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The Face of the Enemy


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#1 Dave

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:28 PM

I was photographing my collection and upon pulling out a sidecap, I noticed a bunch of moth bites and larve cocoons.

I didn't remember this hat being in this shape when I put it away, and oddly enough, it was in a ziploc bag inside yet another ziploc bag! My only guess is that the larve were on it when I got the group and then decided to feast on the hat (and putees) in the bag over the past year. Oy!!!!!

I've been asked a few times what mothing in progress looks like. So, here it is. Sadly, it's a hat in my collection (now in the freezer!) that had to jump the proverbial grenade. Luckily, out of 114 uniforms and groups, this was the only mothing I found, but still......

First photo...the tell tale cocoons...

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  • LARVE3.jpg


#2 Dave

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:29 PM

A bit more close up to the damage. At this time, I DID NOT KNOW that I had one of the buggers on my thumb!!!!!!!!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif

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#3 Dave

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:30 PM

And finally, the culprit. My camera couldn't focus 'cause the little bugger was FAST! He was hauling along the hat...and now he's frozen to death.

No, I don't feel bad...

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#4 ww2vault

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:37 PM

And finally, the culprit. My camera couldn't focus 'cause the little bugger was FAST! He was hauling along the hat...and now he's frozen to death.

No, I don't feel bad...


E-Gad! :unsure: That is my worst nightmare!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/fear.gif Now you prompted me to go look through my uniform collection again to check for any of the vermin! Did you put the hat in the freezer once you got the grouping, or is it in the freezer for the first time?

- Jeff

#5 Teamski

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:39 PM

Now was that necessary? I almost puked. Thanks.... http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/jeal0001.gif

-Ski

#6 72newport

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:43 PM

Aww man..Nasty!

#7 Dave

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 02:03 PM

Did you put the hat in the freezer once you got the grouping, or is it in the freezer for the first time?


No, it's in the freezer now. Some folks swear by putting their groups in the freezer to keep the mothing at bay. Had I done that with this one, it would have saved the hat (the puttees weren't bad). However, when I was getting in around 5-10 groups a week...that requires a real, real, real big freezer (and one I don't have!)

Dave

#8 ww2vault

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 02:28 PM

Ah, I understand Dave. I put every article of WWII clothing I get into the freezer. Yet, it must be nice to have 5 or more groups coming in to the point you can't stuff them in the freezer! :) Only if I was so lucky, or unfortunate....

- Jeff

#9 doyler

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 02:34 PM

No, it's in the freezer now. Some folks swear by putting their groups in the freezer to keep the mothing at bay. Had I done that with this one, it would have saved the hat (the puttees weren't bad). However, when I was getting in around 5-10 groups a week...that requires a real, real, real big freezer (and one I don't have!)

Dave



Dave,
I too have had this discovery.In the past few months.Stuff I had that was pristine isnt any more.Must have brought something in that was infected.

I see a large walk in freezer in your future set at -20!!!

RON

#10 SteveR

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 05:06 PM

If you have plastic bags always add mothballs. That will kill whatever also.

#11 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 05:24 PM

Did you blind fold the little SOB and offer a cigarette before execution?

#12 Bugme

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 05:30 PM

Ouch! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/pinch.gif

#13 Justin

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 07:14 PM

ugh that sucks!, is that just will wool? or does this happen to other material? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/ermm.gif

#14 Blake_E

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 10:12 PM

Dang that is nasty, and real unlucky too!

#15 The Meatcan

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 11:55 PM

glad you caught them in the act before they devoured everything. I'm heading downstairs to check on my stuff right now! :blink:

#16 Mr-X

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:43 AM

This enemy is in-human and must be destroyed where ever found.
Always be vigilant as they will strike where unexpected. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif


ugh that sucks!, is that just will wool? or does this happen to other material? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/ermm.gif


Oh I know just where you are going Justin. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

They prefer wool, but in it's absence can feast on other material types.

It occurs very rarely, but it isn't a pretty sight when they decide to chew on poplin.

Edited by Mr-X, 12 October 2008 - 12:44 AM.


#17 Jeff Ashenfelter

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:09 AM

Moths and their larvae seem to be a scurge that will never go away. Whenever I get a new wool uniform that may be a bit dirty because of poor storage I always isolate the item in a plastic sealed bag with mothballs or I have it drycleaned right away.
Moths seem to prefer items that are closely packed and dark spaces. Whenever you have uniforms on a hanger in a closet don't pack them too tightly together as this closeness is what they seem to prefer.
There is also a product available in an aerosal can that smells like cedar which kills and repels moth larvae for six months. I have used this for years and have had great luck with it. Jeff

#18 GIKyle

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 07:32 AM

Moths and their larvae seem to be a scurge that will never go away. Whenever I get a new wool uniform that may be a bit dirty because of poor storage I always isolate the item in a plastic sealed bag with mothballs or I have it drycleaned right away.
Moths seem to prefer items that are closely packed and dark spaces. Whenever you have uniforms on a hanger in a closet don't pack them too tightly together as this closeness is what they seem to prefer.
There is also a product available in an aerosal can that smells like cedar which kills and repels moth larvae for six months. I have used this for years and have had great luck with it. Jeff


Does anyone know the name of the product and where may it be bought?

