Moths are notoriously harmful to rugs. They can devour rug fibers by the handful, leaving your rug pocked with holes. It’s incredible that these tiny creatures can wreak so much havoc on our rugs. So how can we keep moths from ruining our precious rugs?
Well, before we answer that question, let’s discuss how moths damage rugs, so that we can better understand how to prevent a moth infestation.
How Do Moths Damage Rugs?
It’s a gross and unfortunate truth: Moths multiply and grow within rugs. Moths are attracted to wool rugs, since they can consume the natural fibers. Moths also prefer dark places that have comfortable temperatures, which may mean within the pile of your rug. Once a moth finds your rug to be a suitable home for its offspring, it’ll lay eggs within your rug. Eventually, these eggs hatch, and the larvae are free to feed on the fibers of your rug.
What You Can Do to Prevent Moth Damage
Now, what can you do to keep your rug pest free? Fortunately, there are solutions out there, and precautions that you can take. Here’s our advice:
Inspect Your Rugs
Keep a keen eye on your rugs. If you notice that you have a rug that is sloughing off material, it may actually be the product of moths. When moths reproduce and grow, they consume wool in your rug, and they leave behind a trail that can resemble lint. At this stage, your rug may just require a cleaning, since damage may not be significant.
Now, if your rug has sections of wool that are completely consumed, that’s a sign that the infestation has really taken ahold. You’ll have to act immediately, and your rug will require repairs. Moths may consume enough material to reveal the stitching grid underneath the pile — since this grid is usually made out of cotton or synthetic fibers, moths will avoid consuming this portion of the rug. Your rug may require patching and stitching if you can see the grid of the rug.
Clean Your Rugs
Be sure to clean your rugs regularly! Vacuum your rugs often to keep them aired out and free from moisture. However, while vacuuming your rugs is a great idea, it may not be enough to keep moths completely away from your rug.
To ensure that your rug is entirely clean, you should bring your rug in for a thorough rug wash. We recommend a rug wash every year or two in order to keep your rug completely free from moth offspring. A deep clean with soapy water is sure to kill off any moth eggs that exist in the pile of your rug.
Give Your Rug Some Sun
While it might seem counterintuitive to put your rug out in the sun, a little bit of UV exposure can actually kill off some moth eggs, and it’ll repel any moths that are clinging to your rug’s surface. Put your rug out in the sun for 15 minutes or so to deter moths from taking over your rug.
Use a Repellent
Use a moth repellent. If you’re bringing your rug into Fred Remmers for a cleaning, we can apply a repellent that’s specifically designed to deter moths, carpet beetles, crickets, and silverfish (which can all damage your rug). We use a repellant that is a non-toxic mixture of chemicals that is delicate on rugs, but tough on bugs.
Keep Moisture Low
Young insects thrive on moisture. Be sure to keep your rug free from moisture. You may consider dehumidifying your home if you have a moisture problem. Always be sure to clean up spills and animal accidents right away.
If you decide to store your rug (or rugs) be wary that proper storage is crucial. Clean your rug before you store it. Be sure not to use a plastic wrap to protect the rug (since it can hold in moisture that can attract moths and mold). Instead, use a paper wrap that is waterproof (try Tyvek®). Be sure to air out your rug regularly, and keep an eye on the fibers of your rug to ensure that they aren’t damaged.