The Case of the Endless Flying Insects: Clues to finding carpet moths and tips on getting rid of them

Carpet Moths

It looks like you’ve got your Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap on and you now suspect the villain guilty of ruining your carpet to be the elusive Moth.

Damn those carpet moths!

Look for these clues to deduce if moths are invading your home!

– Instead of looking for moths flying about your flat, look for their eggs! Moth prefers to lay their eggs in places that are dark, damp and typically undisturbed. The carpet keeps the eggs safe and protects them from UV light. It also supplies them with instant chow right after they hatch. Moth pupae feed on the proteins in natural fibres like wool and silk.

– Get out your magnifying glass! You will be looking for those tiny eggs. A single moth can lay up to 300 eggs alone! Or if the damage is already happening, you may see very small, white, worm-like insects crawling in the fibres.

– Look around and under furniture that is rarely moved or infrequently used. Check-in dark cupboards and the back of closets. We have even seen moths lay eggs around skirting boards. Keep your eyes peeled for dark, moist places. Dirty carpets are way more appealing to moths than clean ones.

– If you see small holes in your upholstery or suspect that your carpet is balding in patches, you better take a closer look. Another clue would be the presence of grey dust; the texture would be grainy- similar to sugar. Unfortunately droppings from the pupae living in the fabric.

– Be careful when buying used furniture and fabrics from thrift stores and charity shops. Make sure you look over and wash everything carefully. If you are nervous, give us a call, and we can come by to check it out for you before you bring your sweet secondhand treasure indoors.

– Look out for neighbours who have had issues with moths, especially if you live in a terrace house or shared house.
You’ve followed the clues and caught the culprit. Now how can you get rid of these moths??

– If you find it in time and you only see a few spots with eggs and no pupae, you can start with using a powerful upright vacuum cleaner with a beater bar to help pull up any eggs that are in the carpets. You should give the floor a complete vacuum cleaning every day or two for at least 1-3 weeks. Make sure you empty or throw away the vacuum bags after each cleaning.

– We advise that you avoid using pesticides and insecticides in your home if at all possible. Some folks may suggest using Bay leaves or Bay oil, but in our experience, it isn’t sufficient enough to truly stop an infestation.

– If you have come across a severe infestation, it is worth getting a consultation with a pesticide professional. Make sure you get your clothing and linens dry cleaned too, just in case, to rid yourself of every moth egg completely.
Prevention tips

– Regularly clean your carpets. Keep a sharp eye out and move your furniture for cleaning every 3-6 months.

– Getting your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned can help prevent future moth infestations. Not only will your carpets be fantastically cleaned (which moths hate), but we also spray moth repellent after we clean.

– Be sure to get your rugs professionally cleaned before you store them for long periods. Also remember to keep them upright in a cool, dry place!

– When it is time to replace your carpets or rugs, you might consider synthetic fibres instead of natural fibres like wool. At the Art of Flooring, we can help you pick out the right material that will make you happy, but it will also prevent unwelcome winged guests.

Adult carpet moth. Long, narrow body with silver wings. Picture source 

Close up of Carpet moth pupae. Image source

Carpet moth eggs. Picture copied from a personal blog 

Check out some of our other blog post for more information on moths:
Infestation suspects:
What does moth damage look like? : This link also includes a short video of a rug with live pupae

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For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please do not hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901551 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio, and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning, and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Farthings Cambridge provides our Dry-Cleaning service

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