WOMEN AND THE HOME

DOWN WITH MOTHS

JANE MONTEITH April 15 1946
WOMEN AND THE HOME

DOWN WITH MOTHS

JANE MONTEITH April 15 1946

DOWN WITH MOTHS

JANE MONTEITH

of Chatelaine Institute

MOTH larvae are carnivorous. They show' a great fondness for all kinds of animal fibres such as furs, woollens or anything containing wool. They’re not above eating the hairs shed by the family dog or cat either. They scorn cottons, linens and rayons.

They are luxury - loving, slovenly creatures too, disliking cleanliness, light, and extremes of heat and cold. So, in your campaign against moths, make things as uncomfortable as possible for them before treating and storing away for the summer months.

Wash all washable woollens; send all nonwashables to the dry cleaners. Use vacuum cleaner attachments on furniture, drapes and rugs. Brush and shake curtains, blankets and coats, then hang in the sun for several hours.

Furs are best sent to cold storage, as even with the most careful brushing and spraying it’s difficult to reach the base of the hairs, where the moth eggs are laid.

Methods of dealing with this household pest have long been a subject of controversy, and many have been tried with varying degrees of success. Clean clothes have been stored in sealed closets, bags or cedar chests; chemicals with a strong odor which moths dislike have been used; crystals such as paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene flakes employed; liquid insecticides have been sprayed on garments and furniture. Now the new wonder chemical DDT has appeared on the domestic market.

The success of your war on moths will depend less on the type of repellent you use than on the intelligence with which you use it and the determination of your follow-up. One application of even the most deadly insecticide won’t protect you from moths forever.

A sealed closet specially reserved for storage is an excellent thing if you can afford the space. A cedar chest with a tight-fitting lid will protect

You’ve got the edge on the moth if you know his whims. He dotes on dirt and darkness, loathes heat and cold, hates soap and water. And DDT just kills him

properly treated articles from further contamination for a reasonable length of tim,e.

Paradichlorobenzene crystals in

sufficient strength will kill moth worms. Use one pound of crystals for a large trunk, a small closet or a rug you want to store, rolled up and wrapped securely in brown paper. The fumes are heavier than air, so hang cheesecloth bags of the crystals near the top of closets and clothing bags and just under the piano lid. Scatter crystals generously in boxes before sealing.

Moth sprays are effective in proportion to the care with which you go over the article to be demothed. Special attention should be paid to seams, cuffs and pockets of garments. It’s a good idea to try a little of the spray on an inconspicuous part of the material to be sure it won’t stain.

DDT is in the experimental stage as far as household use is concerned. It will kill moths if you use a preparation suitable for the purpose and follow the manufacturer’s instructions religiously.

DDT will be on the market in three forms: a bomb disperser suitable for use against flying moths or exposed larvae (which has little delayed effect) ; a hand spray containing a solvent that evaporates, leaving DDT in a fine powder which will continue to kill moth larvae in clothes, carpets and furniture for a long time (providing the article is not dry-cleaned, washed, or the powder removed in any other way); a powder particularly suitable for dusting under carpets, on piano felts, in the cracks between moldings and the floor and for other places that are difficult to reach.

Precautions

DDT is poisonous if swallowed, and should be kept in a safe place, away from children, and labelled POISON. Closely cover all food before using DDT, and wash tables and working surfaces thoroughly afterward.

Some forms are inflammable and will be so labelled by the manufacturer. Keep away from open flame, and do not smoke when using.

Some solutions are irritating to the skin. It might be wise to wear gloves when using sprays and powders. If a little gets on your skin, wash immediately with soap and water. Before wearing brush or wash clothing sprayed with DDT.

Avoid inhaling the fumes, as much as possible. People with a tendency to hay fever or asthma should wear a mask when handling sprays and powders.

Keep children and small animals out of the room when you are using any preparation of DDT. Cover the goldfish bowl and remove the canary.