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 wool rugs clean with regular vacuuming, look for any signs of insects or damage, and wool rug cleaning every two to 4 years or when rugs look dirty.
-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 a Trojan rug of sorts. Moth eggs are microscopic so a new to you carpet 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 can be 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 there is no thing as safe for just a little time.
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. Moth traps are a useful detection tool
I found wool moths on my wool oriental carpet, what should I do now?
The infested textile or rug 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. Moths are small, they can fly often by the time the infestation is detected wool moths have spread to other rugs and textiles
Treatment of the infested rug by killing and removing moths and their eggs is a straightforward process. Your home and textiles must be treated with pesticides to kill the moths and eggs and then washed.
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 other rugs, wool clothing, or upholstery.
We cannot emphasize enough that removal and treatment of the infested rug or textile is often NOT enough. 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
Let's start with the big one cedar shavings, blocks, and balls don't work do lavender, tobacco leaves, and others.
They don't work!
I wish they did.
While these may have a mild benefit we have pulled countless 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 can't be vacuumed off and can stay dormant long enough for pesticides to lose effectiveness and hatch when conditions are optimal.
Mothballs (naphthalene) work in tightly enclosed spaces. However, mothballs leave an objectionable odor that can be difficult to remove and often requires washing.
Again, we strongly recommend a commercial pest control service when an infestation is detected