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How to Get Rid of Moths in Carpets

How to Get Rid of Moths in Carpets
April 5, 2024

Image credit: Institution:Mississippi Entomological Museum, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Carpet moths can be a nuisance if you do not deal with them. They may seem small and insignificant, but while in their larvae stage, they can cause significant damage to tapestries, rugs, carpets and other soft furnishings.

Carpet moths are also known as Tapestry moths. They are a subspecies in the Tineidae moths, whose larvae feed on fungi, detritus and materials with keratin protein found in animal-based fibres. These carpet moths are common all around the round. If you notice threadbare patches on your rugs, carpets and hide decorations, then you have a moth problem.

The following guide will teach you more about carpet moths, how they end up in your home and develop into carpet moth infestations and how you can get rid of carpet moths efficiently.

How to get rid of carpet moths with natural treatments?

Many efficient methods help you deal with carpet moths naturally. Here are a few of them:

Vacuum regularly to get rid of carpet moths

Vacuuming is perhaps the simplest way to keep your carpet safe from both carpet moths and clothes moths. A good vacuum cleaner can kill carpet moths before they have become a problem by removing their larvae, eggs and even live insects from the crevices. Another step to solve your carpet moth problem is steam cleaning.

The larvae, eggs and adult case-bearing moths tend to die when exposed to high temperatures. A steam cleaner's temperature is well-suited for the task and it leaves your carpet looking fresh and new. This is the best way to remove carpet moths and remove deeply ingrained dirt deep within the fibres.

Vacuuming regularly is a simple form of moth control. You should be doing it at all times, not just when you identify carpet moths and want to take steps to rectify the situation. By vacuuming your carpet, you can reduce the chance of encountering the case-bearing clothes moth in addition to the carpet moth.

Get rid of carpet moths with white vinegar

Prepare a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water. Use it to wipe down drawers, furniture, walls, cabinets and other hard surfaces in the areas where you suspect clothes moths and carpet moths eat clothes. Vinegar is a great natural solution to kill carpet moths thanks to its acidity. Not only does it deter moths but also removes their eggs and any lingering pheromones.

You can spray it on most fabrics, including those with natural fibres. If you want to be sure it's safe, you can test it on a small spot first to see if the colour is affected or if there is any other issue. Apply it with a sponge, a wet rag or by directly spraying it from a spray bottle.

Diatomaceous earth is also an option

Another organic way to deal with the adult carpet moth and clothes moth infestation is by sprinkling diatomaceous earth. It's completely safe for children and pets, but it can kill moths thanks to its contents. You should sprinkle it in the area infested by the common clothes moths, then leave it for a day. It takes some time to work, as moths and larvae need to come into contact with its powdery substance. You then just vacuum the area where the carpet moths tend to move around and you are done.

Set some moth traps

If you are looking for a simple-to-use solution for adult moths, you can try out moth traps. These come in a variety of products and solutions, typically glue strips and adhesive pads. Traps are usually laden with an agent that attracts the moths. It is a form of moth control, which works to attract and disable them before they have had a chance to go for your delicious carpets.

Insecticide sprays

If all else fails, you can go all-out with insecticide sprays. They are fast-acting solutions that can save your natural materials from case-bearing clothes moths and all other kinds of moth infestations. Moth sprays should only be applied to the guidelines on their label. Do not use them for purposes they are not designed for, such as dealing with bed bugs. You need to pay close attention to the product and what it specialises in.

How to identify a carpet moth infestation?

If you want to know for sure that you are dealing with a carpet moth infestation, you need to look for the telltale signs. Threadbare patches on the carpet are very visible evidence of a clothes moth problem. This is especially true if the problem is in a room that you don't use often. You can also notice some signs of carpet moth eggs in dark corners and closets, or beneath furniture.

Other indicators of carpet moths are bald patches on taxidermy, sticky webbing around skirting boards and beneath furniture you may be dealing with insects. The pupa stage leaves white cocoon casings so you can easily notice them. Apart from the white cocoon casings left on the carpet, keep your eyes open for moth activity and dead moths around dark corners, under furniture and in cracks/crevices of any room you don't use often. If you see any, immediately inspect the place for carpet moth eggs and larvae.

