It’s that time of year. Fluttery, soft creatures thump against the windows like tiny bits of feather floating uncertainly through the night air. Moths by the thousands flock to the light, desperate to get in.

And sometimes they do.

I went to get a pair of needles from my basket yesterday, and noticed that some brown dirt fell out of the bottom when I moved it. I stopped to investigate, and found a single skein of leftover alpaca yarn serving as an unintentional banquet.

Alarms sounded, lights flashed, security walls dropped. The needle basket is well separated from the yarn baskets and the stash proper, but no chances can be taken. The entire stash was gone through, piece by piece, checking for evidence of more intruders.

I found none.

But I have seen a few adult moths in the house since then, and some of them were in the closet where the stash is stored.

Thankfully, there is a system of plastic bins and separate bags and a semi-strategic dispersion of the stash throughout the house, so any infestations tend to be fairly well contained, and can be rapidly dealt with.

But still. Moths in the stash a day and a half before I leave town is really just bad, bad timing.

We’ve spent several hours in the past day and a half pulling apart closets, locating every possible food source, inspecting and enclosing. Putting things in small, sealed containers where they can’t contaminate one another. Trying to find the source.

I think it’s under control. Everything is hidden beneath the frail protection of plastic, waiting for its turn in the freezer. There is no evidence of damage in anything beyond that one small skein of scrap yarn. The adults killed are roughly the same number as the casings found, and they can almost be counted on the fingers of one hand. The alert level may be down to orange.

Here’s the community service announcement of the day: Check thoroughly, check often.  It’s easy to forget in the heat of summer, but this is the best time for invaders to sneak in undetected, and they multiply fast.

So for the love of wool, go check your stashes.