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flytire

I highly recommend...

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...a periodic inspection of your fly tying feathers for BUGS!

I recently went to use a whiting farms red hen cape and found it was infested with larvae of some kind. They were about 1/4 inch long and wiggling

After inspecting all of my whiting farms hen capes, 4 of them were infected with bugs.

Bugs were even crawling in the bottom of the storage bin i keep them in

Seal up the zip lock bag and do not leave them unsealed

40+ years of tying and never had bugs until now

Expensive morning. $100+ 

 

trash can.jpg

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Too bad that happened, must always seal the bags even if i don't do it all the time. Are the feathers still good? Throw the capes in the freezer for a month then thaw for a week, repeat 5 or 6 times and all bugs and eggs should be dead. I understand if you just toss them out. I would put all materials from that tote in the freezer, never know.

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the capes were all disintegrating in the zip lock bags

i just might put the remaining feathers in the freezer when i get my new refrigerator this afternoon

i went to the grocery store for a couple of bottles of whole cloves. i'll put 3-4 pieces in each bag

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I have started putting pieces of flea collars in my storage bins.  I freeze any wild stuff my friends give me

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@DarrellP

just in the bin but not in the zip lock bag?

i picked up whole cloves this morning and have been putting some in each bag

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I have them in plastic shoe boxes.  I put about 1 inch from a cheap flea collar.  That is about all flea collars are good for. 

They also work well to kill fleas you vaccum up if you pur part of a flea collar in the vaccum bag

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@DarrellP

thanks 

i'll get a cheap flea collar and add some pieces to all of my natural material storage boxes

i did add whole cloves to every bag of hackles and bird skins

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Man, that sucks. 

On another forum someone recommended to wash the suspect skins in a solution of borax, mild detergent, and water,  rinse and dry.  They said alot of bugs floated out of the skins.  

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good tip

but i wouldnt expect that would be necessary with hackle from whiting farms

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I agree, but where have the packages been and how were they handled between leaving the final processing room at Whiting to the fly shop floor.  

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i couldnt tell you where theyve been 

i think it was my error in not sealing the zip lock bag after using the feathers

i'm NOT blaming whiting farms

 

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Not many insects eat feathers.  Moths do and so do carpet beetles, which would be my guess.  I put mothballs in with my feathers to ward off evil.

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20 hours ago, flytire said:

i think it was my error in not sealing the zip lock bag after using the feathers

i'm NOT blaming whiting farms

Understood. 

Your post was  a bit of a wake up call for me, as I've been getting a bit sloppy lately in not sealing bags  when putting them back in their bin.  Went through my bins this week-end and put one moth ball in each. 

I don't mind the slight smell, and I kind of enjoy the jokes my family makes about it.     

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Norm that sucks.  Fly shop products are supposed to be treated to prevent bug infestations from happening.  Even so I do my best to reseal each bag after use because the weak link in the system is the person who treats the skins.  

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2 hours ago, DFoster said:

weak link in the system is the person who treats the skins.  

Wrong, the weak link is us who use the materials, bugs are everywhere, could of came from a piece of fur, the tying desk, own hands, etc. I dont think those capes where new, pretty sure Norm used them many of times prior to seeing bugs. No true way of avoiding this of happening but you can contain it by keeping every materials separated in sealed bags. I would not use any chemicals like moth balls or flea collars, I'm one of those that might wet my fingers or rub an eye and that shit can make you sick. I stick to natural like Norm and the cloves or dried mint leaves so many safer options but there's no cure all 

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