Anyone know of any beetles that eat wool?
Nearly all of my yarn is stored in the Yarn Closet of Doom. And I use old-fashioned but effective moth proofing in there: lavender. Bugs hate lavender. Every space that isn't crammed with yarn is crammed with lavender. And I've never had a problem. Not here, and not even in Hawaii. (Heck. I used to use lavender oil as a mosquito repellent in Hawaii, people would sneer at me. Until the end of the night, when they were itching from bites they got, even using commercial bug spray, and I was bite free and smelling of flowers. I use it here in the fuckin' swamp and it works, too.) ALL ETSY SHOP STOCK IS STORED IN A PLASTIC TUB, SEALED, INSIDE THE CLOSET. So, if you order my stuff, that's not an issue.
Unfortunately, the yarn has overflowed the closet. And I stored the yarn for the shawl from hell in my office, not in the closet. The yarn in question was stored in my office, INSIDE PLASTIC BAGS. Today I went to wind up the last - of two - and it was full of holes. A bunch of sliced yarn, right in one spot. (Which says Problem After Winding, to me.) So I threw it away in high dudgeon, and got out the other. It had the same problem.
Now here's the thing. I don't have moths. And I don't have larvae FOR moths. I keep an eye out for that stuff. What I do have, is little beetle-thingies. All over the house. All the time. One of the great joys of living in a fucking swamp in the South.
That's the best photo I've been able to get of the little bastards, and the brick in the photo is two inches high, to give it scale. My camera doesn't focus well enough to get a good closeup.
Far as I can tell, they're the only logical thing that could be eating my yarn (unless Sekhmet is, which I wouldn't rule out, but she usually slurps it up like spaghetti, she doesn't just chew breaks into skeins). They are all through the house - except for the yarn closet. Everywhere. In my shoes, in our clothes, in any unsealed food, in my books. I've checked everywhere I find them for damage, and never found any. (Trust me. Bugs in the books?? Oh yeah, I'm gonna check on that.) But they have been found in yarn - of all kinds, not just wool - that's been left anywhere in the house other than the closet.
They look a little like aphids, but they're not. I know aphids. (Half a botany degree, remember?) I don't recognize them at all, so they're not a major plant pest and unlikely to be part of any kind of plant life cycle in a major way. And I'm 99% sure they're not a larval stage of something else, because we never have any huge population of other types of bugs in the house - flies or gnats or moths or whatever - just these little bastards. (We get a break about three months a year, when the weather is cold.) I am as sure as possible that they're beetles, without breaking out the microscope, although knowing it's a beetle hardly narrows things down.
Anyway. I'm moving all wool into the yarn closet, fast, but anyone know if it could be these little fucking beetles that ate my yarn? Do I beat the cat? Or could it just be one of those things? (Shit does happen.)