Belfast Telegraph

Horror as moths invade Northern Ireland family's new dream home

By Lucy Pasha-Robinson

A family who built their "dream home" using eco-friendly insulation have spoken of their horror after discovering it was harbouring a moth infestation of "biblical proportions".

Valerie Cappell and her family decided to do the "right thing" when building their new home by using sustainable wool as insulation.

They moved in to the new Co Londonderry property - the roof of which is shaped like a wave - from Edinburgh in 2012 but earlier this year, moths began appearing all over the house.

It later transpired that thousands of voracious moths had infested the organic wool insulation - and that meant the family had to tear out huge sections of wall to fix the problem.

"It was soul-destroying and incredibly stressful when we couldn't work out where all the moths were coming from," Ms Cappell told The Telegraph newspaper.

"I think our situation could be the tip of an iceberg - many more people must have installed this kind of insulation."

According to experts, Ms Cappell consulted about the moth infestation, she was not alone in experiencing problems with sheep's wool insulation, which is like 'fillet steak' for moths.

The family had received reassurances from the supplier that the pyrethrin it had been treated with - an organic insecticide - would be enough to prevent any insect infestations.

But the couple have now had to pay more than £10,000 to replace the wool insulation, negating any cost benefits from the building's original eco-friendly design.

The supplier is no longer in business and the family is unable to claim their money back.

"The whole thing seems very unfair, and a horror story for those who have installed it," she told The Telegraph.

"We're not green activists but we wanted to do the right thing.

"We went for an adventurous design, very airy with lots of space, and we wanted it to be as ecologically friendly as possible."

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