Technology: Mothballs mothballed

2019-02-28 07:10:00

A PESTICIDE that farmers use on crops could soon help the textiles industry to protect woollen carpets, furniture and clothing from moths and beetles. Roy Bry, a scientist in Georgia who works for the US Department of Agriculture, has found that the pesticide keeps moths and beetles off fabrics for five years or more. It continued to do so even after he cleaned the material three times. By contrast, he says, mothballs made from naphthalene protect clothes for only a year. Bry treated wool with the pesticide, called Abamectin, after dissolving the pesticide in acetone or water. The mixture does not smell or change the appearance of the fabric. Farmers use Abamectin on crops such as oranges,