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By Rick Zieger, Iowa

I went into my tying room three weeks ago and had a dozen moths flying around in the air. I got 10 of the 12 before they disappeared. It was an immediate cleaning frenzy.

I hauled every box and container that I have out doors. I did not open any of them. I just got them out doors.

Once outside I began to open the various drawers on some of the plastic cabinets I have things stored in. I hauled everything out and shook it. In a few of the drawers I found a moth. But I got through all the drawers and other containers to get rid of all the moths that I could find quickly.

I went to the store and got a bunch of one gallon and one quart zip lock bags. I also got garbage sacks with drawstrings. Everything that was in one drawer I put in a garbage bag. Anything else that was not synthetic went into another bag. If there were eggs they were going to be contained.

I have a plastic bucket in the back room of the office. We use it to water plants outdoors when it doesn't rain. We also take some water to the Amish horses when they come to the office. I filled that bucket with water and some soap. I started with some of my better hackle and washed each of them in the soapy water. I then rinsed them under running water in the sink to get the soap out. I then spread them out and let them dry.

When they were dry they all went into bags that could be zip locked well, and that had no rips.

I have to admit that I had not always made sure the bags were completely sealed each time I used them. I know, STUIPID, DUB, IDIOT, and several other descriptions have gone through my mind.

I went through my other hackles and necks that I have accumulated the same way.

Then came the feathers that I have accumulated over time. Pheasant skins, grouse skins, feathers off of various waterfowl and upland game birds. Even though I did not find any moths in these they still got washed and rinsed. By now I had a large piece of cardboard I laid the feathers on and then pinned some thin material over the cardboard to keep the feathers from flying away. This way they could go outside and dry quicker.

After this I went into all the fur and tails that I have accumulated. When I opened this garbage bag I had about a dozen moths take off into the air. I immediately looked at everything in this bag to see if I could find any infested things. I did find some llama hair and a few squirrel tails with old casings in and on them. Those got immediately sealed in the bag again. The rest of the stuff got washed, rinsed and put on the cardboard to dry. This garbage bag went in the freezer.

It is amazing how fast some of these things will dry when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing some. I did make sure everything was dry before I put it away.

I had put all the turkey tail, turkey wing, pheasant tail, turkey body, and goose wings that I had dyed in gallon zip lock bags before. But a few of these were not completely zip shut, so they all got washed and dried. Guilty until proven innocent was they way I was going.

I checked all of my marabou. I could not see any moths or any eggs casing in them. I made sure they were all completely shut. I then put all my synthetic materials into zip lock bags. All my flash, boa yarn, other yarns, punch yarn, and all my zylon sort of stuff.

Not that I think the moths would eat it, but it would make it harder for them to find places to hide.

After two days in the freezer I took the llama hair and squirrel tails out and washed and rinsed them twice. I then dried them and put them in bags. I am looking at the bags each day to see if anything is growing. After a week they look good. But it will be a while before they go into the tying room.

I have not seen a moth in a week. This weekend I will be able to get some cedar pieces to put in the drawers and in the room. I have a friend that is dong some construction and will have the pieces for me. My tying room is too enclosed to use mothballs. I look at each drawer to see if there is anything in the drawer each day. I rattle some of them around to see if anything comes out. So far, so good.

Not a fun way to spend a couple of weeks. But it is a lesson learned, painfully learned.

I will probably not loose anything, but some time. The aggravation of having to do it was much bigger.

Hopefully I have the whole thing taken care off.

Hope you can get out on the water and don't have this sort of trouble. ~ Rick Zieger

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