How to identify and treat the spread of carpet moths.
You may have never have heard of them or even seen them, but if you’ve ever moved an item of furniture and noticed tiny patches where the carpet is missing – you’ve probably got unwelcome visitors in the form of the nasty carpet moth.
Identifying Carpet Moths
The carpet moth, also known as the case-bearing moth, pupae or “grub”, looks similar to a small grain of white/grey rice with a black dot at one end.
Carpet moths prefer environments with places with little airflow and no light or human disturbance. As a result, they are mainly, but not exclusively, found around the edges of rooms, in corners or under permanently placed furniture. However, unlike other common swarms, carpet mothsdo not like damp, dirty homes. Unfortunately, this means that the cleaner your home is, the more likely you are to fall prey to an infestation.
Carpet moths can eat many times their body weight in just 24 hours and can easily chomp their way through wool, silk or cotton. Meaning they can cause a lot of damage in a very short space of time. They take root quickly, multiplying rapidly by flying into a room and laying their eggs around the edges or under furniture, upholstery and rugs. They do this by laying the eggs actually inside the carpet. The eggs themselves have developed to camouflage with the carpet fibres, meaning they can stay undetected to the untrained eye.
The female carpet moth lays hundreds of eggs in her short lifetime, attaching them to the carpet with a strong self-generated adhesive. Once laid, the egg will hatch in 4-10 days. Following this, the new larvae will eat the carpet creating anything from small holes in the carpet to larger metre wide patches. And, when the conditions are just right, the larvae will become a cocoon. 8-10 days later, and they become a full-blown carpet moth.
Whilst the moth can eat your carpet, their main aim is breeding. It is the larvae that do the damage to your carpet, gorging itself as it heads towards metamorphosis. Sometimes the larvae will absorb the dyes from your carpet, helping it to become even less visible. This is bad for your home as several larvae can cause significant damage, ranging from a small hole to large patches in the carpet. This can sometimes be up to the size of the entire base of a wardrobe or armchair!
All of this means that time is of the utmost importance when dealing with carpet moths. But what can you do to get rid of these pests, and what about the carpets and rugs they’ve eaten through?
Regular vacuuming and cleaning of skirting boards will help eliminate the spread of carpet moths, as will moving sofas, rugs and chairs. There are also commercial treatments that you can buy and administer yourself for getting rid of moths. As a great organic deterrent, you could try using lavender pouches or cedar balls placed under heavy units and behind TVs.
You should also be aware that baskets of logs and piles of paper and books on the floor are open invitations to carpet moth. Ensure the basket is moved and vacuumed under regularly, and place papers and books in a plastic box with a lid.
For the best results, you need to have a professional company, such as ServiceMaster Clean.
How we can help
Upon arrival in your home, we will carry out a thorough inspection to assess the damage to your carpet and the size of the infestation.
Different cases will require different approaches, but our professional carpet care technicians will talk through their treatment plan with you to make sure you’re getting the best possible treatment for your situation. Moths will not restrict themselves to just the carpet, they love any organic fabric, so your rugs, upholstery and curtains all need to be checked. Our trained technicians will carry out an inspection of the whole room, as standard and use moth traps to confirm the presence of carpet moths. Once we have established the size of the infestation, we will be able to tailor our treatment plan accordingly.
For minor damage cases, the best solution is an application of carpet moth treatment, followed by a thorough clean of the carpet using hot water extraction, and repairing of any damaged areas of the carpet.
In the case of larger-scale damages, we normally advise the removal of the entire carpet. We will then treat the subfloor to be sure there are no lingering moths or larvae.
Treating carpet moths is a time-sensitive issue, so the most important thing is to act fast if you suspect an infestation. If you think you’ve been affected by carpet moths, call the experts at ServiceMaster Clean by finding your nearest business today.