Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodoriser.

Mix equal amounts of water and white vinegar in a store-bought spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home.
Use on surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen, as well as the bathtub, toilet, sink and floors.
Always test on an inconspicuous area first.

Don't worry about your home smelling like vinegar – the smell disappears when it dries.
Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces and remove stains.

Mix 1 cup of olive oil with ½ cup of lemon juice and you have a furniture polish for your hardwood furniture.

For an effective glass/mirror cleaner, mix the juice of two lemons with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 2 cups of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, spray on to surface and wipe dry.
Baking soda is a great deodoriser.
Place a container in the fridge and freezer to absorb nasty smells.
Try sprinkling some on your carpet to soak up some of those odours, and then vacuum it up.

Baking soda and water can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleansers, or use the following recipe for an all-purpose.

 

Spray cleaner:

- Juice of 1 lemon
- 10 drops tea tree oil (try the health foods aisle in your supermarket)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 4 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 litres of water

Your Own Cleaning Solutions

Ammonia, diluted with 3 parts water in an empty spray bottle can be used to clean windows, appliances and countertops.

Full strength it can remove wax build-up from the kitchen floor.
An excellent way to scour copper and brass is 1/2 cup vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon salt.

Full strength pine oil is great for deodorizing garbage cans, and scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom floor.

Baking soda can be used instead of scouring powder and also removes stains and odors from refrigerators and coffee pots.

A sprinkle of dry baking soda before vacuuming will freshen the carpeting. Try it as a deodorizer for diaper pails and kitty litter.

Clean Windows:

Wash windows on a cloudy, but not rainy day.
Working in direct sunlight causes streaks because the cleaning solution dries before you can wipe it off.

This is the best time to vacuum the frames and sills.
Cool, clear water is the choice of most professional window washers.
If windows are very dirty you can add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water.
Use horizontal strokes on the inside and vertical on the outside so you know which side the streaks are on.
for drying windows, a wad of crumpled newspaper works just as well as expensive paper towels.
Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands free of ink.

Cleaning Windows:

If necessary, dust off the window and sill with a clean paintbrush.
Excess dust and water can cause mud.
Use a professional-type squeegee available for about $20 at a janitorial supply store.
Forget the cheap brands you find at the grocery store.
They are not as effective, and you have to replace the whole thing once you get a nick in the blade.
Don't clean windows while they are in direct sunlight.
Your cleaning solution will dry too fast.
Dip a 100% cotton cleaning cloth in your solution. Wring out the excess and then wipe the window to loosen dirt.
Grab your squeegee, start each squeegee stroke in a dry spot.
Wipe a strip with a cleaning cloth to get started.
Squeegee in a pattern from top to bottom, or side to side.
If you clean the outside and the inside, Work top to bottom on the inside and side to side on the outside.
By doing this, you'll be able to identify which side any streaks left behind are on.
Keep the squeegee blade dry by wiping it with a cleaning cloth after each stroke.

Replace the blade when necessary.
Even the smallest nick can cause streaking.
Don't have a squeegee? Use newspaper for drying freshly washed windows. It's cheaper and leaves no lint behind.

Wash windows on a cloudy, but not rainy day.
(This is the best time to vacuum the frames and sills.)
Cool, clear water is the choice of most professional window washers.

If windows are very dirty you can add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water.
For drying windows, a wad of crumpled newspaper works just as well as expensive paper towels.
Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands free of ink.

Cleaning Window Sills

To remove spots rub the surface with rubbing alcohol.
First remove everything.

Then vacuum or dust off all crumbs.
Then wet a white nylon backed sponge with dishwashing detergent solution and use the sponge side to go over the counter, including the backsplash.

Let the solution set on the surface for a few minutes to soften hard droplets.
Then, use the nylon side of the sponge as necessary to remove any stubborn stuff.
Buff dry with a clean, lint free towel. If your countertops have lost their luster, try furniture polish or club soda to give a temporary shine to your kitchen.
Feeling the Urge to Clean?
Look at each room and identify specific tasks.
Make a list of cleaning priorities.Share the fun with family members.

Clean doors

Clean Doors Give a Great Impression
If company is coming, clean and wash the doors in your house.
No one knows why, but your whole house looks good.
Scrub the door from top to bottom with a rag and soapy water, using a scrub brush for especially tough spots.
While you're at it, wipe down the top edge of the frame.

With all the dust that collects up there, it probably looks like velvet.

Along with the upper side of a ceiling fan, the top of the door is one of the most missed spots in the home.

Kitchen

wash and wax wood floors and mop vinyl floors.
Clean out refrigerator and pantry.
Change shelf-liners.
Straighten junk drawer Wipe down cabinet.

Bathroom

Use lint-free cloths or a squeegee to wash windows inside and out.
Dust the sill.
Vacuum the window well.

Windows

Vacuum draperies.
Wash blinds.
Replace heavy drapes with lightweight or sheer curtains.

Furniture

Polish furniture, wash upholstery, vacuum between cushions.
Clean behind and under sofas and cabinets.

Closets

Give old clothes and furniture to charity.
Vacuum floors.
Dust shelves.
Hang cedar blocks to freshen the areas.
Best Way to Tackle Cleaning

"Always start at the top of the room and work your way down."
Always clean top to bottom. When you dust, start at the top and work down.
Take all your cleaning tools with you into each room to avoid unnecessary trips back and forth. Unplug the phone and the turn off the T.V.

Eliminate clutter.
An uncluttered home looks better than one that is dust-free but strewn with odds and ends.
Clean as you go!It takes a lot less time to remove new dirt than old, and to clean and put away stuff as you use it, than to clean and store the pile-up you can accumulate.

A house that smells fresh will give the impression of cleanliness.
Leave baking soda on carpeting for the night to absorb musty odors, vacuum in the morning.

Keep a big astro-turf mat on the porch to cut down on tracked in dirt.
Keep a basket in the kitchen for the mail, newspaper, car keys to help with clutter.
Keep a hamper in every bathroom.

Make everyone in charge of making his or her own bed and picking up their stuff.
Always pickup the T.V. room before bedtime and start the dishwasher. Prioritize, if your time is limited decided what is most important.

Delegate, get the entire family involved.
Make a checklist, when a job is completed, check it off - you'll feel as though you are really accomplishing something.
Odor and Moisture Removal

To get rid of odor you have to remove the source, not just cover the odor up with perfumed air freshener.

Clean up and disinfect.
Kill the germs that cause most household odors.
The quicker you get after odors, the easier they are to remove.
If You've Got Allergies

Air condition your home.
Keep bathrooms free of mold and mildew.
Avoid pets or restrict them to certain areas.
Damp mop hard surfaces regularly.
Enclose your fireplace.
Fluff drapes and rugs in dryer to remove dust.
Use your fans.
Vacuum mattresses.
Don't allow smoking in your home.
Replace furnace filters frequently.
Vacuum everything once a week.
Invest in an ozone-free air cleaner.
Urine Spots
Get to them quickly with a solution of dish detergent and water.

Removing Crayon Marks
Remove crayon marks from painted walls by scrubbing with toothpaste or an ammonia-soaked cloth.
Rinse and dry.

Removing Heel Marks
Take pencil eraser and rub them off.

Quick fix for shiny wood floors
Put a piece of waxed paper under your dust mop.
Dirt will stick to the mop and the wax will shine your floors.
Blood Stains
Put a paste of water and cornstarch, cornmeal or talcum powder on fresh spots. Let dry and brush off.
Cover fresh or dried stains with meat tenderizer and add cool water.
After 15 to 30 minutes, sponge off with cool water.

Fresh blood on leather
Dab on a little hydrogen peroxide.
After it bubbles, wipe it off.

If you get blood on fabric, quickly wet a long piece of white cotton thread with saliva and place it across the spot. The thread will absorb the blood.
Removing Tar Spots
Use paste wax to remove tar from floors.
This works on shoes too.

Candle Wax
For spilled wax on carpets and upholstery, put a brown paper bag over the dried wax and run a hot iron over it.
The bag will absorb the hot wax.
Dried wax on wood floors can be removed by softening the wax with a hair dryer, then removing with paper towels.
Wash spot down with a combination of vinegar and water.

Shirt Collars
Take a small paintbrush and brush hair shampoo into soiled shirt collars before laundering. Shampoo is made to dissolve body oils.

Combs-Brushes
Use a combination of baking soda and hot water to clean hair brushes and combs.

Deodorant Stains from Washables
Sponge area with white vinegar. If stain remains, soak with denatured alcohol.
Wash with detergent in hottest water safe for fabric.

Cleaning Glass Table Tops
Clean by rubbing with a little lemon juice, dry with paper towels and polish with newspaper for a sparkling table.
Toothpaste will remove small scratches from glass.

Cleaning Marble
To remove stains, sprinkle salt on a fresh cut lemon. Rub very lightly over stain.
Do not rub hard or you will ruin the polished surface. Wash off with soap and water.

Polishing Furniture
Carved furniture- dip old toothbrush into furniture polish and brush lightly.
To remove polish build-up mix one cup water and one cup vinegar.
Dip soft cloth in the mixture and wring out before wiping furniture. Dry immediately with another soft, dry cloth.

Cleaning Acoustical Tiles
Clean with the dust-brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Remove stains and dirt with mild soap and water.
Don't let the tiles get too wet.

Cleaning Wallpaper
To dust papered walls, tie a dustcloth over your broom and work from the top down.

To remove pencil marks and other non-greasy spots from non-washable papers, use an art-gum eraser or a slice of fresh rye bread.

To remove greasy spots, crayon marks and food stains, apply a paste of cleaning fluid and fuller's earth, cornstarch or whiting. Let dry and brush off.
Repeat the treatment until the spot is gone.

Wipe off fingerprints with a damp cloth, then sprinkle the moist area with fuller's earth.
Let it dry and then brush it off.

To prevent splash marks when you're washing baseboards or other woodwork, mask wallpaper with a wide ruler, venetian blind-slat or a piece of rigid plastic.

When you save scraps of wallpaper for patching, tack them to a wall in the attic or closet.
When you use them for repairs, they won't look so brand new.
Removing Water Stains
If the fabric is non-washable, gently scratch off the stain (which is made up of mineral deposits) with your fingernail. Still there?

Hold the spot over a steaming teakettle until well-dampened. As it dries, rub the stain, working from its outer edges toward the center.

Remove hard-water stains from glasses and bottles by rubbing them with steel wool dipped in vinegar.

Cover hard-water stains on bathroom fixtures with a paste of baking soda and vinegar.
Then drape with a terry clot towel and let stand for about an hour. Wipe off, rinse and dry.

Cleaning Wicker
Remove dust from wicker by vacuuming with the dust brush attachment. To remove grime, wash with a solution of 2 tablespoons ammonia per gallon of water.
use a paintbrush or a toothbrush to get at hard-to-reach places. Rinse well. Air dry in the shade.

Cleaning Miniblinds
Slip your hands into a pair of socks for cleaning the miniblinds. Dip one hand into a bucket of warm, soapy water and hold the blinds between your two hands.

Rub back and forth until you've cleaned the whole surface. Then reverse sides so the dry sock dries the blinds.

Wipe miniblinds with damp fabric softener sheets to eliminate static that collects dust.
The same trick works for your T.V. screen.

Miniblind Spring Cleaning
Take the blind down and take it outside. Lay it on an old blanket preferably on a slanted area of the yard. Let the blind out all the way and make sure all the louvers are flat.

Mix up a bucket of all-purpose cleaner or ammonia solution.
Scrub with a soft brush then turn it over to do the back side. By now the blanket is wet and is helping to clean the blind and protecting it.

Hang the blind on a clothesline and hose it off. Gentle shaking will help it begin to drip dry.

Indoor Plants
Remember, plants get dusty too. You can clean small plants in the kitchen sink, and larger ones enjoy a shower in the bathroom.

Doorknobs
Always disinfect doorknobs, switchplates and telephones. They collect germs from everyone who touches them.

Clean Mirrors
Remove hair spray from a mirror with a little rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.

Linen closets can be a jumbled mess, especially when you have children making their own beds.
Organize bed linens in sets.
Fold flat sheet in half twice lengthwise, then fold fitted sheet the same way and lay it on top of the flat folded sheet.

Add one or two pillow cases folded long ways and roll them all together into a neat roll.
Whoever is making the bed can grab only a roll instead of rummaging around and making a mess.
Spray broom or dust mop with you favorite furniture polish and the dust and dirt will be easier to collect when you sweep.
Freshen curtains in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet and a damp towel.
If you can't reach the cobwebs with your feather duster, use the detached vacuum wand as an extension.

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Good Mowing Practices
Never mow more than 1/3 of the total grass height. Cutting too much off the plant will send it into shock.

Do not lower the mower during the year if at all possible. Grass does not respond well to abrupt changes in mowing height.

Keep mower blades sharp
With rotary mowers only the outward 1/4 of blade does the cutting.
A sign of a dull mower blade is fractured or shredded looking grass.

Change direction of mowing from one time to the next to ensure an even cut.
Mowing affects growth and development of your lawn, mow to a height of  4 cm. to 5 cm.

 

Although most improved varieties can be mowed down to a height of 1 inch, remember the shorter you cut your lawn the more often you will have to mow it.
Whenever possible use a bag catcher to collect clippings.

Patch diseases can be very damaging to most cool-season turfgrasses.
These diseases cause circular patches of dead turf, which may surround turf that is still green.
This "frog eye" symptom often occurs with this group of diseases. Patch diseases generally occur on sodded lawns, especially within the first 5 years of establishment. However, older lawns either established from seed or sod can also develop patch diseases.

Cause of Patch Diseases
Several fungi cause patch diseases. The actual fungal pathogen will depend on the specific patch disease. The more commonly occurring patch disease include the following:

Necrotic Ring Spot (Leptosphaeria Patch) - Leptosphaeria korrae.
Summer Patch - Magnaporthe poae.
Yellow Patch - Rhizoctonia cerealis.

These diseases can occur on several turfgrasses, but are more damaging to Kentucky Bluegrass. In the past, some of these diseases may have been referred to as Fusarium Blight, but today are referred to by their current names.

Symptoms of Patch Diseases
Initial symptoms appear as small spots (2 - 4" diameter) of light green turf. Spots enlarge to form light straw colored circles, irregular patches, and crescent patterns that are 1-2 feet in diameter. Centers of the patches may contain grass that is alive or dead.
When dead, the patches of grass appear crater like or sunken.
Patches may overlap to form large areas of blighted turf. Symptoms may also appear as diffused patterns of yellow or brown turf.
Blackening of the infected crowns, rhizomes and roots is also characteristic.
Yellow patch on bent grass generally occurs as yellow rings that often recover.

Conditions That Favor Diseases
Necrotic Ring Spot and Yellow Patch are favored by cool, wet conditions, occurring primarily in the spring and fall.
Summer Patch is favored by hot, humid conditions and occurs in the summer. Identifying these diseases is difficult because the symptoms of Necrotic Ring Spot and Yellow Patch are still present during the summer, when Summer Patch is active.

Tips to help avoid patch diseases
- Mow frequently at 2 1/2 to 3 inches in height.
- Irrigate properly.
- Keep thatch to a minimum.
- Reduce soil compaction by core aeration (wear golf shoes while mowing!).
- Fungicides generally do not provide satisfactory control of patch diseases.
Growing Lawn in Shade
Growing grass in shady sites can be a challenge because shade weakens grass. All plants require sunlight to make their food. Most grasses will grow under light shade, but in heavy shade, grass may become so weak that it begins to thin out. Thus weakened grass growing in shade is prone to certain diseases, such as powdery mildew.

Keeping Shade Lawn Healthy
Root systems of nearby trees compete for water and nutrients. Heavy shade reduces grass tolerance to temperature extremes and foot traffic. Since grass growing in heavy shade is at a disadvantage, here are some things you can do to keep it as healthy as possible.

Mow at the proper height and frequency for the type of grass. Water the grass deeply. Prune or thin nearby trees to permit more sunlight to the grass. Consider mulch or shade-tolerant ground covers for densely shaded areas.

If you have heavily shaded areas in your lawn where the grass is thin, consult your lawn care specialist for recommendations on improving the lawn.

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Bring the warmth and life of nature indoors and brighten your home with plants.
They not only create a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, but they also help clean the air.
Choosing and caring for houseplants depends on the light, temperature, draughts, and humidity conditions of your home.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will be rewarded with healthy indoor plants that will add colour and style to your home.


Positioning your houseplants
All plants have likes and dislikes. The key is simply to read the plant labels carefully. Below is a guide that will help you decide which room will best suit your new plant.

Living Room -Generally well lit and warm : African Violets, Spider Plant, Croton, Weeping Fig, Flowering Begonia, Kalanchoe, Poinsettia, Radermachera, Kentia Palm.
Dining Room -Varies warm/cold : Azalea, Christmas Cactus, Peace Lily, Dracaena Marginata, Umbrella Plant.
Kitchen -Well lit and warm during the day, cold at night : Geranium, Chrysanthemum, Parade Rose, Cacti.
Bathroom - Warm and humid : Maidenhair Fern, Boston Fern, Bird's Nest Fern.
Bedrooms -Well lit but cool : Bottle gardens, Cyclamen, Ivy, Hyacinth, Parade Rose, Geranium. Hallways - Shady and cool : Grape Ivy, Parlour Palm, Peace Lily
Porch -Light but not heated : Ivy, Primrose, Yucca, Polka Dot Plant, Dragon Tree, Kalanchoe, Freedom Bells. Caring for Indoor Plants

Watering:
Most indoor plant failures are caused by over watering. People are just too kind!
Be particularly careful in the winter, when plants may only need watering once a fortnight. Check your plants once a week. If you can feel no moisture when pushing your finger into the potting mix, the pot should be watered.
Fill the pot to the top with water. A few minutes later, throw out any excess left in the saucer. Leaving the excess water can cause the roots to rot.

Certain plants like African Violets and Cyclamens should be watered by immersing the pot in a bowl of tepid water. Top watering causes the stems to rot.
Allow the pot to drain before returning to its saucer.

Feeding:
An easy and convenient way to feed indoor plants is with a slow release fertiliser such as Osmocote that will sustain your plant for up to 6 months.

Another fertiliser that is easy to apply is one that is mixed in with the water when watering for example Baby Bio or Nitrosol. Again, be careful during the winter and feed rarely, as with outdoor plants, houseplants need a time of little growth. Freshly potted plants will not need feeding for up to 4 weeks.

Warmth:
Choose plants carefully to suit the temperature of your home. Sudden temperature changes will damage almost all plants. Avoid placing plants too close to a window as direct sunlight or coldness can damage the plant resulting in brown marks and dryness or bleaching of the leaves.

Grooming:
Make it a practice to "look over" your plants when checking if they need watering. Check under the leaves for insects and diseases. Dust on the foliage clogs leaf pores and stops the plant from breathing. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. Smaller leaved plants such as Ferns and Palms can be mist sprayed with water regularly. Pinch back the growing tips of tall, leggy plants for a more compact, bushy plant. Leaf spots and damage can be removed with a sharp razor blade.

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Repotting:
Indoor plants are best repotted during the warmer months, from October through to March.
If the roots start to emerge from the bottom of the pot, or the potting mix dries out rapidly, it is time to repot.

Water your plant well before transferring to a larger pot. Put a layer of new potting mix in your new pot (one size larger than the old pot) and place the plant (in its old pot) on top, with the rim of both pots at the same level.


Fill with potting mix (never use garden soil) between the pots, to 1cm below the rim to allow for watering. Tap out the plant from its existing pot and place it in the new one. Water well and allow to stand in a cool place for a few days.

Prevention is better than cure, so try to keep your plants in their ideal growing conditions to keep them as strong and healthy as possible.
Always isolate your infected plant to prevent the infestation spreading.

Whitefly: Look like tiny white flies, which fly around when disturbed. Dip the whole plant in a bowl of tepid soapy water and rinse off afterwards or spray with Target.

Aphids: Clusters of insects gathered around the growing tips. New leaves curl and become distorted. Dip the whole plant in a bowl of tepid soapy water and rinse off afterwards. To control, spray with Orthene.

Botrytis: Brown spots and blotches appear on leaves and sometimes stems. Under humid conditions, grey mould on leaves, flowers and stems. Reduce humidity and increase air movement. Space plants out. Remove dead flowers and leaves regularly. If problem persists, spray with Fungus and Mildew spray.

Mealy Bugs: Look like wooly patches under the leaves or on the stems. Dab the Mealy Bugs with cotton wool dipped in methylated spirits or spray with Orthene. Badly infected plants should be discarded.

Red Spider Mites: Tiny yellow, brown, or red mites on undersides of leaves. They produce fine cobwebs. Mist regularly to increase humidity. To control, spray with Mavrik at regular intervals.

Scale Insects: Small hard yellow, brown insects cling to stems and leaves. Generally scrape off the scales using tepid soapy water, then rinse. To control, spray with an oil based product such as Conqueror Oil. Repeat applications may be necessary.

Mildew: White powdery patches on stems & leaves. Spray with Saprol or Fungus and Mildew Spray.

Check and clean or replace furnace air filters, each month, during the heating season.
After consulting your hot water system owner’s manual, turn the electric off to the water heater and drain the water tank.

This will help control settlement and maintain efficiency.

- Refill the water tank and then turn the electric back on to the water heater.
- Clean your dehumidifiers two or three times during the winter season.
- Vacuum the bathroom fan grills.
- Vacuum your fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functioning.
- Check the gauges on all fire extinguishers and recharge or replace them, if necessary.
- Check your fire escape routes, door and window locks, and lighting around the outside of your house.
- Clean the drains in dishwashers, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.
- Test all plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working properly and to prevent them from seizing.
- Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change the washers as necessary.

If you have a fixture that is not used frequently, such as a laundry tub, spare bathroom sink or tub, shower stall or toilet, run water briefly to keep some water in the trap.

- Have the fireplace/wood stove chimney cleaned and serviced as needed.
- Check the air conditioning system and have it serviced every two or three years.
- Clean or replace the air conditioning filter, if applicable.
- Check the dehumidifier and clean it, if necessary.
- Check all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and security alarms; replace the batteries as needed.
- Clean all windows, screens, and hardware. Check your screens to see if any repairs are needed.
- Open any valves to your outside hose connections.
- Examine the house's for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture; repair as required.
- Check downspouts for loose joints and clear any obstructions to ensure water flows away.
- Clear all drainage ditches and culverts from debris.

- Monitor basement humidity and use a dehumidifier to maintain a safe, relative humidity -
- Check basement pipes for condensation or dripping and take corrective action -

(For example, reduce humidity and/or insulate cold water pipes.)
Deep clean your carpets and rugs.
Vacuum the bathroom fan grill.
Disconnect the duct connected to the dryer and vacuum any lint from duct.
Check the security of all handrails.
Check for the smooth functioning of all windows and lubricate as required.
Lubricate all door hinges and tighten screws as needed.
Lubricate garage door hardware and ensure proper operation.
Lubricate the automatic garage door opener, motor, chain, etc.
(and ensure that the auto reverse mechanism is properly adjusted.)
Check and replace damaged caulking and weather stripping around all windows and doors.
Check the exterior wood and trim for signs of deterioration. Clean and replace/refinish as needed.
Remove any plants or roots that contact or penetrate the siding or brick.
Check the overall condition of your roof.
(Note the condition of all shingles and examine all roof flashing, such as chimney and roof joints, for any signs of cracking or leakage.)
Check the chimney cap and the caulking between the cap and the chimney.
Repair the driveway and walkways as needed.
Repair any damaged steps that present a safety problem.

Common Name Scientific Name
Webbing Clothes Moth Tineola bisselliella (Hummel)
Casemaking Clothes Moth
Tinea pellionella (Linnaeus)
Carpet or Tapestry Moth Trichophaga tapetzella (Linnaeus)



Clothes moth larvae feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, leather, lint, dust, paper, and occasionally cotton, linen, silk, and synthetic fibers. They are especially damaging to fabric stained with beverages, urine, oil from hair, and sweat. Most damage is done to articles left undisturbed for a long time, such as old military uniforms and blankets, wool upholstery, feathered hats, antique dolls and toys, natural bristle brushes, weavings, wall hangings, piano felts, old furs, and especially wool carpets under heavy furniture and clothing in storage.

Damaged fabrics have holes eaten through them by small, white larvae and often have silken cases, lines of silken threads, and fecal pellets over the surface of the materials. Moths are destructive during the larvae stage. Adult "millers" or moths are entirely harmless.

Identification
Adult webbing clothes moths have a wingspread of about 1/2-inch. The body is about 1/4-inch long with wings folded and golden-yellow with a satiny sheen. A tuft of hairs on the head is upright and reddish-gold. Eggs are oval, ivory, and about 1/24-inch long. Larvae are a shiny, creamy white with a brown head, up to 1/2-inch long. The larvae spin long threads and construct tunnels of silk.

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Webbing Clothes Moth and Eggs Webbing Clothes Moth: Larva and Larva Damage


Adult casemaking clothes moths have a 1/2-inch wingspread. Forewings are yellowish-brown, and there are usually three distinct, dark dots on the outer third of each wing. Hind wings are smaller, lighter, and fringed with hair and scales. Eggs are whitish, and larvae are opaque-white with brown heads. The larva spins a small silken case around itself and carries it while feeding.

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Casemaking Clothes Moth: Adult and Larva


Adult carpet or tapestry moths are larger than webbing or casemaking clothes moths at 1/3- to 5/12-inch long with a 3/4-inch wingspread. Adults have white heads, with the first third of the front wings black and the lower two-thirds creamy white. Hind wings are pale gray. Larvae are small, creamy white caterpillars with dark heads.

Life Cycle and Habits
Clothes moths rarely fly to lights at night and instead prefer darkness, such as a closet or storage chest. Any clothes moths fluttering around the house are probably males, because females travel by either running, hopping, or trying to hide in the folds of clothing. Female webbing clothes moths lay 40 to 50 eggs that hatch in 4 to 21 days. Larvae like to feed on soiled material, spinning silken mats or tunnels and incorporating textile fragments and bits of fecal pellets. Larvae will wander some distance away from their food source to pupate in crevices. The pupa case is silken with bits of fiber and excrement attached to the outside. The life cycle is about 65 to 90 days.

The casemaking clothes moth is less common than the webbing clothes moth. Larvae spin a small silken case around themselves as they feed. This cigar-shaped case enlarges as the larva grows. When crawling, the larva's head, thorax, and three pairs of legs, outside the case, drag it along. It does not spin a web of silk over the food material but eats clean-cut holes, not usually in one spot. Females live about 30 days and lay 100 to 300 eggs. The larva stage lasts 50 or more days, and the pupal stage is passed in the case or cocoon. There are about 2 generations a year.

Adult carpet or tapestry moths are rarely found. Females lay 50 to 100 eggs in a lifetime, and the larva develops in about 3 months as it builds silken tubes or burrows through infested materials, such as hair-stuffed furniture, tapestries, old carpets, furs, and feathers.

Clothes moth development is greatly influenced by humidity. About 75-percent relative humidity in a heated, dark room is ideal.

Control Measures
Inspection

Locate the source of infestation before treatment. Examine closets and stored goods for larvae cases, moths, and damage. Larvae prefer to feed in secluded, dark places. Use a flashlight and nail file to check for woolen lint and hair under baseboards, in and under seldom moved upholstered furniture, in air ducts, in carpets at the corners of the room and along edges, in stored clothing, and in other places not readily accessible. Check furs or feathers, such as stuffed birds or animal heads, antique feather beds, or felt in pianos, woolen scrap piles, etc. Adult moths do not feed in fabrics, but may be seen in darkened corners at night.

Prevention
Good housekeeping is critical for preventing or controlling clothes moth damage. Never allow clothing, rugs, etc. to lie in a neglected pile. Regular use of a strong suction vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool to remove lint, hair, and dust from floor cracks, baseboards, air ducts, carpets, and upholstered furniture is necessary. Keep closets and dresser drawers clean. Regularly clean rugs where they fit close to the baseboards and under the quarter round. Inspect stored foods and eliminate bird nests and dead rodents. Launder and dry clean or steam clean clothes and other items before storage. Egg-laying clothes moths are attracted to soiled articles. Ironing will also destroy all stages of clothes moths. Sun, brush, and expose clothing to the weather. Outdoors, bright, hot sunlight, and wind will reduce larvae and damage. Frequent use of woolens and other animal fiber clothing almost assures no damage from clothes moth larvae.

Cedar-lined chests and closets are not 100 percent effective. The natural cedar oil evaporates and a fresh treatment of cedar oil should be applied every two years. Be sure that all cloth goods be dry cleaned, washed, pressed with a hot iron, sunned, or brushed prior to storage in an airtight container with an effective moth repellent.

Constant light illumination in the closet may discourage moths. Use tight-fitting doors. Try suspending wall to floor cotton drapes in front of clothing to keep dust and moths away. Fur storage in cold vaults is effective. Moth-proofing when woolens are manufactured may be effective forever, whereas treatments at dry cleaners are less permanent and need to be renewed regularly.

Freezing has been successfully used to control clothes moths. Place fabric in polyethylene bags, squeeze all air out to minimize condensation, and deep freeze the materials for three days. Infested antique objects should be either fumigated or deep frozen by an experienced licensed pest control operator.

Insecticides
It is best not to treat clothing with insecticides due to possible damage to the garments. All cracks and crevices in infested areas should be treated with a residual insecticide. After thoroughly cleaning rugs, rug pads, under heavy furniture, and carpets, especially around the edges, dust with bendiocarb (Ficam D) under the edges of carpeting, cracks in closets, under baseboard, and molding or other hiding places. Any wall void that might contain old rodent, bird, or insect nests should be drilled and dusted.

Sprays of pyrethrins (Exciter, Kicker, Pyrenone) and permethrin can be used as spot treatments to kill any moths that might alight or wandering larvae. Do not treat clothing. The licensed pest control operator or applicator can use sprays of bendiocarb (Ficam W), bendiocarb + pyrethrins (Ficam Plus), cyfluthrin (Tempo), or tralomethrin (Saga) in such places. Infested stuffed furniture and other salvageable commodities should be fumigated by a licensed pest control operator or applicator. Before using any insecticides, always read the label directions and follow safety precautions.

Ring around the collar
Dirty neck rings around shirt or blouse collars can be removed by putting shampoo on them.

Rub the shampoo in like you were washing your hair.
Shampoo is specifically made to remove body oils.
A cheap bottle of shampoo kept by the washing machine is handy for all kinds of stains in clothing.
(Don't forget this trick when you are traveling.)

Cleaning Scuff Marks
Use 3 tbsp. Of TSP (trisodium phosphate) to a gallon of water to clean scuff marks or crayon marks off walls.
TSP can be found in the paint department of a hardware store.
Wear gloves and do not use on semi-gloss or gloss paint or wood surfaces.

Removing Blood from Furniture
Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from clothing or furniture.
(Rub gently.)

Dusting Tip
Use paint brushes to dust cracks and hard to reach places in telephones, stereos, etc.

Make a Schedule
Set aside a regular short period of time each week for the family to straighten up the house.
It teaches good habits to the kids and gives the family a project to do together.
Everyone will feel better when the job is done, and might just look forward to the day when they know things are going to be neat and organized.

Listen to Books On Tape to Help You Clean
Having trouble finding time to read these days?
You can rent great books on tape from the library to listen to while you're cleaning and doing chores.
It helps to pass the time, keeps you working a little longer and lets you catch up on those mysteries you've been wanting to read.

Removing Candle Wax from Walls
Candle wax can be removed from walls or other surfaces with an iron and facial tissue.
Set the tissue over the wax and gently iron.
When the wax seeps through or the tissue begins to brown, apply a new tissue.

Cleaning Chrome
Club soda or seltzer water will clean chrome.

Removing Blood Stains
Corn starch can remove blood stains.
Rinse the stain in cold water, then rub in moistened cornstarch.
Place the item in the sun.

Removing Gum
Gum can be removed using ice to harden and a dull knife to remove.

Removing Magic Marker Ink
Hair spray will remove magic-marker ink from surfaces.

Cleaning Window Screens
Nylon covered sponges are great for cleaning window screens.

Removing Smoke Odor
Place a bowl of vinegar out to absorb smoke odor.

Unstick That Door
Car wax applied to a sticking door will ease opening and closing.

Repairing Cigarette Burns in Carpets
Cigarette burns in carpeting can be repaired by cutting the blackened fibers from the hole.
Squeeze liquid glue into the hole and fill with fibers trimmed from carpet remnants.

Repairing Small Holes in Window Screens
Clear nail polish will repair small holes in window screens.

Killing Flies
Hair spray will kill flies.

Window Painting Tip
Newspaper strips when wetted can be used around windows when painting, in place of masking tape.

- Remove strips before they dry out.
- Drying Out Wet Magazines or Books
- Place paper towels on both sides of a wet page to absorb the moisture and prevent wrinkling.


If your dog or cat has fleas, you want the little insects out of your house fast. But getting rid of fleas means more than just treating your pet. You're going to have to work on cleaning your whole house to rid your home of fleas. Otherwise, fleas will hide in carpets and bedding or on your sofa and in all the places your pet likes to frequent. The life cycles of fleas can make it very hard to get rid of them unless you are very careful to remove them from your carpets. When eggs hidden in cloth fibers hatch they leap back on to your pet and the cycle starts all over again.

Your carpets and floor rugs will have to be washed. If you can toss them in your washing machine, go for it. Use soapy water, as the soap will kill the fleas. If your carpets are too big, vacuum them thoroughly and dispose of the vacuum bag properly by wrapping it in a plastic bag before throwing it away.

Have a carpet cleaner come in to wash your flooring. Steam cleaning will rid your carpet of eggs and larvae hiding in the fibers. Pest control professionals and carpet cleaner experts can also treat your carpets for you. For those who can't afford steam cleaning or professional carpet cleaners, wash your carpets with insecticidal soap.

However, once an infestation has been brought under control by these methods, you can keep it under control simply by regular vacuum. Up to fifty percent of flea eggs can be eliminated with one vacuum. Vacuuming controls fleas as well as permethrin at the pupal stage. Permethrin is a commonly used synthetic pesticide and therefore introduces a health risk into your home. In peak flea season, We recommend vacuuming very second day, paying particular attention to areas your pets frequent and remembering to clean underneath sofas and chairs. The vacuum bag should be removed at least weekly and thrown into an outdoor trash bin.

Even if you prefer to use a chemical solution to your flea problem, you will still need to clean the carpet. However, as a final touch to rid your carpets of fleas, you can spray your flooring with a flea-killing solution, paying special attention to the places your pet loves the most. You can pick up a few bottles of spray at most stores or your veterinarian. It is probably unnecessary though, and if you have little children (or even big children) who crawl, roll, lie or sit on your carpet, you will be exposing them to a pesticide which can be absorbed through the skin. Furthermore, the whole family will be breathing the vapor of the pesticide for some time. If it's not absolutely necessary, why do it?

 

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