Over the past decade especially, carpet moth infestation has been an increasing problem across the United States. Carpet moths can be detrimental to a home. Infestation is not pleasant to handle, and it can be a challenge to discover the best way to remove carpet moths and prevent damage. Thankfully, there is hope in fixing a current carpet moth infestation and preventing one in the future.
About Carpet Moths
Adult carpet moths are relatively harmless; however; the larvae cause damage by eating wool and other natural fibers. They mainly live in dark, less-disturbed areas of a house, such as behind or underneath furniture, along skirting boards, and in closets.
Carpet moths can remain quite comfortable in a temperature-regulated home, and therefore are persistent household pests year-round. A continual prevention routine will get rid of carpet moths and fix the damage caused, as well as prevent future infestation.
What They Look Like
There are many species of carpet moths, ranging between white and dark brown colors. Once suspecting carpet moths in a home, thorough research should be done in order to correctly identify them. Besides looking out for the adult winged moths, search the home for the larvae, which are ¼ to ½ inch long with a cream body and darker head. The eggs can be found upon close inspection; they are usually found hidden among the carpet weaves.
Carpet Moths vs. Pantry Moths
It is also possible to find pantry moths in a home. It’s important to research and distinguish between carpet moths and pantry moths to ensure that the proper moth traps are used. A carpet moth and pantry moth will be attracted to different pheromones. Pantry moths will usually invade kitchen areas or wherever food is stored.
How To Remove Carpet Moths & Prevent Carpet Moth Damage
A few proven methods to remove carpet moths and prevent carpet moth damage include setting traps, locating infested areas, reducing population growth by eliminating eggs and larvae, the application of carpet moth treatment, and routine deep cleaning of the home.
Carpet Moth Traps
Setting carpet moth traps will help with assessing the severity of an infestation. Set the traps in dark, undisturbed places such as underneath furniture, along baseboards, behind floor-length curtains, and in the corners of a room. Look out for irregular holes or reduced pile on carpets. In some cases, the carpet could be dwindled down to just threads. Carpet moths also eat the natural material of your furniture.
The traps will catch adult males since the trap uses female pheromones to attract them. This will help decrease the reproducing moths. Females lay their eggs in dusty, hidden areas to provide the larvae with a food supply.
Locate Infested Areas
Discourage the continued infestation of carpet moths by making their homes uninhabitable. Perform a thorough household clean, focusing on all the dark, dusty, undisturbed areas. Pay extra attention to where carpet moth damage has been found. Moths favor dusty areas since they contain hair and skin cells, both of which are food to carpet moths.
A powerful vacuum cleaner is an effective way to get rid of carpet moths. Vacuum under and around furniture, as well as the furniture itself. Shake out rugs and pillows before airing them out in the sun. A regular and thorough cleaning routine of commonly missed areas will help control the reproduction of moths.
Reduce Population Growth
Keep carpet moth traps in the home year-round. This will play a huge role in decreasing the breeding of carpet moths. While moth traps may not completely diminish the carpet moth population, they will reduce the amount of damage to carpets, clothes, and other home textiles.
The worst thing that adult moths do is reproduce; the larvae are what cause the damage. They can survive in a home for up to three years. Where food is plentiful, carpet moths will grow from egg to adult in a little over a month. Your home will be prone to damage as long as carpet moth larvae are present.
Remove Carpet Moth Eggs & Larvae
Carpet moth larvae feast on keratin, which is found in natural animal- and human-based fibers (hair and skin cells). They do not eat cotton or synthetic fabrics. Investigate any natural fibers in the home for damage, including woolens, silk, feather, fur, or soft leather. Larvae tend to target softer materials, such as wool carpets or clothes, fur throws or rugs, wool or cashmere blankets, silk curtains, or leather sofas. These items are unfortunately expensive.
Spotting the tiny carpet moth eggs is more difficult than finding larvae hotspots. Fine, sticky webbing in carpets is a sure sign that eggs and larvae are nearby. Utilize online carpet moth identification guides to help with searching for carpet moth eggs and larvae.
Carpet Moth Treatment on Rugs
After an effective deep cleaning of the rug, consider investing in a quality carpet moth treatment. This will be one of the best ways to ensure that a carpet moth infestation is gone. S&S Rug Cleaners uses a specialized freezer containment system to organically remove carpet moths and their larvae. Once your rug has been kept at the precise temperature long enough, we remove it and begin a cleaning process to remove any debris left behind.
Keeping a regular routine of cleaning the house and focusing on dark, undisturbed areas is the most successful method that will prevent carpet moth damage. Human and pet hair, dust, sweat, food stains, and skin cells will continually build up in the home and attract carpet moths.
Deep cleaning should include vacuuming on and around furniture – do not forget to remove couch cushions. Removable pillowcases, curtains, and rugs should be shaken out and washed periodically.
While cleaning, set carpet moth traps and apply carpet moth treatment to high-risk areas. Keep an eye out for new areas that carpet moths may have inhabited.
Hand-washing is crucial after using carpet moth treatments. For extra protection, the use of gloves and a face mask is recommended when applying treatments.
Finding carpet moths in the home is not a hopeless situation. By finding where they are and following a routine cleaning regime, anyone can remove carpet moths and prevent carpet moth damage.
If you’ve had rugs damaged by carpet moths, then it’s time to call S&S Rug Cleaners. We have the equipment needed to remove any remaining carpet moth larvae without causing further damage to your valuable rugs. Depending on the damage done, we may even be able to repair your rug. To learn more, give us a call today at 404-355-2126.