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Moth Infested Rugs: Expert Advice

Rugs With Moth Infestation

Many people have Oriental rugs as a focal point in a room. Despite ensuring the rugs and carpets are properly cleaned and maintained, sometimes things happen. If you start noticing that the color in your rug is lightening, you being to notice loose threads, clumps of wool  and / or thinned spots you might have moth infested rugs.

Moth Infested Antique Persian Rug - Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC

Moth Infested Rugs

Moths enjoy snacking on garments made from natural fibers and area rugs provide a good source of nourishment for these little buggers.

Examining Common Myths About Moths and Moth Infested Rugs

Most rug dealers would agree that adult moths cause the most damage. However, an adult moth only lives for about a month. This makes the actual culprit the moth’s habitat. A female moth focuses on locating the perfect place to lay eggs and she has the ability of laying around 100 to 150 eggs.

moth infested rugs | Nazmiyal

Moths can cause a problem for rugs if not taken care of properly

Moths sustain themselves during the larvae period – this is when they need to get the nutrition needed to thrive. Once the eggs hatch, the moths larvae get ready to feast. Just one eighth of an inch long moth larvae cause more damage that one would think.

Moth Damaged Carpet - Track Left By Moth Larvae - Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Moth Damaged Carpet – Track Left By Moth Larvae

Moth Infested Rugs and Mothballs – Repellent Vs. Solution

Once an infestation occurs, using mothballs, cedar blocks and / or essential oils like cedar or peppermint may only help to repel new invaders. The eggs and larvae that are in the rug already will remain embedded in the rug’s fibers.

Before going over how to use mothballs, it is important to note that a repellent is different than a finding solution to an existing problem. A common example involves using mothballs to repel things like mice, spiders and other bugs. While mothballs smell strong, and they may ward off moths, they do not prevent them from nesting or multiplying once they have invaded a space.

Also, Mothballs may carry some health risks as they are classifies as pesticides. They work by slowly releasing a gas, which will deter and repel insects. Also, in theory, this gas could potentially kill moths and their larvae but only at high concentrations, making it toxic to humans and pets. Additionally, mothballs are only effective when used in sealed containers so they would not be effective if the rug is laid out in the room already.

Mothballs | Nazmiyal

Mothballs are a common but toxic remedy for a moth infestation.

Cedar blocks provide a natural solution because their oils may help kill larvae. By itself, this solution does not offer enough protection because the Cedar blocks only kill young larvae, leaving behind older ones and eggs.

Some think essential oils take care of the problem but cedar, like peppermint or any other oil, will dissipate. Therefore, it becomes important to always spray your rug with the mixture again and again once the smell loses its potency. While these types of oils retain a stronger scent when soaked in cotton balls, once the cotton balls dry out, the process repeats.

Also, as a side note, because rugs are placed on hardwood floors, the oils may seep into the wood if not carefully placed.

Rug Cleanliness and Preventing Moth Damage

An unclean environment appeals to moths, but it remains a myth that they only infest dirty places. A moth can easily invade your space via an air duct, open window, or in the case of apartment complexes, another unit. Much like a mouse, people may not even know they have them until they start see signs.

Cleaning rugs and your space regularly is the best defense against moths. In particular, people should adopt a regular vacuuming schedule. Always remember to clean under the rug and any furniture within proximity to the rug. Larvae casings mimic rug color, and they resemble strands of rice. Moths may invade wall hangings and tapestries as well so you should regularly check and clean those too.

Rug Vacuuming | Nazmiyal

Keeping rugs clean is key to keeping moths away

While not 100% effective all the time, another option could be to keep a light on at all times. If bright light becomes bothersome, a salt lamp provides a good option. Some people think salt lamps help purify the air. They also offer various levels of dim lighting. Because moths like dark and secluded environments, this solution may help keep them away.

Left out food, even pet food, water sources or other spills, attract moths. Anything stuck in the rug pile becomes their food and drink sources.

Because moths like dark and undisturbed areas, the most protected rug areas are the ones exposed to light and foot traffic. To protect the entire rug, rotate it on a regular basis. In particular, rotate the parts under a couch or other furniture as those areas usually have less foot traffic.

Getting your Oriental and antique rugs professionally cleaned every three to five years offers an extra safety measure. Professional rug cleaning removes all eggs, larvae and the dirt that attracts moths to the object.

If you feel you might have a moth infestation problem, constant our carpet experts today. They will provide solutions to deal with problem and if needed could also provide rug restoration services, so your rugs could retain their value.

For more information about antique rugs and carpets, check out our resources page.

This rug blog about moth infested rugs was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rug Gallery in NYC.

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