Wool Moth Prevention Strategies
How Do I Stop Wool Carpet Moths From Eating My Rug?
The best moth prevention is to avoid conditions that promote wool moth insect infestation.
-Keep textiles clean with regular vacuuming, look for any signs of insects or damage, and cleaning intervals.
-Many household soils (protein, cooking oils) improve the environment for moths by increasing wool's moisture retention levels and food source. This higher mosture retention is important for moth lave to have enough mosture to live while they consume textiles. So, soiled rugs make a better environment for wool carpet moths
-When possible turn rugs end for end to even out traffic patterns from use and expose, the unexposed areas of your oriental rug to sunlight. Sunning rugs is a helpful but not foolproof way to reduce the risk of moth infestation. Moth larvae have no protection from sunlight/ UV radiation. Instinctively, moths always seek out dark undisturbed areas to lay their eggs, under a sofa, end table or bed.
-It's the wool carpet moth Larvae that eat protein fibers like wool and cause the damage to wool rugs, not the adult moths
Blocking Acess to textiles
- Block wool month entrance to the home from outside, moths can enter the home via an unscreened door or window so minimize open/unscreened doors and windows that allow easy access.
-Newly acquired can textiles are a common infestation source they can harbor unhatched wool moth eggs that subsequently hatch in your home and spread to other textiles. Vacuum and inspect new textiles and consider a thorough washing it may be a small insurance policy Vs. infecting your home with months.
-Freezing is often cited to kill wool moths but home freezers do not reach the 0.F- / -17.C needed for reliable effective freezing if freezing repeated cycles of freezing and thawing work best.
-Heat is a better option a clothes steamer works well for smaller textiles and steam on both sides is effective at killing wool moth eggs
-When storing rugs they should be vacuumed first and wrapped in breathable material heavy paper or Tyvek, to block entry to rugs. Improperly stored rugs, particularly in storage facilities or as we like to call them moth superhighways, this is the most common route of moth infestation.
"I'm only storing it for a little while?" - That's all the time an adult wool month needs to ley its eggs on your rug
Never store rugs in Plastic wool needs to breathe and plastic can cause a rug to mildew.
Regular inspection of textiles is important, this can be done during rotating or routine vacuuming take care to vacuum under sofas and inspect dark undisturbed areas under a sofa and with hanging textiles in the back area against the wall. Wool textiles hanging on a wall are susceptible to wool moth damage specifically on the wall-facing side. Since moths seek out dark undisturbed areas infestations never happen in easy-to-see open areas. Consider pheromone traps as a monitoring tool to determine when moths are in your home and detect if a possible infestation is present.
*Pheromone moth traps do not kill ALL moths, only the males, moth traps only let you know you have a wool moth infestation they do not stop infestations.
What if I find wool moths in my wool oriental carpets?
When an infestation is detected 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 a moth-infested rug to the garage is inadequate for confining the infestation.
Treatment of the infested rug killing and removal of moths and their eggs is a straightforward process.
However, removal and treatment of the infested rug/ textiles is often NOT enough. Typically at the point, in which an 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 such as clothing or upholstery. Treating wool rugs for moths is often a whole house issue.
We strongly recommend contacting a professional pest control company to perform on-location pest control/ mitigation
What doesn't stop or control moth infestations
Cedar, lavender, Tabacco leaves & Essential oils. While these may have a mild benefit we have pulled plenty of moth-infested textiles out of cedar chests, cedar lined closets, and various satchels of tobacco, lavender, and other herbal treatments.
Bug bombs/Holliday foggers kill the adult moth and larvae they do not kill moth eggs. Eggs are microscopic and impossible to detect and can stay dormant long enough for pesticides to lose effectiveness and hatch when conditions are optimal.
Dealing with one rug in a home with visible infestation damage but neglecting the other rugs in the home. One should assume if one rug is infested others may be as well, assuming that since the infested rug is at the far end of the house in a guest bedroom wool textiles in the rest of the house should be ok is often a costly mistake.
Again, we strongly recommend a commercial pest control service when an infestation is detected