The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (
-   Flies (
-   -   To stop bugs from eating your bugs ? (

fly_guy12955 11-04-2012 09:02 AM

To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
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 ?

THanks for your advice in advance


littledavid123 11-04-2012 09:08 AM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
Mothballs are used by many to keep bugs away from feathers.


Rip Tide 11-04-2012 09:22 AM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
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.:rolleyes:

bigjim5589 11-04-2012 09:31 AM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
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.

silver creek 11-06-2012 10:07 AM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
Natural materials that have not been tanned or dyed can contain both the live insects and insect eggs.

The best non chemical way to kill both is by freezing.

Put the materials in a zip lock bags and then into the freezer for about a week. This will kill the living insects.

Remove, and wait for 2 weeks. This allows the eggs to hatch. Then refreeze for another week. This kills the insects that have hatched.

If you are paranoid, another 2 week wait and another freezer cycle will do it.

rogue runner 12-18-2012 09:38 PM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
Ive never had to deal with that issue, but I have a book that recomends storing your material in ziplock bags with bay leaves as a deterent.


silvertip8k 12-31-2012 11:18 AM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
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 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 bugs or similar can be easily killed w/ some raid or yard 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...

Kerry Pitt 12-31-2012 02:23 PM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
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.

zug buggin 01-02-2013 01:31 PM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
I too lost several necks to carpet beetle larvae, the freezer did the trick. I haven't had a problem since

random user 04-01-2013 08:40 PM

Re: To stop bugs from eating your bugs ?
Ziplock freezer bags
20 mule team borax
Tight sealing plastic tub/boxes.

Borax is water soluble, a dying agent that really dehydrates just about everything, toxic to many incests, really inexpensive and doesn't really have a smell. Down side is it is dusty/messy.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.40 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2005-2017 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.