Moths and your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Moths feast on textiles, and your rug is no exception.  They are one of the worst enemies of any Persian or Oriental rug, especially antique rugs. You should be especially aware of the cloth moth, as this is the type of moth that will most likely feast on your priceless heirloom.

Pictured above are the two most common types moths that have been found to eat rugs and other textiles!

You might think that your home is moth free and your Persian or Oriental rugs are safe, but moths are always looking for ways to enter your home. Moths can enter your home easily and remain undetected for a long time when they do!  Mail, pets, open doors, and moving items in and out of storage are just some of the ways that moths can/will enter your home.  To moths, your home is the perfect place to be. It provides shelter from predators, an excellent source of food, and many cozy spots to breed. Once moths enter your home, they will lay anywhere from 30 to 200 eggs per month. Those eggs will eventually become adult moths that will also lay 30 to 200 more eggs every month.  A small moth infestation can quickly become a disaster for your fine rugs and everything else in your home.

So how do I know if I have a moth infestation?

Checking for moths is simple.  The easiest methods to indicate whether or not your home has moths is by using a moth pheromone trap.   These are available are most home improvement such as Home Depot or Lowes.  Make sure the trap you are using is for the cloth moth and not another type of moth.

Pictured to the left is an example of a moth pheromone trap that is commonly sold in hardware stores.  These traps work by emitting a pheromone which attracts the male moths into a sticky bottom layer. The male moths are trapped and thus prevented from reproducing. Please note that moth traps are only an effective way to indicate that moths are in your home. They are not an effective way of getting rid of moths, should you find any.

Help! What do I do if I have moths?

If you have moths in your home, you need to act immediately!  Moths will quickly do thousands of dollars of damage to your rug.  A $50,000 rug can easily receive $30,000 worth of damage in no time at all.

Start by vacuuming your house thoroughly. You should vacuum both the top side and back of all of your rugs.  Make sure you vacuum underneath furniture and behind your curtains as well.  Moths love dark undisturbed hiding spots.  Next, take your rugs and place them in an area where they can receive direct sunlight.  Ultraviolet rays are lethal to moth eggs and will work quickly to kill any eggs that are still embedded in your rug.  Remember to expose the backside of your rug to direct sunlight too!

Use canned compressed air (the kind used to dust electronics and computers) to blast out areas where moths nest. This includes under your furniture, in the corners of your closets, behind your curtains, and any other dark and quiet areas.

Finally, the rugs affected by moths need to be professionally sanitized and cleaned.  Obviously Artisan Rug Care can help you with that, but we can also determine the amount of damage done to your rug and what steps should be taken next.  Small areas can often be rewoven at a cost that would be far lower than replacement.  Large areas can be shaved and sheared to minimize how obvious the damage to your rug is.  Call  (469) 387-6777 today to speak with an Artisan Rug Care expert!  We can help

Moths and your Persian and Oriental Rugs

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