enough concentration of the volatile oil of cedar.

Do not place any insecticide directly on fabric. Either place mothballs, flakes, or crystals on a layer of paper on top of items in a box or chest or layer the clothing and place paper and moth control product between the layers. If using a garment bag, suspend the moth control product in an old sock or nylon stocking at the top of the bag or use a moth cake. Clothing should be loosely separated.
The length of exposure needed to kill clothes moths or carpet beetles will vary with the temperature, the size of the larvae, and the form, concentration and which variety of insecticide is used. Several days are usually sufficient to kill most infestations, but older larvae and most stages of carpet beetles may require two to three weeks.


Brushing:
Clothing may be thoroughly brushed at regular interval (once or twice a month) to control moths. Brushing should be done outside. All areas should be brushed including pocket flaps and under collars.

Cold Storage: Although cold storage temperatures (at 40 degrees F) may prevent larvae from feeding it does not kill them. Furs should be cleaned prior to cold storage by a professional cleaner using the furrier method.


Mothproofing:
The use of different lavender sashes will help some. If you grow your own lavender make sure it is bug free before bringing it in from outside. Change it often. As the lavender wares out bugs can live in that too.

Mothproofing is a chemical treatment given to fabrics that protects them from insects without leaving any odor. A label stating "mothproof" or "moth resistant" means that the item has been treated during manufacturing. This process is considered permanent.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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Credit should probably be given to Sharon Stevens, Former Assistant Coordinator, Missouri Textile and Apparel Center, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia.....the original author of this great article, from information obtained from Betty Jo Dedic and Mike Potter of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:36 PM   #5
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Hello to all please specify the kind of fabrics which can be damage due to wash in laundry and which are not in hands
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithlanger View Post
Hello to all please specify the kind of fabrics which can be damage due to wash in laundry and which are not in hands
I'm not sure what you are asking here. Are you are refereing to fabric that has been damaged by insects? than laundered or just a general garmet laundering question. Maybe a new thread should be open on this topic.

Basically all fabric can be damaged in machine laundering especially old fabric. From laundering soap to the washing machines agnation along with fabric freshener if used. Older fabrics materials are more at risk due their age and fabric wear, and garment assemblage, and fabric composition.
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bugwars in holland as well
Old 01-26-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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Default bugwars in holland as well

hello;
as a collector for 30 years I've been fighting mother nature and defending my possesions as it were an obsession.
them against me.
so i've learned a couple of things through the years.
the discriptions are bang on of the bugs.
carpet bugs tend to wander on ceilings in the evening.
so look at your ceiling sometimes,it's probably the only time you see the adults in real life.
I've had a explosion of carpet bugs some years ago.
had to bring in the city's bug inspector.
the emty shells of the larves were everywere.
took me 3 months to get everything sorted out and cleaned.
the cause of the carpet bugs were birds nests under the rooftiling.
it's a known fact that adults like laying eggs in old abandend birdsnests.
I had to remove those old nests and over 20 nests came out under my roof.
so keep an eye on birds.
my conservation tips;
bugs don't like ink.
put some newspapers between your clothes or in pockets and refresh every 6 months.
it works!
walnut tree leaves are natures repellant against everything flying.
that's why on many old farmyards was a walnuttree.
if you sit under one you are bugfree.
pure old grandmother wisdom still works.
put the leaves between your clothing and refresh once a year.
besides newspapers and the leaves I use mothpaper.
in pockets,sleaves and on the inside.
besides that I have moth traps hanging wich are meant for moths AND carpet beetles.
whenever there is a piece of clothing that is qualified to enter my collection it is treated;
put one piece of clothing in a bag and spray anti moth insecticide inside it.
leave it at least a few days and then your garment is soaked with the fumes.
best is you use 2 sorts of insectisides;
one for crawling (for the larves) and one for flying(moths itsself)
2 different stages of the moth require 2 kinds of treatment
the bugs they don't like that,and possible eggs inside the cloth structure are killed to.
you can't see the eggs but they are there.
keep an eye on weather temperature.
when degrees outside rise suddenly due to weather changes,it looks like all eggs of all bugs come out at the same time.
you can see it in your garden.
lots of insect activety in the garden means activety in your panzer trousers to.
then I have 2 permanent mouse repellant wall socket devices.
put one in your electric wall socket and a for humans not noticable tone will keep rodants away.
mice eat insects so they are natures bug busters but mice eating panzer trousers isn't funny.
I like that noise device especially cause now the mice stay at my neighbour who I don't like.
I also suffured from woodworm attacs.
please peolpe check your ammo boxes,rifle buts,shovels with wood etc.
when there is sawdust falling out of a hole when you tapp on it,you have a problem.
one hole the first year,hundreds of holes next year and by then they have infested the woodwork on your picture frames,furniture or even your house structure.
never add an item with holes to your collection without examening or treating the item.
there are some very effective industrial chemicals against them wich I have used but always put your gasmask with ABEC filter on.
look for bayer or luxan produkts.
the freezer as mentioned by the moderator or gasoline and petroleum works pretty well against woodwurm also.
woodwurm adult bugs look like ladybugs but a little smaller and caramel light brown and without the dots.
I think I see something crawling right now so all the best.
gotta go.
fight continues.
let's get them!
all the best;
kees
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:45 PM   #8
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Kees has some interesting thoughts on fighting those pesty cloth eaters. Yes bird nest close by or in your house over hang can cause problems.

