But now I'm back at home. The first thing I noticed was that the kitchen seemed to have shrunk after the experience of living without windows, or clutter, while we were in Solomon Islands for two months. The next was the plague of moths.
Clothes moths drive me crazy - they've followed me around London to a range of different houses and their caterpillars have destroyed far too many of my clothes. They chew rugs, carpets, dresses, silk, jumpers, curtains even. I'm told they can even take over sheeps' wool insulation. They get into the food jars, and once the kids were sent home from school with a vicious note from the lunch supervisor telling me not to send them to school with maggoty fruit bars. When I protested that these were moth larvaes the teachers were even less sympathetic.
The result is that I am willing to kill these poor moths, and do so with a pheremone trap, ie, it's laced to stop the male tineola bisseliella mate with the female.
Unlike most of the world's 160,000 moth species, clothes moths (tineola bisselliella) like dim light. As everyone knows, most moths are drawn to bright lights, so they've done a clever bit of adaptation. In fact I admit to freaking out, just once during our three month travels, and it was over moths chaotically fighting to kill themselves on the kerosene light. We had to leave at 5am, ie, it was going to be dark in the morning, and was already dark, so I had to pack. Easy! But the torrential rain seemed to make hanging around the kerosene light even more attractive to the moths. There were 100s, maybe more, anyway enough to darken the lamp and to reduce me to a weeping lump lying on the dark wooden floor of the very special eco-lodge, Imbu Rano, Kolombangara, Solomon Islands.
I literally couldn't see for moths.
Moth worries aside Imbu Rano is the place to base yourself if you ever want to take a walk through montane rainforest on a dormant volcano (the equivalent in the UK would be wooded parts of the Malvern Hills, or imagine the woods on Arthur's Seat or the Lake District). The eco-lodge has the world's most lovely view, read more about it here. There are some good pix here too. And by the way we stayed two nights and moths weren't a problem on the first night - it must have been the weather or the moon, or some other natural phenomenon.
DIY moth removal
Finding moth pheremone refills for the plastic traps isn't easy. But at the fourth hardware shop I visited (ironically the one I first stumbled across moth traps) had some for sale. A pack of 10 refills is £17.50, or buy one for just £2.
"Are you selling a lot of these?" I asked, and got a laugh for a reply at SX Wallpapers, 113 Essex Road, London, N1.
"We've sold 3,000 refills this summer. I've been saying we could turn the upstairs into a moth refill showroom and show people how best to swat them!" he added.
I'm sharing this with you so you can keep your clothes in a decent state, ensuring you have a little more cash available for travel around Britain without a plane...