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So I asked about storage in another thread.  A few people recommended moth balls to keep the bugs out.  Any of you notice any issues with fish biting the flies when they are tied with materials that smell like moth balls?   

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First off moth balls are toxic so breathing them into your lungs can't be good. I live in a small apartment so they're out. I've used cedar balls over the years and I have had no problem with bugs.

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46 minutes ago, feathers5 said:

First off moth balls are toxic so breathing them into your lungs can't be good. I live in a small apartment so they're out. I've used cedar balls over the years and I have had no problem with bugs.

I read somewhere that cedar don’t do much...  the oils don’t really get rid of bugs.  Hmmm  of course I’ve got cedar in my humidor for cigars though and I’ve had no bug issues there.   Hmmmmm  so much to contemplate.  Haha!  

yeah I’m in an apartment also.  

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what is your experience up til now without using anything? got/getting bugs?

in 40+ years of fly tying ive never used moth balls in any of my materials and never had any bugs and never smelled like grandma's attic

keep all material sealed in their original packaging and there should be no problems

dont introduce outside materials from hunter friends into any of your materials unless they have done the proper preparation of the materials

 

clove01.jpgil_570xN.968119080_iefi.jpg

 

use clove spice or cedar chips

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I use closed paper packets with moth crystals and they work just fine... If you buy and use natural materials in bulk (deertails, calftails, feathers of all kinds....) bugs will eventually be a problem... Just one more of those "Ask me how I know" propositions... 

Any item found with bugs gets tossed - just after I do my best to use all of what's left (and usable).

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I wouldn't take the chance of using a toxic and odorous substance like that. I stopped using naptha (white gas) for making a homemade floatant for the same reason. In my opinion, they have to leave a noxious smell and/or taste even after the offending substance has evaporated.  It's hard enough to get fish to bite as it is, why would I take the chance of lowering my odds?

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In 40+ years of tying I've had one significant infestation. Everything that  was salvageable went into a large sealed garbage bag with moth crystals. I didn't notice any problem with catching fish on flies tied from those materials. Now, if I get anything from a questionable source, I put it in the freezer for a couple of weeks, pull it out for a couple days, then back in the freezer. So far so good. It's hard to tell if things like Cedar work, because you could lay something out in the open with no protection for years and have no problem, until you do. 

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I have had lots of problems with bugs. It's from my horn, antler and ivory business.

I will have bugs in my feathers and fur if I don't use moth balls. There are no bugs in my feather room because I use moth balls in there.

I spend a lot of time in my feather room tying flies, two or three hours a day. As near as I can tell, I haven't had any health problems from the moth balls. I'm sure some people will be more sensitive to it, but I haven't.

To answer your question specifically. I catch a lot of fish with flies and jigs that have been tied with feathers and fur where moth use is heavy. I'm talking 80 to a hundred fish a day sometimes.

Those are my experiences. Ask a hundred different people, you will get a hundred different answers.

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I use moth crystals, which is more toxic than the moth balls. They're two different chemicals. However, If the original package/bag will seal air tight, I stay with it unless it gets dirty. If it gets a hole in it I replace it and put silica gel packs in the bag. Bugs need moisture to survive and natural materials will contain some moisture anyway. Limit it & you limit the probability of bugs getting into the materials. Be sure to keep the materials clean too. 

The bags are put into plastic tote type bins, and within the tote's, add the moth crystals, so the materials really don't have direct contact with the chemical or odor. I haven't had any problems with bugs in a very long time.

For now, the totes are in my garage so not much exposure to the smell of the moth crystals. 

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I just seal mine in separate zip lock freezer bags  bags inside plastic shoe boxes. I have been lucky so far.  I would rather lose an expensive cape or neck than smell moth balls.  I figure if they are separated in sealed bags, I don't have to worry much about cross contamination.

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13 hours ago, flytire said:

what is your experience up til now without using anything? got/getting bugs?

in 40+ years of fly tying ive never used moth balls in any of my materials and never had any bugs and never smelled like grandma's attic

keep all material sealed in their original packaging and there should be no problems

dont introduce outside materials from hunter friends into any of your materials unless they have done the proper preparation of the materials

 

clove01.jpgil_570xN.968119080_iefi.jpg

 

use clove spice or cedar chips

Not yet, but I did notice in my apartment a few small beetles.  Which I think could be carpet beetles.  At least I’m scared they are.  Nothing in my fly tying stuff yet.  Just thinking ahead.  I’ll look at the cloves thing.  Need a lot?  

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10 hours ago, Edward Snowden said:

Cloves will do the trick, but they lose their effectiveness over time.  Make sure you replace them at least once a year.

Cool thanks!   So where you recommend getting lots of cloves 

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