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Discussion Starter #1
I got into the box tonight to start tying up some little nymphs and much to my chagrin, I find a bunch of stinking fly eggs in my feathers! The flies must have been after my turkey fan because they ate a bunch of the area where the clump was, then started on my pheasant tail clumps, deer hair, and everything else organic in my box! I lost hundreds of dollars in materials to these little ba$tard$....My stuff was out on the fly tying bench over much of the summer and I salvaged what I could, through the rest away, and locked the salvaged stuff into rubbermaid boxes with mothballs. Hope that helps, but take a lesson from me - check your stuff before it's too late!
 

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That is a bummer! Sorry to hear it, yet pleased you brought the subject up. I had the same thing happen to me a few years ago, and also lost a lot of material. The critters even ate the squirrel tails off of some of my Mepps spinners.

I agree that the stuff should be inspected regularly. The Moth Balls are a great solution, but do not assure the stuff is safe forever.

I think I did much the same in the cleanup as you, but went one step further. Every piece of material is now in it’s own zip lock bag. The bags are stored in a large plastic container, with a tin (perforated) of mothballs. That keeps the moths away from the materials, and prevents the materials from smelling like mothballs. The smell gets old after a while, and is not the healthiest stuff to breathe.

I found the different sized zip-locks by searching ebay. It cost me a few bucks to get all the different sizes I needed (generally only sold in bundles of 100), but considering the value already lost, it was cheap protection for the future.

One final thought. Do not consider any item purchased to be “clean” and safe. Consider it contaminated, and keep it in it’s own bag.

Here is a link to the probable critter causing the problem if anyone is interested in more info:

http://www.angelfire.com/mn/FiberHome/WoolBugs.html
 
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I choose beer -

Pappy, I have a couple of live animal traps you can borrow - it's legal to trap squirrels in your back yard. There is also some stuff called "Para-Tan" that works really well for skins.

Of course, if you do this, your neighbors will accuse you of being a serial killer.

I use plastic bags as well. If you have a lot of stuff you aren't going to use immediately, the vacuum sealer works pretty good too.
 

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Ok, put it in the freezer. No beer in there. When you need a feather you can just break off a piece.
 

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Mr. Ed,  Thanks for your offer.  I have a couple traps myself, and am doing my best to turn tree-rats into an extinct critter.  Peanut butter in a paper towel works great as a bait.  Will check out the Para-Tan, have a couple of salted items that need something to “un-ripen” them.  ;)

Pete, don’t think you understand the beer/frige/freezer thing real well.  The freezer is where you make ice to keep the beer cold in a cooler, the frige is where you keep the beer cold 'til you go fishin, and for fly-tying.  Takes a lot of ice, and no room left for feathers and fur. ;D

Coolers could be used for storing material I guess... but then ya gotta buy more coolers for beer. :D
 

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Appreciate the link... Thanks! Looks like good stuff, and since one skin is a porky skin, should be painless to use.

Tree Rats = Squirrels so dubbing value the same ;D ;D

Corn cobs a good thought, will try them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the ideas Pappy. I separated everything - quarantined the turkey fan and pheasant clump and got everything else into their own private bags so hopefully I'll contain the spread if there are any more live ones in the fan. Putting stuff in the freezer may work this year - God knows I don't have any elk steaks or venison in there!
 

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Z said:
Ive been using cedar balls in boxes with my materials for the last couple of years.

Seems to be working.
Cedar works well for a couple years, but then the volatile oils evaporate out, and they need to be replaced. It would be my choice were it not for the need for consistent replacement. I had cedar boards in one of my containers of stuff which was destroyed. They were quite old.
 

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I dust all my organic materials with 7 dust before I store them. 7 is a garden insectide. It is also used in making flea collars, dusting for poultry, poultry houses , and dusting for pets, and their beds. It is an insecticide, so caution should be taken when using it. It's not everyones cup of tea, but with proper handling, it's done the job for me.
 

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How about some big jars like a restaurant would use for pickles and such?

I was kidding about the freezers, but serious this time.
 

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Why do we use "Berkely Gravy", "Smelly Jelly" and the like on baits and ice fishing stuff to cover up human odors but are able stick our fly tying materials in mothballs??!! This I don't understand.

Could it be that fish in moving water rely less on their sense of smell(and more on instiinctive reaction) than their impounded brethren?

Anybody have any insight into this? Where is Ron Belak? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I always figured that the smelly jelly was more of an attractant than a cover scent. I've been tying flies with my moth balled materials and haven't seen any difference in the number of takes. I don't think the fish care about the odor, but I would imagine that you would get a nasty taste if the materials have direct contact with the chemicals, and they would be more prone to spitting or ignoring those flies.
 
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