Fine oriental rugs are made to last, even after years of being trampled on by thousands and thousands of footsteps. But when it comes to some of the worst damage your rug can endure, look no further than a miniscule pest; the moth.
Moths can really do a number on your rugs, though not all moths are out to ruin your floor décor. Indian meal moths, Angoumois grain moths, and Mediterranean flour moths are all much more excited about eating what’s in your pantry. However, webbing clothes and casemaking clothes moths are the ones who love to dine on fine wool fabric. And as for the brown house moth, he’s not a picky eater—He’ll happily take a bite out of your cereal or that brand new wool rug in your dining room.
And while your first thought may be that the moths flying around are the culprits of moth damage, the ones actually eating your rugs are the larvae. Here’s how it works: Adult moth females lay hundreds of eggs at a time in your carpet. Then the eggs hatch into larvae, and that’s when the feeding frenzy begins. These larvae love wool fibers, and they may even prefer certain colors, which is why you’ll often see damage done in patches. Once the larvae start eating the rug, they can cause substantial harm in just a matter of weeks.
The good news is that rugs in high-traffic areas are not attacked by moths as often. Instead, rugs in storage or dark environments, or those placed under furniture, are the more likely targets. Here are a few tips to prevent damage to your rug from moths:
Maybe this is obvious, but it makes a huge difference. If you want to get rid of moths in wool carpet, vacuuming is key. Vacuuming can suck up not just the adults, but it can pull up hard-to-see eggs and larvae too (the real villains here). To prevent moth damage, keep a schedule of vacuuming at least once a week. Since the back of the rug is the prime location for moth eggs, be sure to vacuum there as well. If you can’t get to the full back of the rug, at least pull up the sides and corners and vacuum those areas.
Get a regular professional cleaning (at least annually)
If you’re trying to avoid any types of bugs or moths that damage your rug, you can’t avoid getting a professional rug cleaning regularly. For rugs with normal traffic, we recommend an annual washing. Washing your rug helps remove any bug activity and will prevent future moth infestations.
Store your Rug the Right way
Rugs in storage are particularly susceptible to moth damage, because most rugs are stored in dark moist locations (and moths love humidity and darkness). That’s why it’s so important to store your rug the right way. Otherwise, when you decide to put the rug in the garage back in your living room, you might be unpleasantly surprised to find just a threadbare carpet.
When storing rugs long term, the rug should be cleaned by professional oriental rug cleaners first. After, it should be wrapped with either newspaper or tobacco to prevent moth damage. Covering an oriental rug with plastic prevents the rug from breathing and will cause the rug to rot or mildew, which can lead to odor problems.
Get Rid of an Infestation
If you need to know how to get rid of moths in wool carpet, start with vacuuming more frequently and thoroughly. This is the best way to start, but you’ll have to get every spot where the larvae or eggs may be. Be sure to take care of any dark areas, or any spots that are not typically walked on like under furniture or at the rug edges. Also keep in mind, clothes moths may also be found infesting upholstered furniture (both inside and out), and in air ducts where larvae may be feeding on lint, pet hair, or other types of debris.
There are also various chemicals used to rid a home of moths, as well as many natural remedies. If you decide to go the chemical route, be sure to consult a professional exterminator, as many chemicals could have dangerous or adverse effects on those living in your home.
Moth damage already done? Call an expert.
If your rug has been a victim of a moth attack, the situation (and your rug) may look dire. In reality, a professional and experienced rug repair expert can often take care of moth damage no matter the severity. At Khazai Oriental Rug Cleaning, our experienced staff and state-of-the-art facility have all the resources needed to take care of a moth’s damage to your rug. And as fifth generation experts, we have the experience you can trust. Contact us today and let’s get your rug the care it needs!
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