Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fleas, Moths and Nits (Again)….What was your summer like?

My adorable but flea infested Siamese cat - Agatha Bagwash
I have been plagued all summer by a variety of insects and I do mean plagued – fleas, moths and nits.
First it was the Nits not just my children but also me (see Nits is the word..) then it was the fleas courtesy of the cat. I blame her because she’s very ancient now and probably won’t give a fig if I use her name in vain and anyway it was the vet who found them and they were on the cat. So, for sake of argument, it was Agatha’s fault.
I must admit I was mortified when the vet pointed them out. I haven’t been very good at keeping an eye on Agatha of late and hadn’t realised that she was finding grooming herself a little difficult with her arthritis. It used to be so easy when her sister was alive as they used to clean each other but now Alice has gone (she’s been gone a year – see A Fat Cat) Agatha has no one to help and that coupled with old age has meant she is not as clean and well kempt as she once was – and it is my responsibility, just like the nits are my responsibility.
[Though if I find a mother next term who isn’t on top of the little blighters I may just start billing them for all the LyClear I have to use! Up until last year we had NEVER had a problem with nits now it’s a permanent fight!!!!)
I digress.
A plague of fleas everywhere and much spraying of anti-flea or instantfleadeath about the house and in all the crooks and crannies such as along the sides of the wall where the carpet folds under and in the sofa and on the cushions, the dog baskets and blankets and then after asphyxiating all and sundry time for us to vacate the house and stand outside in the rain while the stuff does it’s magic. I, of course forgot to check what the weather was doing when I over enthusiastically started the whole process and only read that the pets and children should be kept clear of all disinfected rooms for at least four hours after application when of course I had finished…pugger!
And then there were the moths…
A very expensive lot of moths - Tineola bisselliella.
Just finished all my holiday washing and was putting the clothes back in my room when I noted that there was a moth on my beautiful red wool dress that my husband bought me from Hobbs last autumn.  There were also little red bits on the floor.
If I said my heart sank, it would be an understatement.
I hastily checked all of my clothes and there were moth everywhere.
Now I am not good at getting rid of stuff, in fact some of the clothes I have are so old they are positively vintage now and I love all of them.
When I was very lucky to live in London and have enough money I bought beautiful clothes, Mulberry, Hobbs, Betty Barclay, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jaeger, Droopy & Brown. I also bought vintage clothes and inherited amazing coats and dresses going right back to the 1920s and of course there was my wedding dress: my beautiful, silk velvet devore wedding dress.
I won’t estimate the cost because most of it is priceless to me.
Of course I immediately Googled moth and then set about doing something, anything, while trying very hard not to burst into tears.
Luckily my mind works in weird ways and instead of trying to do odd things with moth balls and calling in Rentokil, I contacted a textile conservator. Because that is what I do when I don’t know what to do – call in the experts.
Allyson Rae is a textile expert based in Norfolk she was absolutely brilliant and told me exactly what to do: Bag everything up and get it frozen
So that is what I am doing tomorrow freezing my clothes at the Ipswich Museum, it’s a long story but hopefully one that will end happily…that was my summer: nits, fleas and moths.


Lindsey said...

Agatha Bagwash must be one of the best cat name's I've ever heard. Bravo!

Apple Island Wife said...

Other tip I've read for avoiding moths is never, ever put any item of food back in your wardrobe if it has even a smidgen of food spilled on it. Moths love food on clothes. Perilous for a dribbler like me. Hope you didn't dribble down your wedding dress?

About Last Weekend said...

Moths ate a couple of my best jumpers (I wonder if we still have them) and we had nits for months last year which almost reduced to tears.

Von said...

Oh Tattie I'm so sorry!! About your lovely clothes and the moths, about Agatha and her sister loss and her fleas..is this what my princesses have to look forward to in old age? Poor baby, hope she's clear now.Good luck with the freezing.

Marcheline said...

Poor you!

Cedar chests for anti-moth storage.

Flea collars for all pets, or that drop-on-the-back-of-the-neck stuff you put on once every three months. It works brilliantly.

Agatha Bagwash IS the coolest name I've heard since J.K. Rowling named one of the Harry Potter characters "Bathilda Bagshot".

Zoë said...

total sympathy! Fleas & red mite have been the bug factor this summer, and am praying that the varroa stays away!

Sad to hear about your beautiful togs though, how the deep freeze treatment works!


Rob-bear said...

Oh, dear; so sorry to read of this. Condolences on the mess. This is one "repeat performance" nobody wants, for you or anyone else.
BTW: are you sure it wasn't MI5 "bugging" your house? And if so, why would they be bugging you?

Go on you know you want to...


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