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Moth Infestation

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What Are Wool Moths 

There are two different types of wool or clothes moths in North America — the webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the casemaking clothes moth (Tinea pellionella). Adult webbing clothes moths are a uniform, buff color, with a small tuft of reddish hairs on top of the head.

 

Casemaking moths are similar but have dark specks on the wings. Clothes moth adults do not feed so they cause no injury to fabrics. However, the adults lay about 40-50 pinhead-sized eggs on protein fibers such as wool, alpaca, goat hair and feathers that hatch fabric-eating larvae.

Both species can cause moth infestation in rugs and other protein fiber textiles

The larval stage of clothes moths are small white caterpillars up to 1/2-inch long. Development time before transforming into a moth varies greatly from one month to over a year depending on temperature, food availability, and other factors. Webbing moths spin silken tubes or patches of webbing as they move about on the surface of infested textiles. The larvae favor concealment from light and open areas under sofas, beds and end tables. As larvae eat the destroy fibers and leave threadbare area and sand like gritty fecal pellets.

Wool MothDetection 

Wool webbing and casing moths are small about the size of pantry moths. They seek out dark undisturbed areas as the larvae are sensitive to sunlight. Damage is typically in a dark area under a sofa or on a rolled-up rug.

Fresh moth damage (above) shows signs of damage and debris for the moths eating and a loss of wool pile as shown right.  

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Wool Moth Treatment
 

Confine

 

The infested textile should be removed from the home or confined (wrapped in plastic) to stop the spread of infestation to other textiles and treated as soon as possible.

Closing doors to a room with an infested rug or moving to your garage is inadequate for confining the infestation. 

Treatment

Treatment of the infested rug killing and removal of moth larvae and their eggs is a straightforward process we perform all the. time.  

However, removal and treatment of the infested rug/ textiles are often not enough. Typically at the point infestation is detected moths have had access to your home and often laid eggs elsewhere on other protein fibers such as other rugs or protein-based fibers (wool throws, sweaters, upholstery).   

We strongly recommend contacting a professional pest control company to perform on-location pest control/ mitigation in addition to treating and cleaning viably moth-infested rugs. 

Failure to treat the issue as a whole house infestation often results in reinfestation and additional damage.