Your Grandma may have some ideas on fighting off bugs, but I would not use black walnut leaves, shells, or wood. There is reason why not much grows under the walnut trees. It's because the whole tree is full of tannic acid. It may work on modern cloths, but I would not advise it's usage on vintage cloths. Tannic acid erodes and stains fabric. Tannins also ruin leather items as well.

Keep in mind too newspaper attracts moisture and is not archival safe on vintage items. Through the manufracturing process of the news paper it's treated with chemicals that have been known to react with wool, cotton leather, metal, rayon. For a better discription on acidfree tissues and paper See this link from Talas Conservation Supply Company http://talasonline.blogspot.com/2010...ed-tissue.html
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re
Old 01-27-2012, 06:10 AM   #9
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Paul,I think conservation will always be a work in progress.
every little fact of knowledge helps you towards achieving that.
you are absolutly wright that the walnut tree is full of acid.
on a living tree the leaves excrete an oily substance wich send out an odour that keeps insects away.
thats not the case with dead leaves.
so perhaps Ive given the impression to use fresh leaves and I'm sorry for that.
when you dry the leaves and only leaves,no branches,to the point of almost crispy you can rest your hart it will have no effect on anything.
all processes in the leave have stopped and with dead leaves there's no excretion.
and to be even more safe you can put some leaves in a selfmade small bag for instance from a piece of vitrage en pin that against the wall nearby the clothes.
I have some stacks of trousers with newspapers between them and the papers are refreshed every half year or so and there has never been
a problem.no ink on the clothes.
depends indeed on the composition of the paper and ink as the link you gave shows,so yes always be cautious .
and paul,it's not actually my grandmother but just a way of saying in holland.
all the best to you,
regards
kees
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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Heat is a good way of killing of moths in all stages, but then again not all objects are suitable to expose to heat. The temperature should be set to 140-145°F for approximate 5 hours.

Here is a very good paper on moths etc:

http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/ipm/schoolipm/chap-7.pdf


In this it states that it is sufficient with 120°F but I have found out that it is not always enough.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilton View Post
Heat is a good way of killing of moths in all stages, but then again not all objects are suitable to expose to heat. The temperature should be set to 140-145°F for approximate 5 hours.

Here is a very good paper on moths etc:

http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/ipm/schoolipm/chap-7.pdf


In this it states that it is sufficient with 120°F but I have found out that it is not always enough.
Wow! This is one of the most bazaar things that I have ever seen. I surely would not try baking any historic artifact at 140 degrees F for 5 hours. I see a lot of damage and even un seen damage to items.

Of course your items are to do with what ever fit to do with them
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:16 PM   #12
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Its actually a rather common practice in museums and conserving institutions :-) But As I said "not all objects are suitable to expose to heat".

Most cloth and other materials for example will take no harm of this process, but you should not put your visor cap with a vulkan fibre into the heater of course.

