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  #11  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:38 PM
bigjim5589 bigjim5589 is online now
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

I don't know where it's coming from, but noted that mites are often mentioned in these discussions. Bird mites do not survive more than about 3 weeks unless on a live host. Mites are parasites, and do not feed on the feathers, so are not really an issue as far as protecting the feathers from damage. Bird mites also do not live on human hosts, but can bite humans. As I mentioned previously, dust on the feathers is more of a problem than mites, as it may attract moths or beetles.

The vermin that destroy tying materials are such things as clothes moths, and carpet beetles. Mice can also cause damage if they get access to the materials, especially when raising young. They don't eat the materials, but can chew it up to make nests.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:21 PM
knotjoe knotjoe is offline
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

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Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Bird mites do not survive more than about 3 weeks unless on a live host. Mites are parasites, and do not feed on the feathers, so are not really an issue as far as protecting the feathers from damage.
I can see where certain parasitic feather mites may be a short term concern for materials, it's the more ambiguous little critters I had a problem with in the past. There appears to be a lot of little mites or "mite-like" material eaters which may not necessarily require a live host.

Might not even come with the feathers themselves as I had a material drawer that, when closely inspected, was crawling with little mites. No fresh kills in there, but there was a lot of dead animal parts which something found delectable.

I suspect the primary culprit to be cheap, greasy hen feathers in my case. Price buster items of such nature are likely to pick-up some hitchhikers long after the bird was dead. Shoulda washed that one when I got it, perhaps just to get any eggs out if they existed.

No idea how to ID the little guys, feathers come from all over the globe so I never even tried to narrow this down to a genus or species.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

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Ginger, Cinnamon, and Clove probably aren't as flammable...but I can't say they work for the purpose you seek.
Two words: Pumpkin Spice.

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Old 10-14-2017, 06:10 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

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Two words: Pumpkin Spice.

Two more words: Thank You.

And I really am going to try this form of edible repellants, It never occurred to me that Pumpkin Spice has four of the more effective bug offenders in it. With the Allspice involved it might be more expensive, but the combo of the rest is a nice convenience.

A lovely Urine Stained Foxtail and air freshener all in one for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Yikes, you're a genius!
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

I have a deep freezer it's all I've ever done for suspect fur and feathers.

My apprentice gave me 4 rooster skins a couple days ago, yep they are bagged up and frozen at 12 below.

I store all my materials in zip lok bags. Never had any issues with mites or anything
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

Mothballs are proven but I can't stand the smell. In my brain I think fish can't either. LOL Alcohol would seem to evaporate to fast and require frequent refilling.

I never had a bug problem but I did have a buddy that got infected. As a very occasional tyer he didn't notice but we did when I went to borrow some material I needed ASAP. The bottom of one drawer looked like sawdust.

If you find a culprit or evidence of, don't waste time and start the disinfecting process. Freeze ALL your fur and feathers or gamble having that prized saddle turned to bug dung (don't forget to clean the drawers ). They also like dark places, another reason why I don't keep stuff in drawers but clear plastic bins. As previously stated, keep stuff zip locked. Small investment. You can get zip lock bags for free, all sizes, by asking your local shop to throw them into a box for you. Everything they get shipped from Hairline or Wapsi comes in zip locks. Good excuse to stop in and shoot the stuff.

The critter that bit me long ago was UV through the windows in my tying room BUT I do keep a close eye on my newer mounts thanks to the banning of arsenic in the tanning process. (Another EPA overstep IMO)
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

I just checked in my copy of Fly Tying Materials by Eric Leiser and here is what he suggests.

With necks or saddle capes, or other bird plumage with the feathers on the skin, you can wash them in a mild detergent soaking for a half hour or so. Then dry thoroughly.

With Deer or Calf tails or other raw fur on the hide, the detergent soaking may not do as well. The author suggest you boil these for a few minutes and then thoroughly dry. Make sure the skin is hard before storage as a soft skin might indicate a damp hide.

The only chemicals he recommends are paradichlorobenzene nuggets or moth crystals. He mentioned that some tiers moisten feathers with their mouth and that could be a problem with some chemicals.

If you suspect a cape or such has a infestation he suggests you put into a glass jar and set in a warm environment. If it has pest or eggs they will hatch and you will know it. I have used large Mason jars for years to store feathers and furs and have never had an infestation.

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  #18  
Old 10-14-2017, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol for storing fly tying materials?

Good idea about putting material in a jar and see if anything hatches as a way to know if it has any infestation.

I've read several times of people putting their materials in the freeze to kill any infestation but, I kept forgetting to do it. So, as I read these replies, I have taken all my materials that have not remained sealed and are not from a reputable large-scale supplier, and put them into the freezer. I will try to leave them there for at least two weeks. ( It's my only freezer and it's already stuffed with food.)

So far, I still like the use of alcohol over the two forms of mothballs, para-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene. As long as it does not dissipate/evaporate too quickly through the zip-lock bags, I think it will kill just about anything, plant or animal. Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol is readily available in most homes at any time. Once you have suitable small glass or plastic containers to put it in, it's easy to use. Still, time will tell how effective and usable it is.

Harry
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