Posts Tagged ‘infestations of fly tying materials


Fly Tying: Cat Infestation?

Well I have written here at length over the woes of infestation in your fly tying materials. Moths and mice have been my nemesis over the years. But recently another critter has weaseled their way into all manner of fly tying materials: Penelope the Cat. You may recall the rescue of Penelope in early June from a tall tree. Never a dull moment sense then.

Imagine my surprise, as I came down this morning, to Penny intoxicatingly tearing through a scattered pile of hen hackle. My ability to leave materials out, whether on the table or in a bag is compromised. Shouldn’t be surprising as I have chased her and done battle (you should see my forearms) to reclaim strips of rabbit, several hen capes, foam, and yes even a Woolly Bugger. In her best interest, and mine, all materials will have to be secured and protected at the conclusion of each session. My days, weeks, months of scattered materials atop the table are gone….if I want to maintain my materials. 

Penelope the Cat & a scattered pile of hen hackle (SwittersB)


Homeland Security and Foiling the Invasion (Attempting to prevent infestations of your fly tying materials)


Carpet Beetles (Larva and Adult)

Carpet Beetles (Larva and Adult 1/8th” !)

“INSECTS:  Most people seem mainly worried about moths , these however are not the only pests which may attack your fly-dressing materials.  Among the most common are Carpet beetles, feather mites, ants, various termites, and there are a whole host of others.  It may be of mild academic interest to determine which bugs are presently chomping their way through your expensive and treasured materials, but it really does not matter much in the final analysis.

The substances mentioned, apart from Methyl Bromide, will not kill many of these pests once they have infected your materials, they simply act as a deterrent. Most especially the eggs of some pests are notoriously hard to remove, and killing the adults, or larva is not a lot of use, as the eggs simply hatch out and you have the whole problem all over again.

 If you find anything at all crawling about in your materials, then you must immediately assume the worst, and act accordingly, as you will otherwise most likely lose a good proportion, if not all of your materials.  DO NOT DELAY!  Act immediately.”

If you tie often, you usually have an immediate indication of anything unwelcomed into your tying station or storage place. Some tie in a spare bedroom, on a kitchen table, dining room table, garage, shop, portable lap station or outbuilding. Because of space limitations or because of stuff acquisition I have lost a suitable fixed place to tie. This causes materials to be housed in drawers and boxes and bags and removed to mobile tying locations until such time as the spouse sounds the event happening soon alarm or just as a matter of course starts to complain at the mounting accumulation of materials on the dining room table. This has been compounded with a kid who ties more than I do and accumulates more than I and is at that stage where cleaning up after one’s self is still a foreign concept.

This tying on the fly (hmm?) requires extra effort to put things away because they cannot be left out on a work station. If they are just stacked in an open container in the garage then the rules of the above article are violated in short order. I have, as previously noted, lost capes and assorted loose materials to some forms of infestations be it mice, moths or these pesky beetles noted in the article. If you are a beginner, spend extra effort to store and preserve your materials. If you are an accumulator of every possible material, then this is all the more important.   

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July 2020

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