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  • Bugs

    I made a roach a few years ago, and from the porky hair I started with, I had a bunch left over. I gave that roach to a friend and now I am starting on a new one. I bought a bunch more porky hair and had the leftovers from my last project shipped to me from my home in VA. Well, when I opened the envelopes I had the sorted hair stored in, I noticed some bug shells. I'm sure you all know what kind I am talking about. They are the ones who eat up feathers, hair, etc we hope to keep for craft projects. My question is, is there any way I can treat my unused porky hair, deer hair, feathers, etc, to prevent the bugs from returning? Chemically, soap and water, or whatever works best? I can't be the only person who has had this annoying problem.

    You can't be a figment of my imagination, I do better work than that.

  • #2
    bugs

    Black Eagle,

    You are right, we all encounter this problem. Just short of toxic pesticides, you probably won't eliminate the little critters permenantly. Bugs are a constant battle around my house. Moths, carpet beetles, etc. are into buffalo robes, wool cloth, and feathers almost constantly. I spend a lot of time freezing things. Freezing kills the bugs, but it doesn't seem to get rid of the eggs. I rotate the items I am freezing, periodically. If you are constantly using the items, the bugs, generally, won't bother them. Seems to happen, more often, when the stuff sits idle for a time.

    Curtis

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    • #3
      a good wash with woolite and warm water should get rid of big bugs, with hair make sure it's a good washing right down to the roots, rinse good and blow dry -- if it's hair still on the hide you might have to tack it out again and make sure the skin has really dried. Same for feathers (only you cant scrub 'em of course, preen em under water in a soapy bucket).

      for those little feather mites you cant really see (but eat those big holes in feathers), after washing or every once in a while, you can spray with a light coating of pet-store brand 'bird lice & mite spray' ... although it has warnings not to swallow the stuff or get it in eyes, food, etc... i figure it has to be slightly less toxic than raid if it's for use on live birds.

      when everything is clean, and dry, store them all in batches in separate plastic ziplock bags ... that way, if one item is not quite clean of critters, at least they wont spread to something that is free of critters.

      I havent had much luck with freezing things, bugs always seem to come back -- as curtis said, it must be the eggs remain (bugs seem to make it through the cold frozen winters somehow, I suppose they can make it through a stint in the freezer too)

      Tara

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      • #4
        OK, Im just making a guess here, but what about something like boric acid? It's used to kill ants and such, it might work. I do NOT know the effect it might have on hair/feathers though. It's a powder so I guess you can toss it off.

        My aunt told me that you should put some bay leaves (a cooking herb) in the place you're storing it. She said most bugs can't stand the stink of it. Of course, you might be smelling like soup then.
        She also said maybe add some mothballs in the bag of stuff and that stench will chase things too. Try not to let the mothballs touch the hair or feathers though..

        I really don't know which of these works.......

        I do know a good treatment for feathers and hair ot keep it glossy and shiny and nice looking though.... :)
        **when they're pointing guns at you, are you still gonna be NDN?**

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        • #5
          Hey Tara!!!

          Good ideas all of them!

          Hey, who's your favorite crazy Comanche lady?? :)

          Still coming in May?

          Nuumu :)


          Originally posted by tprindle
          a good wash with woolite and warm water should get rid of big bugs, with hair make sure it's a good washing right down to the roots, rinse good and blow dry -- if it's hair still on the hide you might have to tack it out again and make sure the skin has really dried. Same for feathers (only you cant scrub 'em of course, preen em under water in a soapy bucket).

          for those little feather mites you cant really see (but eat those big holes in feathers), after washing or every once in a while, you can spray with a light coating of pet-store brand 'bird lice & mite spray' ... although it has warnings not to swallow the stuff or get it in eyes, food, etc... i figure it has to be slightly less toxic than raid if it's for use on live birds.

          when everything is clean, and dry, store them all in batches in separate plastic ziplock bags ... that way, if one item is not quite clean of critters, at least they wont spread to something that is free of critters.

          I havent had much luck with freezing things, bugs always seem to come back -- as curtis said, it must be the eggs remain (bugs seem to make it through the cold frozen winters somehow, I suppose they can make it through a stint in the freezer too)

          Tara
          **when they're pointing guns at you, are you still gonna be NDN?**

          Comment


          • #6
            I bought a LARGE lot of feathers from Ebay and the woman told me that she steams them and that helps kill not only bacteria, but bugs and bug larvae and eggs as well. This makes sense to me since up here the insects don't die from the cold, but from the heat. Most of our bees and flies and even mosquitos and frogs can lay in a hibernation state all winter (remember in alaska that is like 9months sometimes) but once it turns warm they come "back to life". Steam can cook live things though. You might want to try the washing in the woolite and blow dry and if you are still not sure..steam them. I am not too experienced in this area, but steam seems to be good for hair and feathers as well.
            Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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            • #7
              Try Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil Spray from Avon. It works wonders really. A Lakota guy told me about this trick years ago and I have been using it ever since.

              Skin-So-Soft can even be used on horses to keep the flies and other insects down. In the summer I use it on my dog too. Never had a flea problem.

              Although I would not recommend ingesting or spraying it into eyes etc., it is non-toxic.
              Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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              • #8
                :( Yep, i"ve had the same problem with the little critters. Lost some good feathers and my best fan to them. Heres the question
                .. how do you rid your house of the eggs?? I"ve found them in blankets, most any wool item thats folded in storage. Their driving me nuts.. only thing i've heard so far is to 'smoke bomb' the house for a day, then have to air it out for several hours.. thats got to be fun in the sub zero temps...Currently , i've got all the feathers in ziplock bags. Strange tho, I've got a couple of spikes on my dresser that havent been touched. Yet i've seen the little critters eat a whole wing, leaving only the quill.
                Listen to the children

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                • #9
                  Hawkin,

                  Same thing happens with me. Some of the things that are left in the open, are left alone. If I have something in a container, against a wall, etc. , that is the part most commonly affected. I think they look for hidden places.

                  Curtis

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                  • #10
                    Jeez, I never even THOUGHT about steam! That's what I used to form' the feathers when they got all whirgly and needed refluffing and a little direction!

                    Nuumu


                    Originally posted by Blackbear
                    I bought a LARGE lot of feathers from Ebay and the woman told me that she steams them and that helps kill not only bacteria, but bugs and bug larvae and eggs as well. This makes sense to me since up here the insects don't die from the cold, but from the heat. SNIP
                    **when they're pointing guns at you, are you still gonna be NDN?**

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                    • #11
                      A friend of mine says that for the freezing thing to work, you have to freeze it, bring it to room temp for a while, and refreeze it.

                      The logic behind it is that the critters die, but the eggs remain alive. By letting it go to room temperature, this allows the eggs to hatch, but you freeze again before the little suckers can lay more eggs. I am not sure how long you let it sit between the ice ages, however. I'll try to find out and get back to you. . .

                      I keep soap in my cedar feather boxes. I was told soap keeps critters away and has worked for me to date (knock wood).
                      Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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                      • #12
                        bug begone

                        Regarding bugs,
                        I swear-by Borax laundry soap.
                        I used to be a Taxidermist, and that's what I used on many birds.
                        All you need to do is just give them a good dusting with the dry detergent.
                        Good luck

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You know, that boric makes alot of sense too. We had terrible water bug problems where my parents live because of the flooding of the sewers and ponds in that area and they would come up in the sump pump as well. My dad gave me boric acid powder to put around the perimeter of my room. As he explained it, bugs like to clean themselves often and when they go through that stuff, it collects on their bodies and then when they clean themselves they get it in their systems and die...and if they make it back to the colony, then they spread it around as well...I tell you it did keep them under control very well. And it stays around for future generations till there are no more generations of bugs.
                          Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Alright.. call me dunce, but how do you get rid of the egg's in your house, in different rooms, in wool blankets, my regalia bag, wool hats, gloves that have been stored through the summer.. winter, thier in hibernation, waiting for summer for the eggs to hatch.. then the little winged ones start fluttering around again. So lets see, you say to just sprinkle the powder around the walls of each room? Main concern is , is that poisonous to pets? I"m afraid to bring feathers into the house anymore.
                            Listen to the children

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                            • #15
                              You know, I don't know if that is poisonous to pets or not...but you could try calling poison control and asking... I did'nt have any pets that were'nt in aquariums and my cat was'nt in my house too long before my dad decided to give it away (yes I was very mad about that). As for all around the house...wow...I don't know, I don't get that problem up here or at least haven't yet... Did someone say a bug bomb back a few postings? I am out of ideas for an entire home if the boric acid is poisonous to the animals... of course maybe you could try citronella plants in the house...I don't know how well that would work...
                              Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

                              Comment

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