What do you folks suggest as the best storage method to keep bugs and other vermin from getting at your flies ? I'd pondered insect spray then pulled up on that idea,,because the scent might be offensive to trout and other fish. Store them tightly in zip lock bags , maybe ?
I had a bad infestation last year.
Everything went into the freezer for a while and now the "fish room" door remains closed at all time so that I don't have to hear any complaints about the strong mothball smell.
The best deterrent is to keep your materials & flies clean. The "dirt", which is protein, that gets on the materials is what initially attracts them, and they will subsequently chew up the materials. I use moth crystals for some materials storage, and last time I had asked my wife to pick up some, she brought home a box that had small packets of moth crystals, similar to the silica dessicant packs used to pack electronics, cameras or other items that may be prone to moisture problems. The crystals don't smell good, but I've not had a problem with it, as I transfer flies from bigger storage boxes to smaller fly boxes for use & the smell dissipates quickly since the packets don't allow the chemical to come in direct contact with the flies.
I'll also use the silica packs in boxes of flies as it helps keep the moisture away from hooks, but I also believe it aids in deterring insects, as they need moisture to survive. Deprive them of any moisture & they tend to stay away.
I've also used ziplock storage bags & although prefer a good sealed tackle/fly box, the bags work well too as a quick & temporary option, particularly the heavier & thicker ml bags intended for frozen foods. In the past, I've had insects chew thru plastic ziplock bags that had become soiled & destroy some materials, so IMO, that's not something I want to rely on completely.
BTW, the chemical in the crystals is not the same as in the moth balls. The moths balls are a deterrent, but the crystals will kill most vermin & their eggs. However, I also store many materials in a freezer, which is the best long term storage option I've found. If you place flies in a freezer, add the silica dessicant packs to help keep the hooks from rusting.
chances are you might be putting stuff away wet or with some slime from fish on them(attracts bugs)...I had some problems w/ some of the tying stuff from India a while back too...and I also use a lot of stuff from my own hunting harvests...duck wings(whole) were a contact point for me a while back
some bug spray wont do a bit of harm...ginks and dry fly powder arent actually great smelling either...gallery bugs or similar can be easily killed w/ some raid or yard guard...you just dont want to contaminate you tying materials w/ some new critter...I always wash down new ties anyway...usually to see what they look like wet...but this could also clean up any residue from bug spray...if the smell deal worries you just air it out real good after letting it sit in a big trash bag for a while...just make sure its super dry before it goes back to storage...
this is something everyone deals with sooner or later...especially if you store a lot of materials...I store all my materials once I know they are good in a big plastic moving tub...also all stuff is kept seperate in its own zip lock..
... keep it secure from new air etc......good luck...
ted...trout bum/wandering monk
public water 20"er
public land pope & young
Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire. a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
...and old gaelic proverb...
Years ago I had an infestation of carpet beetles. I put everything in the freezer for six weeks, possibly an over reaction but I think not. I sorted through the stuff and saved what I could. After that I bought Tupperware style boxes and zip lock bags. Bought proper mothballs as well and got a bunch of empty film containers, not so easy to get these days but if you go to the dollar store you can get small bead storage containers with snap-on lids. I drilled holes in all of my film containers and put 2 mothballs in each and put between 1 and 3 in each plastic box depending on the size.
I have never had a problem with bugs since. All of my natural materials spend several weeks in the freezer no matter where I get it.
Carpet beetles are not attracted to "filth" or "dirt" they eat glue, starch anything with carbs. They are a small beetle about 3/8 of an inch long, black with rust coloured spots or splotches, the larvae are furry kind of maggoty looking critters with legs as well.
Good luck, keep things sealed and protected.
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