Have you noticed worn parts of your Oriental or Persian carpet – even though it’s rarely used and hardly anyone every walks upon it?
Your rug may have been a smorgasbord for moths.
Moths and other bugs love wool. Most Persian/Oriental rugs are made of wool fibers so your rug is a veritable feast for hungry insects.
To help you keep moths from your carpet, we’ve put together a short primer of steps you can take to keep bugs from bugging your hand-knotted work of art. Read below.
First, understand that it’s not flying moths that eat your wool; it’s their babies. Adult moths lay their eggs in places where their offspring will find easy pickings when it comes to food and so if they find your wool rug, they lay their eggs in or on your carpet.
Moths and other insects also love to eat the protein found in food and drink spills (which is why some people find moths even in their synthetic carpets). If you have food and drink stains still in your wool carpet, all the better (for the bugs).
So your first defense is a good offense: keep the rug as clean possible. This also means cleaning all food and drink stains as quickly as possible and as thoroughly as possible. And you should vacuum (with suction attachment only; no beater brush) or sweep/brush your carpet at least once a week and you should have your fine Persian or Oriental rug cleaned professionally about every three to five years (sooner, if it sees a lot of traffic).
Moth larvae can stay larvae – and the eating machines that they are – for up to 2.5 years. What’s more, a female can lay between 100 to 150 eggs (which hatch into larvae in just five short days). So if 150 larvae are eating your rug’s wool for 2.5 years, you can see why they can cause so much damage to your valuable Persian or Oriental rug. In fact, these larvae can eat through a pile of wool about the size of a fist in just a matter of weeks.
To ensure that a soon-to-be-mama moth doesn’t choose your rug as the next generation’s breadbasket, do the following:
- Vacuum/brush the rug weekly.
- Have it professionally cleaned regularly.
- Check it for signs of insects and eggs/larvae each week.
- Inspect it for eggs and larvae regularly. Make sure you pick the rug up and look at its underside. Even if it’s underneath the couch, take it out from under the couch and take a look. If you see the tiny white eggs or the larvae, you’ll need to vacuum the rug immediately (this should get most of the larvae off your rug) and spray some made-to-kill-moth-larvae pesticide to kill the remaining larvae.
To ensure pests don’t take up residence when storing a rug:
- Make sure it’s clean (never store a dirty rug).
- Roll it up (never fold it).
- Wrap it in a piece of clear polyethylene and secure the ends with ties, tucking the excess polyethylene into the rug. Plastic polyethylene is a good protector against moths. (You shouldn’t need to worry about mold mildew unless the polyethylene gets wet, so inspect the stored rug regularly.)
- Store the rug by laying it on a table (never on the floor) in a climate-controlled room. Never store it standing up.
For more information on keeping your rug free from insects, contact the Persian Rug Cleaner of Dallas. Give us a call at 972-447-9600.
CSIRO [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons