Yes, they are every knitter's nightmare and now I have first hand knowledge as to why. Before I begin my sad tale, let me tell you I have just confirmed that what I have been treating as a moth infestation is actually a carpet beetle infestation. Same result. I am down stash and have a much cleaner apartment.
It all began last week when The Daughter, who has just returned from 3 months at her Dad's, went into her long unused sock drawer and found holes in every single pair of her hand knit socks. After dealing with the initial nauseating feeling of shock, I flew into action. Everything in her drawers was laundered, the drawers were vacuumed and scrubbed with hot water and bleach. Every corner of the room, including the mattress, was vacuumed meticulously and then sprayed with lavender. Thus I thought the problem could be controlled...
Until I checked my stash a few days later. I'll spare you the gross details but will admit that I cried - a lot.
I realize I've no one to blame but myself here. I kept large amounts of stash in pretty baskets, arrogantly assuming that wool eating critters could never happen to me. Thankfully, the luxury yarn stored in plastic bins seems untouched. Those bins are still sitting out on the frigid balcony as we speak, freezing for 24 hours, just in case. Other stash has been rotating through the freezer and microwave all week. The yarn with visible larvae (brown larva means carpet beetles) has been tossed.
I no longer own baskets. Instead,. I am the proud owner of many, many new Ziploc bags and plastic storage bins purchased at my local hardware store. All of today, a Saturday, was spent turning my apartment upside down, getting into every corner. Diatomaceous earth is supposed to be effective and is non-toxic so I've spread it around the baseboards Tomorrow will see more cleaning, more vacuuming. Supportive knitters who have had similar experiences assure me that my vigilance will get results.
I am exhausted but determined.