Tips For Mothproofing Carpets

Mar 7, 2021

The damage caused by moth and beetle infestations can be excessive so it’s vital to know how to prevent this happening and how to deal with it if it happens. Our tips for mothproofing carpets include what steps you need to take and which of our carpets offer moth resistance.

Our customers often ask about whether we can fit moth-proof, or moth-resistant carpets.  The answer is yes, but it’s important to be aware that different carpets offer different levels of mothproofing.

No product containing wool can be totally ‘proofed’ against insect damage. They are usually classed in two ways, either moth ‘resistant” and moth ‘proof’. However, moth proof carpets have an insect-resisting agent which is present in sufficient quantity to deter moth and beetle larvae from ingesting the fibre. 

If you are looking for a carpet which is either mothproof or moth resistant it’s best to check with Craig if you’re unsure or need advice.

What are carpet moths?

If you haven’t had your carpets mothproofed, carpet moths, also known as clothes moths, can be a troublesome pest in the UK. Trichophaga tapetzella, as they are officially known, live on keratin which is the protein found in skin, hair and nails.

Lifecycle of a carpet moth, illustrated in black and white showing the adult, eggs, larva and cocoon.
Photo used with kind permission from Bohar Profix

Closely related to the carpet moth, is the carpet beetle, again feeding on wool, fur, silk, leather and feathers. Whilst the carpet beetles generally live outside, they will choose to lay their eggs somewhere warm with an abundance of food for the larvae to thrive – carpets and rugs being the obvious choice.

Where do you find carpet moths?

Carpet moths thrive by consuming natural fibres found in carpets, clothes and home furnishings, but can be partial to man-made fibres too. Carpet edges near heavy furniture, skirting boards, radiators and pipework are common areas for infestation. Here the larvae will find plenty of hair and skin fibres, as these areas are harder to keep clean with a hoover. These locations will also fulfil their need for dark and warmth.

How do carpet moths get in your house?

These pests can enter your home by flying in, or in egg form on clothes, old furniture, the bottom of shoes or pet feet. 

How do you know you have carpet moths?

You will know that you have carpet moths when you notice holes, reduced pile, and threadbare patches on your carpets. You should also check the underside of rugs as these are not generally hoovered like the top, so carpet moth and beetle larvae can eat and grow undisturbed.

Carpet moth larvae shells on a beige carpet

Although the eggs and larvae are tiny, you may notice crawling grubs, their redundant cocoons, faeces, or even the adult moths and beetles on nearby window sills.

You may also see them on threadbare areas of carpet where they look like tiny grains of rice. This photo was kindly provided by Terminate Pest Control of Brighton.

Mothproofing tips

Mothproofing your carpets should be a two-step process, firstly making sure you are doing everything you can to prevent them thriving, and then treating the problem if they are still causing damage.

9 Tips for preventing carpet moth damage

  1. Regularly hoover carpets right up to the edges using a small nozzle. You may even find using a damp cloth first helps to remove debris away from the edges around radiators, stairs, and skirting boards.
  2. Move furniture out from its usual spots so that you can hoover behind and right in the crevices caused by the weight of the furniture.
  3. Empty your hoover bag and/or clean out cylinders and filters regularly.
  4. Check the underside of rugs for signs of carpet moths, beetles, eggs, and larvae.
  5. Check wardrobes, clothes, and home furnishings for signs of infestation. You may find that mothproofing your carpets extends to more than just carpets.
  6. Wash stored clothes and home furnishings regularly. Rugs and throws can also be given a good shake or beating outside.
  7. Keep your home well-lit and ventilated as much as possible.
  8. Regularly dust your home, especially with a wet cloth as it tends to stop dust from spreading.
  9. Consider natural repellents such as lavender, lemon, or cedarwood scents to keep your clothes and carpets mothproofed.

4 Tips for dealing with a carpet moth infestation

  1. You may like to try a moth catcher which attracts the male moths with a female pheromone to prevent the breeding life cycle.
  2. You could try moth tape or mothballs.
  3. You can also get a variety of chemical sprays and powders to help mothproof your carpets. These may need repeated treatments until the problem is completely eradicated.
  4. However, the best way to mothproof your existing carpets is to seek professional advice and removal from a pest control company that specialises in mothproofing carpets, such as Eradipest who are based in Chichester.

Do Carpet Moths Eat Manmade Carpets?

Although carpet moths prefer natural carpets, such as those made of wool, they can attack all kinds of carpets including those containing man-made fibres. Nylon and polypropylene carpets might offer a less tasty diet for moths but synthetic fibres are still ideal for nesting and hiding their eggs. The larvae will then eat the dirt which collects in these carpets, particularly if it’s particles of skin and hair as they contain the keratin which is the protein that they thrive on.

Our Moth Resistant Carpets

We supply and fit a wide choice of moth resistant carpets.  One of our suppliers, Cormar Carpets, offers a range of natural wool carpets which are moth resistant.  Their yarn is treated with a special coating which is designed to last for the lifetime of the carpet.

Living room with sofa, open fire, tables and occasional chair with a grey malabar tungsten moth resistant carpet
The Malabar Tungsten from Cormar Carpets is moth resistant

Only carpet manufacturers who dye their own wool and treat their own yarn for moths can state that the carpet is moth proof.  Most heather blends and berber-effect ranges, regardless of manufacturer, are not usually guaranteed to have been treated because they aren’t dyed or treated in-house.

Sargeant Mothproof Carpets

We have a range of suppliers who offer moth proof wool ranges, including Adam Carpets, Westex Carpets, Penthouse Carpets and Ulster Carpets.

Advice on mothproofing carpets

If you have any questions about mothproofing carpets, or would like to find out more about the Sargeant Carpets products which will reduce the likelihood of carpet damage, then contact Craig Sargeant.  You can email him using sales@sargeantcarpets.co.uk or send him a WhatsApp message on 07789 172303.

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