A carpet moth is a small insect that, despite its size, can damage your carpets or rugs by eating the fibers. If an infestation is left untreated the moths & moth larvae can spread around your home and do damage to natural fiber rugs at a considerable speed. If you start to notice flying moths in your home, this could be a sign that you have a carpet moth infestation.
How to Identify Clothes and Carpet Moths
Carpet moths are small, 1/2-inch moths that are beige or buff-colored. They have narrow wings that are fringed with small hairs. They are often mistaken for grain moths infesting stored food items in kitchens and pantries. Unlike some other types of moths, clothes moths are seldom seen because they avoid light. They prefer dark, undisturbed areas.
Where do carpet moths come from?
Because these small carpet moths have a strong sense of smell, you can expect to find them in natural fibers such as wool and fur. They are attracted to the scent of fur, silk, and wool and their larvae eat a protein called keratin. As these insects start their life cycle, they will search for somewhere in your home with a food source that has wool, hair, skin, and food debris available and they particularly prefer low-traffic sections of a room, like corners or under heavy furniture that has never been moved and infrequently vacuumed.
If you begin to see these telltale signs of a carpet moth infestation, you will need to take action:
Small holes or frayed edges on your rug or carpet or areas that appear as if they are worn away
Adult flying moths that can be seen in your home or on your rug or carpet
A white, web-like material in the fibers of your rug or carpet can be on the front or more frequently seen on the underside of your rugs. The larvae like to eat the rug from the backside away from activity
Oriental rugs are most commonly made from wool or other natural fibers and are very commonly targeted by carpet moths. These little insects can eat an entire rug in no time and a simple vacuum is not enough to rid them.
How to get rid of Carpet Moths
Carpet moths can do a lot of damage and can destroy a rug. If you believe you have an infestation in a carpet, these bugs can move from room to room, carpet to carpet, and even into your clothes closet. They are often referred to as clothes moths and your clothing such as sweaters, silk or linen or any natural fibers can be at risk as well! Hotter winters may be to blame, plus the fact we keep our homes so warm. Washing clothes at a lower temperature and cold water saves energy, but it means that the eggs are not being killed as they would in high heat cycles.
Here are some tips to eliminate carpet moths from your home:
Vacuum regularly and thoroughly. Not only should you be vacuuming your carpet once a week, but you should also do a detailed job that includes all edges and under furniture. The goal is to remove eggs and /or larvae that may be in or on your carpet. By cleaning up any hair (including, human, cat dog, or other pet hair), skin, or food debris in the rug, the larvae will be deprived of the food source which they need to survive. Along with getting behind furniture and into any corners or crevices, be thorough and periodically remove sofa cushions (or any other removable cover) and wash.
Turn down your thermostat. Carpet moths and their larvae like warm, humid environments and prefer a closed home with central air. A colder environment can make their life cycle slower.
Call a pest control company. They will have specialized equipment to get rid of the infestation from your home quickly and easily. When you do this, they will require that you have gone through all closets, drawers, and all rooms and removed any wool, or natural fiber clothing, fabrics, etc, and have them dry-cleaned.
If you have a particularly bad infestation or want to make sure you have eradicated all of the larvae, you will need to call a professional carpet cleaning company like Angelo’s Cleaning to do a special cleaning of the carpet. You will also want to be careful using high temperatures on antique or oriental rugs and may need to use the pros to make sure that your rug is professionally cleaned. Although using a run-of-the-mill steam cleaner on the carpet may kill some of them, they are extremely hard to see and to kill because they have different life cycles. The moths are flying around your house to find a good place to lay eggs and these are almost invisible to the naked eye. The adult moths themselves don’t eat the carpet and only live a few months, but one female moth can lay up to two hundred eggs, so an infestation can get started extremely fast. Their larvae can develop into a moth in as little as 2 months but this also depends upon the temperature of your home and because central heating is a consistent temperature year-round, your house could be the perfect place for these critters to thrive.if it has the right conditions of heat and humidity.
Angelo’s carpet moth cleaning service is a specialized service and you will have to call our office to schedule a cleaning. These cleanings will need to be done at one of our locations. You can call to schedule a pick-up or drop your rug off.
Angelo Pagnotti- President of Angelo's Carpet Cleaning provides cleaning solutions for the entire Philadelphia Delaware Valley area. We have been in business since 1989. Angelo is a certified master textile cleaner with the I.I.C.R.C. with individual certifications in carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, odor removal, spot dyeing, carpet repair and installation, stone, masonry and tile care, water damage restoration, fire and smoke restoration, certified with NADCA and certified for dryer vent cleaning thru CSI (chimney sweep inspection), A+ rating with the BBB. We service Chester County, Delaware County, Berks County, Montgomery County, and the Philadelphia Main Line Suburbs. Carpet cleaning, rug cleaning, vent cleaning, allergy relief services, flood services, hardwood floor cleaning, tiles, and many other cleaning services. Order online OR call us for an estimate or to schedule a service - 610-935-7557. We have 5 locations to serve you including Phoenixville, West Chester, Conshohocken, Broomall, and Pottstown, Pa.