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Getting Rid of Carpet Moths

Updated on July 24, 2018
Susan Hambidge profile image

Susan prefers to use natural ingredients whenever possible in the home and garden. It is usually cheaper, easier and greener.

Bald Patches in the Carpet are a Sign of Moths

Moths Will Eat the Carpets

If you have noticed bald areas on your rug or carpet, it could be a sign that you have moths, also sometimes known as carpet beetles, in the home. The moths that like to eat your carpets and all other kinds of textiles are very small, and are a light beige in colour, so they are difficult to see. These particular moths do not fly around very much, instead they prefer to walk around the flooring to get from one place to another. These moths usually live in dead animal skin and birds' nests outside but are carried in accidentally by pets and then they thrive very well in the warmth of our homes. They lay eggs and larvae which prefer the dark edges of rugs, or the areas that are under the sofa or behind the cupboards. In these places, they can reproduce quite quickly, unnoticed by humans until a large area has been chewed away. If you look at the threadbare areas you may see what looks like small grains of rice in amongst the fibres. This is a sure sign that the larva have been consuming your rug.

Carpet Eating Moths are Tiny

Getting Rid of Moths That Eat Your Carpets

These moths like natural material, so a pure-wool rug will be just what they prefer. They also quite like to live on the more expensive mattresses that are stuffed with wool, silk or cotton. A sure way to stop carpet moths is to have man-made fabrics on the floor as they cannot thrive on these, and this might be something to consider if you are changing your floor coverings.

The way to get rid of the moths is to start by vacuuming every corner of the carpet. The larvae are very small so you will have to take a long time vacuuming into the corners and along the edges. Make sure you clean out the bottoms of cupboards and wardrobes too to make sure you get them all. You must continue to do this very regularly, because it is inevitable that you will a few larvae behind the first time. Once you have vacuumed, remove the contents of the cleaner immediately, otherwise they will get out of our the dust bag and re-infest the carpets.

Next it is strongly suggested that you steam the floor covering. Steam is a good natural method of getting rid of all pests and bacteria, and owning a steam cleaner is a good home investment. The high temperature of the steam will kill moth larva without the use of chemicals. These machines can be hired, or you could also ask to borrow one from a friend of neighbour to save some money if you don't already own this equipment. Of course it is important to do a test area of your flooring to check that the steamer won't damage the fabric you have.

To make sure the moths are gone forever, you will need to carefully steam the whole room, and perhaps the entire home. Pay close attention to the darker areas and move furniture out of the way so you can get to every edge of the carpet. It may take some time, but it will be very expensive if you have to have the whole place re-carpeted.

Carpet Moths and the Larva Leave Rugs Threadbare

Chemicals Can Clear Moths

There are chemicals on the market that are specifically created to kill the tapestry moths and the larva if you do not want to steam your carpets. Make sure to get the correct one for the type of pests you have. There are sprays, powders and fogs that can be purchased relatively cheaply so that you can treat your home yourself. Follow the instructions carefully.


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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 months ago from England

      I had never heard of them before, and just believed it was wear and tear! Thank you for this great info!

    • Susan Hambidge profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hambidge 

      14 months ago from Hertfordshire, England

      Thank you for stopping by Flourish. I hadn't heard of them either until the little pests arrived.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      14 months ago from USA

      This is quite an education as I had never heard of them before!

    • Susan Hambidge profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hambidge 

      15 months ago from Hertfordshire, England

      Thank you Ann. I didn't think they'd infest a teddy bear - goodness! This is a picture of my carpet in the hallway unfortunately. It was under the mat where the shoes go. I think I've got them rid of them, but only time will really tell.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      15 months ago from SW England

      This is a useful hub with great advice.

      I had this pest in my previous home and became paranoid about it returning. They even infested my teddy bear! He had to be put into a plastic bag, showered with pest powder and put in the fridge for 2 weeks. Then I gently vacuumed him. He was put back into the plastic bag for a few months and when I saw a few fluttering inside it I was able to kill those and that seemed to be the end of it. Now I'm vigilant at all times. We no longer have fitted carpets and the rugs are cleaned regularly.



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