Moths Given Cold Shoulder At Stately Home

4 February 2019, 07:20

Newhailes House

Caretakers at a Scottish stately home are employing industrial-sized freezers to help rid the property of an infestation of moths.

Two 20ft-long freezers have been installed at the 17th century Newhailes House, near Musselburgh, ahead of a deep clean programme.

Over the coming weeks, all carpets, curtains, chairs and clothing at the National Trust for Scotland attraction will be plunged into temperatures of minus 35C (minus 31F) to destroy moth eggs and larvae.

Staff will then use specialist vacuum cleaners to clean the textiles.

Mel Houston, from the National Trust for Scotland, said: "This is the biggest project that the National Trust for Scotland has ever undertaken to tackle a pest problem like this and protect the important collections at Newhailes.

"In the last year moth numbers at Newhailes have exploded and we've seen a four-fold increase in how many we're finding.

"We're lucky to have been able to catch the problem at just the right time, when we're able to do something to control the moths before really serious damage is done.

"The deep freeze and deep clean gives us the confidence that we're killing off as many moths as we can.

"We'll never get rid of them completely but we'll be able to get down to the level where they can be controlled."