A cute, fuzzy bug

Seems so innocent, right? Well, this bug is responsible for the 1980s look of all my softest sweaters. It has an innate sense for which wools cost the most and will snack on those, leaving all the best sweaters, suits, scarves and rugs riddled with unfashionable holes. This bug is also responsible for my recent silence. I have been too busy (and angry) waging a war against them to do much of anything else. This is the carpet beetle.

What to do when you are under attack? Clean!

It took me three weeks to wash every single item of clothing and piece of fabric in the house. Sweaters are difficult, because to get rid of eggs clothes must go into the dryer on high heat. So after washing them and drying them in the sun and vacuuming them I wrapped them in freezer bags and cooked them in the microwave. I collect fabric and I have a whole lot of yarn, so that all got zapped too. To my dog’s dismay I vacuumed the whole place over and over, moving every single piece of furniture and even turning everything upside down to vacuum underneath. Every single closet, every drawer was emptied, cleaned, then dusted with boric acid and diatomaceous earth. I also blew that powder under furniture, into all the cracks I could find (under moulding, between floorboards) and into electrical boxes.

So now my apartment is cleaner than it has EVER been, and I have isolated, under seal, a whole bunch of holy sweaters, which I couldn’t bring myself to throw out. My plan is to learn to felt and turn them into hats, pillows, and blankets. If you have any other ideas for reusing ruined sweaters, let me know!

Note: I take 99% of the photos in this blog — but the featured image on this post comes from Susannah Anderson, who takes some very nice bug pictures.

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