Kyle

#19 trenchbuff

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 08:02 AM

My stomach's churning and I probably won't sleep tonight! The horror, the horror! :blink:

#20 SGM (ret.)

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 09:31 AM

You don't have to permanently store the items in the freezer, just keep them there for about 2 weeks to a month. (Turn the temp down as far as your freezer will go.) The cold will kill the larva or the eggs. Best is what one of the others metioned, though, and that is a thorough dry cleaning. The solvents will kill the bugs and clean 'em out at the same time. Freezing is the choice if there's concern the item will be damaged by dry cleaning. Most 20th century (WW 1 and II) wool items are OK with dry cleaning if they're otherwise sound (i.e. the stiches are not rotted, the cloth is not too fragile, the dyes are not "ersatz," metallic braid or stiching is not falling apart, etc).

You really have to make an item by item choice to decide if it will stand up to the handling at the cleaners. Places that specialize in furs, wedding gowns, and other expensive garments are usually bonded and will take care to handle things carefully. (If the counter help is clueless, ask when the manager will be around and go back later to discuss your item with someone who will give a darn.)

If the item is really fragile, your best bet is to hand wash and dry flat. You can judge as you're washing just how much handling the item can take. If the item is too fragile even for that, then freezing and carefully vacuuming (cover the end of the hose with a piece of nylon stocking to keep it from sucking the fragile cloth into the nozzle) or use a combination of a small 1" paint brush to losen the dirt and dust and the vacuum to just take it away (i.e, not applying the vacuum directly to the cloth; best done with two people working together, one brushing and one vacuuming).

The moths have much less tendency to get into clean wool than dirty. Moth balls or flakes work well, but stink, are poisonous, and have to be kept enclosed with the wool to work. It's not necessary to permanently keep the wool item enclosed with the moth balls or flakes, just for 1-2 weeks to kill the moths. Keep the balls or flakes away from the direct contact with the wook (use sachet bags or a smal pillow case, etc to hold them.)

Cedar is really only a repellant, and works only in enclosed spaces. It won't kill the moths or larva, so is only effective if the item is already moth-free.

Isolation of new items from the rest of your collection, as also mentioned, is a very good practice. But, you do need to periodically monitor the item to catch the little bast**ds even then. The standard for isolation is also about 30 days.

Mike

#21 Ricardo

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 01:43 PM

Freezer the bastards!!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif

#22 earlymb

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 02:24 PM

The best method is to put an item in a freezer for about a week, remove it for a couple of days and then put it back in for another week. Some eggs may have survived the first stint in the cold, and when they 'think' the cold is over they will probably hatch. The second time in the freezer will kill those off too.

Greetz ;)

David

#23 gpw_42

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 09:00 AM

Dave,

Appreciate your pain...and terminate with extreme prejudice!

SGM, thanks for your sage advice! I need to reconsider how tightly my uniforms are packed into the closet...

When I got home from my most recent deployment, I found moth damage in my cedar closet, with my wool stuff (WW1, 2, repop). Fortunately, I only noticed damage on repop shirts (easily expendable), and perhaps some on my pinks/greens jacket (that fits). Expensive, but not as heartbreaking had it been a WW1 uniform. Put the stuff in tuffboxes with mothballs for the trip crosscountry during the PCS. My new house still smells like mothballs, months after moving in, and chucking the mothballs as I found them in uniform pockets.

I've read in other posts on the forum that a good move is to put a fan in a closet - apparently the buggers don't like moving air. A $10 6" fan from wallyworld and that was handled...a cheap bit of insurance that's been running 24/7 for 6 weeks now. That'd have sure helped in the cedar closet in my old house! Speaking of which, I need to get some cedar installed in the new closet...

Thrasher

#24 Custermen

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 10:35 AM

Most 20th century (WW 1 and II) wool items are OK with dry cleaning if they're otherwise sound (i.e. the stiches are not rotted, the cloth is not too fragile, the dyes are not "ersatz," metallic braid or stiching is not falling apart, etc).


I took a Model 1940 Italian officers gabardine uniform to my local cleaners and they would not touch it. It is a little dingy looking. They feared the seams would come apart. Yet, I take a WW2 US Officer's dress uniform or an IKE jacket and they don't think twice about it. Haven't figured that one out.


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