Here in scandinavia we use 2-4 hours at 60° Celsius (the objects are bagged, this stabilizes the humidity and prevents the object from getting brittle etc) or a process that is a bit more complex , entotherm heat treatment and controlled atmosphere technology (CAT) that can be used to treat fragile and sensitive objects against insect pests. Entotherm works through the targeted application of dry heat. Controlled atmosphere by sealing the objects in a bubble and filling this with an anaerobic atmosphere for fumigation. Entotherm heat treatment can be applied to large areas or even whole buildings to deal with insect pests.

Here are some interesting papers and article on the matter published in english so that you can see that this practice is rather common:



http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/pres...iog/thermo.htm

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...ilwbkOMw&pli=1




http://www.abc.net.au/quantum/stories/s137758.htm


7pqKuIIyVXbz0jP2KxB4wjCVpfmBHkBeV59golFH4ekXLzAMvs JbqTytUG7ttZjhY3DgZa&sig=AHIEtbTCLJvm2kDHXPR2rd3oOQpK14E8-A


http://www.aiccm.org.au/index.php?op...etin&Itemid=44
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re
Old 01-29-2012, 07:40 AM   #13
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very interesting reading hilton,those links you've posted.
it's also very environmental friendly and thats a premium.
it won't do good to sales of chemical producing firms ,perhaps that's why it still has a low profile in many countries.
however the heat treatment lacks of any prevention qualities.
the techniques are used in museums worldwide i've read,but you must consider that after treatning the piece is entered in the best possible enviroment for any artefact.
most collectors have an addic or shed and or some special room but clothing will be opposed to bugs and other hazards like moist.
for killing bugs the heat works obviously.
when you kill the bugs with insecticide fumes the garment will stay at least a year untastfull food to any invader.
but the more we know will all help in in the great bugwar,
all the best
kees
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilton View Post
Its actually a rather common practice in museums and conserving institutions :-) But As I said "not all objects are suitable to expose to heat".

Most cloth and other materials for example will take no harm of this process, but you should not put your visor cap with a vulkan fibre into the heater of course.

Here in scandinavia we use 2-4 hours at 60° Celsius (the objects are bagged, this stabilizes the humidity and prevents the object from getting brittle etc) or a process that is a bit more complex , entotherm heat treatment and controlled atmosphere technology (CAT) that can be used to treat fragile and sensitive objects against insect pests. Entotherm works through the targeted application of dry heat. Controlled atmosphere by sealing the objects in a bubble and filling this with an anaerobic atmosphere for fumigation. Entotherm heat treatment can be applied to large areas or even whole buildings to deal with insect pests.

Here are some interesting papers and article on the matter published in english so that you can see that this practice is rather common:



http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/pres...iog/thermo.htm

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...ilwbkOMw&pli=1




http://www.abc.net.au/quantum/stories/s137758.htm


7pqKuIIyVXbz0jP2KxB4wjCVpfmBHkBeV59golFH4ekXLzAMvs JbqTytUG7ttZjhY3DgZa&sig=AHIEtbTCLJvm2kDHXPR2rd3oOQpK14E8-A


http://www.aiccm.org.au/index.php?op...etin&Itemid=44
In your statement that museums use this method in controlling moths. Is not a action that museums use in the USA. I have worked in several museums both small and large as a 3-D conservator. No museum that I know of has ever used this method of insect control. I would never tell or suggest anyone to try this method of insect control.

Of course these are your items to do with as you see fit.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:31 AM   #15
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Happy to be of any help Chiffonnier, and you are pointing out some very true facts:-)

Paul, have worked in 6 museums here in scandinavia (I am a conservator, have my master degree specializing in textiles and organic materials) 3 of the museums I have worked in are the largest in norway, and even if these methods have not been used in the museums you have worked in, it is a known method even in the US, but how widespread it is I relly dont know.

But if you are working in the museums business I would recommend you to read the links that I posted, it doesn't hurt to learn something new you know:-) It is rather strange that you are in the conservation branch and have never heard of entotherm heat treatment before?

I didn't write these posts to get into a quarrel with you Paul, only to let people know that there are alternatives to chemicals and freezing etc You have your preferences, and I have mine.
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