Moth Damage & Area Rugs do not Mix

Posted in Blog

          It’s that time of year when everyone feels the need to do a little “spring cleaning” and we are faced with the age old question, “How do you handle moths?”  We asked our trusted source, Buzz Dohanian from Bon Ton Cleaners of Watertown, MA for his expert advice.

Carpet moths have become a major problem. They seem to be everywhere and we have very few weapons at our disposal to control them.  Moths will fly to a food source (hair protein) and lay their eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the larvae will eat the hair protein in the wool causing physical damage.  They will then spin a cocoon that returns them to the flying stage and the cycle starts over again.

          Similar to antibiotics and weed killer, we have over used our pesticides and that has caused the moths to develop resistance to them. Another issue is that we are much better educated about the environmental consequences of chemical use and that has limited what we can use.  It is a good thing that we are minimizing environmental issues, but it leaves us fewer options to use on the carpet moths.

          We still have some products that can be used to kill carpet moths in rugs, but they have a very short lifetime. They will provide no long-term protection against moths. Anything that would do that has been banned because of harm to the environment.   Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “moth proofing”.

          Our industry is constantly investigating new products and ideas. We are also looking at “natural” possibilities that could be useful to control carpet moths. As new ideas fully develop, we will implement them to help control what is an increasing problem.

          In the meantime, there are a few precautions that can be taken to help deter the problem.  Moths like dark undisturbed places so it is recommended that you keep vacuuming and checking under beds, sofas, closets, and any other places that might be good hiding places for them.  Moths also like dirty rugs.  So having your rugs cleaned on a regular basis is also helpful.

      The best thing to do is to keep checking for carpet moths on a regular basis. When you find signs of moth damage, you need to deal with that immediately to minimize the exposure of other items in your home. It is still possible to control carpet moths in your home, but it requires more effort to stay ahead of the problem.

Our partners at Bon Ton Rug in Watertown, MA clean, deodorize, sanitize, repair, restore, remodel, and treat rugs for stains and odors. When it comes to moths, they recommend regular vacuuming and cleaning.  If rugs are being put into storage, they will need to be wrapped and checked every few months for moths.


An example of regular moth damage

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