This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Trouble with moths

We're having a lot of trouble with moths at the moment.  Anyone else suffering with moths? Every evening we "do" for about 20 or so clothes moths in the bedroom.  I got my summer trousers out the other day.  They are knitted cotton and too lightweight for the rest of the year.  This year, they are decorated by a series of little holes all down one leg where some moth or moths had dinner.  Grr. The last couple of days, we have had fewer of the clothes moths and more of a slightly smaller and darker coloured moth.  I don't know whether or not they eat clothes too but I'm not taking any chances.

Last week, I opened a cupboard door in the kitchen and some pantry moths flew out. So we had to reorganise the job list and sort the cupboards out.   There was a huge number of eggs laid everywhere and moths in every packet.  The packet (new and unopened) of coriander seeds was absolutely full of moths trying to get out.  Just about every packet was either full of eggs or contained some moths.  Yeuk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm so cross that so much food was wasted although the hens were happy to help dispose of quite a number of the packets.  It is not that long since I sorted and washed the kitchen cupboards but I admit to being totally horrified at the state of my food. I did discover that the packets containing any form of ginger were totally untouched so that is one thing the moths don't like.  In future, everything that comes in a packet will be going into a glass jar before going into the cupboard!

I've lost two hens this week.  One died of old age although I'd expected her to live on another couple of years as all my other bantams have been very long lived.  I could see that she was going so it wasn't a big shock.  She was one of the first two hens that we hatched at school and she lived with the other one who was much larger.  A bantam living with a Buff Orpington (a particularly large breed of hen) - they were a real comedy double act.  Do you remember Little and Large on the tv many years ago?

The other one was a shock as the hen managed to get out and a fox had it and all that I found was a little pile of feathers.  The flap of wood that covers the join between the house and the run had been broken either by the hen forcing herself out or maybe the fox helped.  I don't know and probably never will but the result is that I have lost one of my two youngest hens and a very reliable egg layer and I don't like thinking about her horrible end.

And my old cat is hanging on by a thread.  She is noticeably weaker but not showing many signs of pain.  She still obviously takes pleasure in some things but the day of reckoning is drawing nearer and I'm dreading it even if I know that it is the final kindness that I can do for her.

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  • At 11:58 PM, Blogger Fran said…

    I have a phobia about moths so I would probably move out with that amount of moths! Luckily they seem to stay away from the water.

    Sorry about your chickens :( And I too would hate to make that decision about Alfie, heartbreaking :( xxxx

  • At 5:07 AM, Blogger Kearnygirl said…

    Hi! Love your blog! I live in the US and I have had trouble with moths getting into my winter stuff (wool scarves especially). I now have those cedar things you can buy (they are round with a hole in the center where you can place one over a hanger). I also bought cedar balls to put inside containers storing my winter clothes and scarves. I hope this helps. They are not supposed to like the smell of cedar. If you do buy the cedar products, you will have to revive the scent next year by scraping them a little to let out the scent. I have never had moths in my kitchen cabinets though, only in my clothes closets. I do have everything in glass jars or plastic containers. I don't leave anything in the original boxes they come in. I had a mouse once who ruined all my food in the cabinets so I learned my lesson about that. Good luck with getting rid of the moths.

  • At 6:23 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Hi Kearnygirl and Fran. I HATE moths. I'll have to look out for some cedar. I once had a mouse in the kitchen cupboards too - when the cats brought a live one in and it escaped....

  • At 8:12 AM, OpenID notjustgreenfingers said…

    Just reading your blog for the first time and I am so sad to hear about your chickens and your poor cat. Also the moths....Yuk!...I was convinced that you were writing from a different country but you are not too far from me (i'm east Midlands)

  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Hi notjustgreenfingers. I've just been over for a look at your blog and copied a couple of recipes to try. How nice to meet someone who is almost a neighbour : )


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