Second order effects, second order effects

Plus Chesterton’s Fence:

Moths are thriving because of a growing energy efficient trend which has seen people wash clothes at 30C, a pest firm has claimed.

Rentokil said callouts to moth infestations had increased by more than 110 per cent from April to May and by 60 per cent over the last four years.

A survey by the company found that 54 per cent of people said they wash their clothes at 30C but didn’t five years ago. Rentokil warned that 55C was the temperature required to kill moth larvae.

Yeah, yeah, sure, pest control firm. Except they’re advising people to do something which precludes the use of their services.

So, why did we use high temps, that’s Chesterton. And what’s the cost of moths as opposed to higher washing temps? That’s the second order stuff.

And as we can see, yet again, those who would tell us how to live seem to ignore both crucial points, don’t they?

16 thoughts on “Second order effects, second order effects”

  1. Low temp washing has been foisted from the fucks at the US EPA.

    Jeffrey Tucker wrote an article about washing machines/showers/toilets being fucked up by eco-freak bullshit.

    I trace the article link and what I get is this:

    Tim–you need to get the info I sent you about EU Article 11/13 up. Because the first stage of that has already been passed by bthe ESpew on Weds. We have until 5/7/18 to block their shit or any link anyone goes to will be like the above.

  2. I read an opinion by an entomologist somewhere (sorry, can’t remember where) that washing at 30C doesn’t kill bedbugs either… All you get, apparently, is nice clean, shiny bedbugs.

  3. Sod the moths. 30 deg is a good temperature to culture bacteria. As you’ll find if you do a low temperature wash, then forget to empty the machine for a couple days. You need to rewash to get rid of the stink.
    We always add a bactericide to the wash, whatever the temperature.

  4. I once got bed bug infested after a trip abroad. Fucking horrible. Took ages to clear. Can’t quite make up my mind whether I hate them more than cockroaches or not…

  5. If the cleaning power isn’t coming from the heat in the water it has to be coming from elsewhere, and the only elsewhere is the chemicals in the washing power/liquid. “30degree washing powder” is essentially “scouring chemicals”. And if you reduce the cleaning power in the water *and* the cleaning power inthe chemical, the only thing you end up with is no cleaning power.

    This was brought home to me when my previous dual-fill washing machine died and in the name of the planet the only washing machines you can get now are single-fill. So instead of washing in scalding water straight from the hot tank it now washes in whatever tepid temperature the washer itself has decided to heat the cold fill to. I’ve partially bypassed it by connecting the single fill to the hot supply, but it really grates on my nerves doing a rinse cycle in hot water.

  6. Hmm, something odd here.

    Wiki article on the little fellas;

    Hacking it about a bit;

    “Life cycle may be completed within one month under the most favorable conditions (75 °F (24 °C) and 70-75% relative humidity) but may take several years (lower temperatures and humidity will only slow development, larvae will still hatch and grow at temperatures as low as 10 °C (50 °F) and can survive up to 33 °C (91 °F)) … All feeding damage is done by the caterpillar (larval) form. Heated buildings allow clothes moths to develop year-round. The overall life cycle from egg to egg typically takes 4–6 months, with two generations per year. … they have the ability to digest keratin protein in wool and silk. The moths prefer dirty fabric for oviposition and are particularly attracted to carpeting and clothing that contains human sweat or other organic liquids which have been spilled onto them; traces of dirt may provide essential nutrients for larval development…Both adults and larvae prefer low light conditions…. If larvae find themselves in a well-lit room, they will try to relocate under furniture or carpet edges.”


    “Dry cleaning – This kills moths on existing clothing and helps remove moisture from clothes … Heat (120 °F or 49 °C for 30 minutes or more) – these conditions may possibly be achieved by placing infested materials in an attic or sun-baked automobile in hot weather, or by washing clothes at or above this temperature …. Vacuuming – Since the moths like to hide in carpeting and baseboards (skirting), this is an important step towards full eradication. … Mothballs – Used primarily as a preservative but also will kill existing larvae if the concentration is high enough. There are two types of mothball: early twentieth century ones were often based on naphthalene, while mid twentieth century ones often used paradichlorobenzene. … Disadvantages: Vapors are toxic and carcinogenic; mothballs are poisonous and should not be put where they can be eaten by children or pets. Naphthalene mothballs are also highly flammable.”

    From the Telegraph article;

    “The survey also found that 52 per cent of people said they now buy fewer items of clothing than they did give years ago, and instead choose good-quality clothes which will last longer … Rentokil said higher-quality clothes were often made with natural materials such as wool and silk which contain a protein called keratin, the preferred food for moth larvae.”

    Presumably, that should be “five” not “give”.

    I suspect that the 30 degree cycle on washing machines isn’t really the issue. It’s a storage problem.

  7. The cleaning power of modern washing powders comes from a pretty powerful mix of enzymes, which are *very heavily* modified from their natural forms so they operate at low temperatures instead of the original 80-110 degrees centigrade.
    (Always fun to point out to Greenies that their eco-friendly low-temp washing powder is actually a triumph of genetic engineering. Ticks them off to no end..)

    The keratin in wool and silk is resistant to enzymatic breakdown, which is why natural fibre clothes live after being washed this way. Which wasn’t ( and still isn’t) the case when you use a low-temp powder at higher temps. They’ve figured out the trick to limit enzymatic action at higher temps, but you can still completely ruin wool and silk by washing it too warm in a modern detergent.

    At 30 degrees, moth larvae will actually be killed most of the time. They breathe air, and will either drown because the “soap” in the detergent will ensure water will get into the alveolar system, and if that doesn’t get them, the enzymes that travel with the water, or is ingested, will finish the job.
    (there’s a reason the stuff is contained in tiny little balls in the powder.. and why ingesting detergent is so damned dangerous and potentially lethal.. )

    The problem with moths, and the smell mentioned above by BiS, is that detergent doesn’t do jack-all to moth eggs and bacterial/fungal spores.
    So if you forget to empty your machine, and dry stuff pretty much soonish after the cycle is finished, stuff can …grow..
    Which is why it’s often advised to run a high-temp wash once a month/bi-monthly to sterilise the machine. Or do a cold wash with proper bleach. Both work a treat.

    As to the moths…The eggs don’t get killed off at low temps, so can happily develop after washing. Which is where things get pear-shaped, since in most cases those clean clothes now end up in season-storage.. silks in winter, wool in summer. And end up being eaten.
    You never have moth problems in clothes that you actually wear and keep clean…

    So in the end it’s really a storage/mismanagement problem. Doing your storage wash at 40 degrees will kill the eggs, and proper storage/housekeeping prevents the critters laying their eggs in your summer/winter stash.

    Now bed bugs… Those are nasty and able to do well without oxygen for serious amounts of time. They don’t drown, so low-temp washing will indeed not kill them. Sterilising the neighbourhood with napalm does seem to work, but tends to get frowned upon. Fumigating with cyanide seems to run into the same level of disapproval.
    What does work a treat is a decent dousing of home and stuff in every nook, cranny, and crack in the much-maligned neonicotinoïds of Monsanto fame.
    Unless you keep bees in the house, then I’d advise against it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *