Oriental Rug Moth Treatment
Female carpet moths can lay hundreds of eggs during their short lifespan of approximately two weeks. The eggs will be laid in dark undisturbed areas, such as, under rugs or furniture and towards the edges of fitted carpet. The eggs typically hatch within ten days. The resultant larvae will happily feast on your valuable rugs for many months. The moth larvae digest a protein called Keratin, which is found in wool. While the larvae remains undisturbed with a constant food source, they can live up to three years before developing into adults. The adults will then lay more eggs and the cycle starts all over again. Adults do not eat wool – it’s the carpet moth larvae that cause the damage.
The larvae generally go completely unnoticed, but are easily recognisable once you know what to look for. As you can see from the picture below, the moth larvae resemble grains of rice. They can also be mistaken for tufts of carpet or rug fibre. They will usually be situated towards the edges of rooms or under furniture and rugs, so it is important to vacuum the backs of rugs regularly to remove the larvae before any damage is caused.
A good way to discourage moth infestations is to ventilate rooms daily, while making sure curtains are opened during the day to let as much light in as possible. Also, pull furniture away from walls to vacuum underneath, concentrating on the edges of carpets near the skirting boards. Vacuum both the front and the backs of rugs regularly.
Regular vacuuming will help to remove the larvae but will not remove moth eggs which will be hiding deep within the wool fibres. We can carry out a specialist moth pre-treatment service to remove existing infestations from your rugs prior to cleaning, and then post treatment after cleaning to discourage any future problems.