Wool Moths and Rugs

The three most common insect infestations in wool rugs textiles

Webbing Moths (Tineola bisselliella)

Webbing Moths are 5-7 mm long and golden in color are poor flyers and avoid light. Mature moths live for several weeks and lay eggs in dark undisturbed areas for example, under a sofa. The female can lay in excess of 100 eggs at a time and these eggs are barely visible to the human eye. When they hatch the larvae spin a cocoon to protect themselves from light and to provide adequate humidity control. They then consume protein fibers causing damage. The larval stage can last from several weeks to over a month at which point the larvae pupate into adult moths. Leaving behind a webbing material and small grainy excrement.

 

Casing moths (Tinea pellionella)

Casing moths are 7-8 mm when mature, golden in color and with dark spots on their wings. Casing moths spin a cocoon around their bodies. This casing is dragged around as they feed. Casing moths favor higher humidity than webbing moths and can tolerate cooler temperatures. Casing moths usually eat from the surface of a textile like a pile rug whereas webbing moths will borrow. Once mature they leave behind the casing which is slightly larger than a grain of rice.

 

Carpet beetles (Anthrenus sp.)

Adult carpet beetles are 2-4 mm small round and similar in shape to lady bug but smaller with a white, black, brown, orange shell. The larvae have black brown bristly hairs and typically eat in one area leaving round divots similar to small cinder burns from a fire.

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