Category Archives: Moths

Household Moths

When Moths haunt amongst the Hangings

Some 17th Century household tips for getting rid of moths.

The rind of Citron laid amongst cloaths, keepeth them from moth-eating: and smelt on, preserveth in time of pestilence, or corrupt aire.

Oyle lees are good to annoint the bottomes of chests wherein clothes are to be laid, for they drive away mothes.

If you take the maw [stomach] of a weather sheepe new killed, not washed, but having all the filth hanging theron, which lightlie cover with earth in that place, where they most swarme in the garden, and after two dayes, you shall finde a marvellous companie of Moths and other flies heaped thereupon, which either carry away, or bury very deepe in that place.

Guinea-Pepper [an early name for Cayenne pepper], is such an Extream in Nature, viz. so hot and poysonous, that if the bigger sort be dryed, and the Cods cut and the Seeds scattered amongst Clothes, Hats, or the like, that are to be packt up, it proves the best Preservative from the Moth, and other Vermine that is known; for its excessive keenness destroys all Generation, even in the very bud. Likewise, if it be burnt in a Room, the Doors and Windows being close shut, it will destroy and kill all Buggs, Fleas, or the like, and you too, if you do not get out in time, its fumes are so hot, poysonous and penetrating.

To keep Apparel, Hangings &c. from Moths: Brush them several times in the Year with a Brush made of Wormwood Tops, and you may rub them with Wormwood, especially when you discern Moths to haunt amongst the Hangings.

And another Wormwood tip: Wormwood being laid amongst Cloathes will make a Moath scorn to meddle with the Cloath.

Florentine Iris [pale blue iris] is a sweet Powder, and is very proper to sprinkle amongst Clothes to preserve them from the Moth.

The Small Moth, which usually eateth garments, coverings of stooles, cushions, and furniture of beds. These in the eating of such things, are small white worms, like Nits, which are nothing else but Flea-Nits, which in the end turns to Fleas, and they are the original of these small Moths. And that these kind of Moths do proceed from Fleas, I am fully satisfied from an experience I found out in my own house: for keeping of Pigeons in a Closet for a certain time, and after removing them to an other place, had the closet cleansed with as much care as might be, yet notwithstanding in the Spring following, the walls and windows were as full of these small Moths, as was admirable to see, of the dung they could not proceed, for that was gone; so that I could conceive no other thing from whence they should proceed, but from Fleas crept into crivesses and holes, where they lay in Husks, which turned to winged creatures, as in Worms.

Tis very confidently reported, that there are certain Moths that reside in the cavities of a Sponge, and are there nourished: Notwithstanding all which Histories, I think it well worth the enquiring into the History and nature of a Sponge (from the wonderfully entitled: Some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses)

Bay leaves, laid up among your cloathes, will give to them a fragrant smell, and keep them safe from moaths.

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