This is a post from 2014, never published because I can’t get good photos. But the sentiments remain.
My studio has never been airtight. It is old and the windows don’t fit tightly and even if I didn’t weave with the door wide open, bugs just find their way into the studio.
A couple years ago I had a major battle with moths. I had to take every skein of yarn out in the sunshine and comb through it looking for larval casings. I had to wash every woolen textile in hot water and dry it in the sun. I had to take all the beautiful wool sitting on shelves and lock it away in ugly plastic boxes filled with moth balls.
And I thought I had things under control
But I can’t have all the wool locked away. There’s the wool warp on the loom; the nicely wound bobbins of my current project; tidy cones waiting to be wound off.
Recently I noticed that if I weave in the evening I tend to have a few moths flying drunkenly (a sign of clothing moths) around the studio. I swing at them and kill a few. Nothing in my moth pheromone trap, but I suspected I might be in trouble again.
This was a shocker: Looking around the window bay, my local friendly araña webs had half a dozen little moths carefully tucked away for a winter dinner. They may not look like moths when they have dried out, but I first saw them they were obvious freshly dead moths.
Now my dilemma. The araña is my friend. We weavers are almost a species onto ourselves. She’s my sister, my colleague. The moths freaked me out. Even dead. But could I deprive her of her dinner after all her hard work?
Today the vacuum came out and I started with corners where the webs were old an abandoned (I thought). I always have cobwebs in my studio. But this time, since I was looking closely at the contents of the cobwebs, I saw not only more dead moths, but also tiny spiders that crawled out of the web looking for protection when I got near with the vacuum. I vacuumed around the webs. I vacuumed other debris. The internal struggle continued. Was I really going to leave webs filled with gross clothing moths. What if they had eggs in them that somehow survived? What if? I tried to gently suck the moths off the web and partially succeeded. But then I broke down. I sucked the portion of each web that had dead bugs and left an anchoring section for my spider friend to build a new one. I figured I was supplying her with lots of food and she would have the strength to replenish her home and her larder. It didn’t make me happy but my cozy little studio cannot be home to moths. #*!# polillos! Dead or alive they have to go.