Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/348

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

household pests is this little moth. Most housekeepers are familiar with the different stages of its growth, and all are aware of the fact that it is not the little delicate silvery moth that does the damage, except indirectly by laying its eggs in our woolen garments.

The moth, measuring less than half an inch across its spread wings, easily makes its way through the smallest crevices, and unless care is taken in the spring and summer we may find garments PSM V37 D348 Clothes moth.jpgFig. 1.—Clothes-Moth. a, the moth (natural size); b, larva; c, case; d, pupa (b, c, and d are enlarged).[1] that have been carefully laid away in boxes and drawers, as well as clothes hanging in closets, are infested by this creature. As a general rule, the worm seems to prefer partially worn and soiled garments to new cloth.

Early in the spring garments should be well beaten and brushed to dislodge the moths or any eggs that may have been deposited in the folds of the cloth, and then hung in the air and sun for a while.

When possible, garments should be folded in paper, leaving no chance for the moth to enter; large paper bags being convenient for this purpose. Camphor-wood or red-cedar chests are valuable in protecting articles which can not easily be wrapped in paper, as the odor of these woods is disagreeable to the moth; and when these are not to be had, oil of cedar poured on paper, which is then rolled up so that the oil shall not grease the garments, will make an ordinary box moth-proof. These rolls of paper should be scattered through the box and should be renewed two or three times during the spring and summer. It is said that black pepper or whole cloves sprinkled among woolen clothes will prevent the moth from depositing its eggs, as will also pieces of tallow wrapped in paper, and the odor of carbolic acid, turpentine, or benzine is very offensive to the moth. Camphor, as is well known, is beneficial in keeping away moths, but should never be placed near seal-skin, as it causes this fur to change color, showing streaks of gray or yellow. The great secret in taking care of furs is said to be frequent and thorough beating, the furs being kept in close closets lined with tar-paper.

It has been said that the odor of tobacco is disagreeable, but in the experience of some it has seemed rather to attract than to re-

  1. Figs. 1, 5, and 6 are from Our Common Insects, by Prof. A. S. Packard, and we are indebted to the kindness of the author for permission to use them.