Mary Killen Mary Killen

Dear Mary | 13 October 2016

Plus: how to avoid an aunt’s farmed salmon; and can you keep money you found at a hole in the wall?

Q. My father has been on the warpath to eradicate Tineola bisselliella, the common clothes moth. He told me to sort through my dressing room and administer sprays and pheromone strips. He’s finally eradicated them, or at least that’s what he thinks. In truth, I never bothered to go through my own clothes back in May. When I went to pull out a tweed jacket yesterday, out came a skeletal shell which had been savaged by moths. There is an infestation, he will be furious, and I have no idea how to get rid of them without him finding out I’ve been providing a sanctuary all summer.
— A.J., Taunton, Somerset

A. Clear your entire wardrobe into black dustbin sacks and drop them out of your bedroom window. Conceal them in a friend’s chest freezer for a couple of weeks. This will eradicate all moths and eggs. You can reuse serviceable garments but the rest must be taken to recycling, as even charity shops shun clothes which have historic moth damage. Meanwhile, fumigate your dressing room.

Q. I have an uncle’s birthday supper looming. Despite the fact that we are a fishing-mad family, my aunt serves farmed salmon at this annual event. I know wild salmon caught on these shores is now almost unobtainable but I myself would cook alternative wild fish — wholly sustainable mackerel, for example — rather than ask guests to consume something which has been cruelly reared and filled with antibiotics. I don’t want to seem pretentious but I simply can’t go through with it this year. Please advise!
—P.C., Coulsdon, Surrey

A. Be careful to leave your salmon intact on the plate but mask it with other foodstuffs.

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