You may be interested in reading our guide on how to get rid of carpet beetles.

Here is what you should know about carpet moths

If you wish to get rid of carpet moths, you first need to understand them better. Knowing where to find them, what they eat and their carpet moth larvae will enable you to employ the best carpet moth treatment.

What are carpet moths?

The scientific name of these insects is Trichophaga Tapetzella and they are found all over the world. Carpet moths tend to vary in colour, but can usually be dark brown or creamy white. Carpet moth larvae are resilient to any climate and for this reason, can become a problem no matter where you live.

And while a carpet moth measures only less than an inch in length, they can be a problem. It is worth noting that it is not so much adult carpet moths that you should worry about, but rather their ravenous larvae stage that can cause damage to any household item with kreatin contents. Moth larvae need this substance to grow into adult carpet moths and reproduce.

What is the carpet moth life cycle?

There are four stages in the life cycle of a carpet moth: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The female adult carpet moth lays their eggs in materials rich in keratin, such as tapestries, wool, carpets and other soft furnishings. When the eggs hatch, carpet moth larvae feed intensively until the pupa stage occurs.

When a larva has consumed enough sustenance, they weave a cocoon to protect them as they metamorphose. Once they emerge from their cocoon, adults seek a mate to repeat this cycle. That is why you need to get rid of carpet moths and kill carpet moth larvae before you have a real carpet moth infestation on your hands.

How do carpet moths enter your home?

These insects tend to enter into houses and other buildings in a variety of ways. The simplest explanation is that an adult moth has entered through the window or door to lay eggs inside. It can also be the case that the eggs were unwillingly carried inside.

For example, they can get on a carpet roll that has been left outside during renovation or attached to the underside of furniture. It is important to inspect all thrift stores and secondhand items you bring home for carpet moth infestation.

If you have been keeping any items with natural fibres in a storage unit or a garage for a prolonged period, you should inspect them thoroughly for a carpet moth problem before you bring them back inside.

How to prevent carpet moths?

Experts agree that the easiest and most effective way of preventing issues with carpet moths is to stay on top of your cleaning. Vacuuming the carpet regularly can remove the eggs and larvae of the insects before they become a problem. Additionally, make sure you vacuum underneath heavy furniture and move the items aside now and then to clean the floor there.

Inspect dark closets, wardrobes and enclosed areas for any signs of moth activity. It is best to catch them early than to allow them time to increase their numbers and wreak havoc on the carpets and clothes. Be especially mindful of dark rooms with damp conditions, as those provide the ideal environment for moths. Make sure you fix any kind of leak in a room with a carpet or introduce a dehumidifier to reduce the overall level of moisture in rooms with a lot of natural fabrics.

In Conclusion

Carpet moths can be found all over the world. They can be particularly troublesome for carpets in dark rooms, as their larvae feed on the fibres. The way to remove them is to stay on top of your vacuum cleaning and apply natural products such as vinegar and water, or commercial insecticides when you want to deal with the problem quickly.

If you need help, our steam carpet cleaning can handle the moth larvae and prevent them from destroying your carpets. Give us a call for a free quote today!

FAQs about killing carpet moths and carpet moth larvae

What causes moths in the carpet?

The most common reason for these moths appearing in your home is that they are just looking for a place to lay eggs. Carpeting is an ideal environment for moth eggs and larvae because it is made of natural fibres they can later feed on. Before they move to the pupa stage of their life cycle, carpet moths feed on carpet fibres, bird feathers and animal hair. Another reason for carpet moth and common clothes moth problems is poor cleaning of the rooms.

What is the fastest way to get rid of carpet moths?

Doing a deep clean of the carpet is a good first step in the process. Vacuuming removes the eggs and larvae from the fibres, while steam cleaning can kill off the remaining insects. You can also employ a combination of treatment methods, such as insecticides, vinegar and water solutions, traps, etc.

Will vacuuming get rid of carpet moths?

Vacuuming is a great way to deal with moth eggs and larvae of these insects. It is a nice preventive method, which ensures there will be no adult insects and that your carpets will remain in a clean and fresh condition at all times.

How long do carpet moths last?

The life cycle of these creatures consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The longest one is the larval stage, which can last up to six months. Adult moths, on the other hand, only live for about two to three weeks.

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