My life is being plagued by a problem from the Victorian era.
I don’t mean I’ve been gripped with consumption like the Brontes nor am I trying to bag myself a Mr Rochester.
I’m also not having trouble breathing because I’m trussed up too tight in a corset – much as I would love a tiny waist like Victorian women had.
My predicament is to do with holey clothes. Yes I mean “holey” as in full of holes rather than “holy” religious attire.
It began as a minor annoyance. Going about my business, I noticed my jumper had a hole in it. It was quite a neat-looking hole and I could only think I must have snagged it on something.
A few weeks later, I was wearing a fairly new wool dress at work and glancing down, I spotted a hole and right next to it was a smaller one.
“I don’t believe it,” I snapped in frustration. “I don’t remember catching this dress on anything.”
It was then that a colleague enlightened me by saying: “You might have moths.”
At first I thought: “Don’t be silly, that’s not a modern-day thing, that’s a Victorian problem.”
But after consulting my friend Google, I soon discovered that not only was it a ‘real thing’, it was most definitely the cause of my clothes being riddled with holes.
And before you smugly think: “At least that hasn’t happened to my clothes”, let me warn you, no one is safe and you had better arm yourself as the moths might be coming to attack your wardrobe next.
Like most things in this country, we can blame the weather. It seems warm springs and mild winters are the culprits in bringing these pesky insects galore to feast on our fashions.
Central heating and better insulation in homes is also making it prime conditions for these winged beasts.
And there was me thinking moths only made an appearance on the rare occasions when tight-fisted folk prised their wallets open.
Unlike their relatives the beautiful butterflies, moths have always made me shudder with horror with their horrible dusty skin and the malevolent way they come out at night and furiously flap near light fittings.
Is it any wonder they are featured in horror films such as Dracula and Silence of the Lambs to represent death and doom?
But the clothes moth is even more hateful than the ordinary moth as they eat our beloved rags and lurk in our wardrobes, multiplying and munching all the while.
The fact that moths have exceedingly good taste in what they eat does nothing to lessen the devastation caused by their destruction.
In fact, it only increases it.
These clothes snob moths are drawn to natural fibres and expensive fabrics such as silk, cashmere and pure wool and turn their nose up at polyester.
However, the fact that I can’t afford to have a wardrobe full of items like this means the few pieces I do have are very special. So instead of seeing a moth infestation as a compliment to my clothing taste, I view it as sheer vandalism.
When it came to how to get rid of these moths, I turned to the internet for help.
Moth balls and lavender were among the solutions. So it seems I had a choice of smelling like an old lady or wearing clothes that look like Swiss cheese.
Some of the other suggested solutions were a bit more bizarre – such as putting your clothes in plastic and freezing them to get rid of any moths, larvae and eggs.
I decided to pass on that one. Our freezer is too full of food and even empty, there’s no way I’d ever fit all my clothes in there.
I have instead settled for an armoury consisting of mothballs, cedar balls, moth spray and moth repellent hangers in a bid to save my clothes from these hungry pests.
Hubby smugly offered me another solution. He suggested I give my wardrobe a long overdue de-clutter and throw out any items I haven’t worn for six months.
Is he crazy?
I sweetly replied that I would happily throw out everything and start from scratch – as long as he was willing to take out a loan to buy me a whole new wardrobe.
Which presented me with another Victorian-esque situation… pass me the smelling salts dear!