Preventing and Fighting Moths Living in Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Preventing and Fighting Moths Living in Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Moths will eat anything, and your rug is no exception. Moths are one of the worst enemies of any fine rug, especially older and antique rugs. You should be especially aware of the cloth moth, as this is the type of moth that would love to feast on your priceless heirloom.

persian rug lovers: the casemaking moth and the webbing moth
Two different types of cloth moth to watch out for in your Persian Rug: the casemaking moth and the webbing moth.

Why Are Moths in My Home? How Did Moths Make Their Way into My Home?

You might think that your house is moth free and your rugs are safe and sound, but moths are always looking for ways to enter your home. Moths can enter your home easily and be undetected as they do so. Mail, pets, open doors, and moving items in and out of warehouses and storage are just some of the ways that moths can enter your home. To moths, your home is a paradise. It provides shelter from predators, an excellent source of food, and many nesting spots. Once moths enter your home, they can lay anywhere from 30 to 200 eggs per month. Those eggs will eventually grow up to become adult moths, and they will also lay 30 to 200 more eggs every month. A moth problem can easily become a moth disaster for your rugs and the rest of your home.

How to Indicate Moth Presence in Your Home

As we enter moth season, it is important to take some time to check your home for moths. Frequent moth checks are the best way to prevent a large moth damage problem from taking over your home, and checking for moths is simple. One of the easiest methods to indicate whether or not your home has moths is by using a moth trap. Make sure the trap you are using is for cloth moths and not another type of moth.

cloth moth trap to indicate moth presence in your home
A cloth moth pheromone trap will help you indicate whether or not you have moths in your home.

These traps work by emitting a pheromone which attracts male moths into the sticky bottom layer. The male moths are trapped and prevented from reproducing. Do 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.

How to Prevent Moths If Your Home is Moth Free

If your home is moth free, it is important to make sure that your home stays that way. The best way to prevent moth infestations is to constantly be monitoring. Moths can enter your home with no warning. A harmless box from a warehouse could actually be carrying eggs.

Moths reproduce at a rapid rate, and they eat and damage your belongings at a rapid rate, too! To prevent moths from doing thousands of damage to your rugs, you may consider keeping a moth trap in your home throughout the year.

fine handmade persian rug with extensive moth damage
A fine handmade rug can take a lot of damage from moths in just a short amount of time.

Many fine rugs are made of natural fibers, such as wool, which over time lose their natural oily properties and become drier, making them easier for moths to eat than a new rug. Although you can do nothing about the age of your rug, you can prevent your antique rug from becoming a moth’s next meal by regularly cleaning it. A clean rug will not be nearly as appetizing.

You should also regularly vacuum your rugs- and not just the visible areas. Moth eggs love to hide in dark, damp, and quiet spaces with little to no air circulation. This means that areas under your china cabinet, your sofa, and even the underside of your rug are all the perfect spots for eggs to grow. Be proactive and clean these areas regularly. You should also rotate your rug at least once a year. On top of preventing moth growth, rotating your rug will also help in distributing the amount of traffic your rug receives on different areas.

If you are taking an extended vacation, make sure that your rugs are stored properly. Make sure your home is dry and has proper air movement during your time away. When you return, make sure to vacuum and clean your home thoroughly. Your time away is the perfect time for moths to play.

Remember, proper rug protection is one of your responsibilities as a rug owner. When you put in the extra time to keep your rug in good shape now, you are actually saving yourself from weeks to months (sometimes even years!) of headache in the future.

How to Remove Moths If Your Home Has Moths

If you have moths in your home, you should act immediately. Rugs can easily do thousands of dollars of damage to your rug. A $50,000 rug can easily receive $30,000 worth of damage.

First, vacuum your house thoroughly. You will want to vacuum both the front and back of all of your rugs. Make sure you vacuum areas underneath furniture and behind your curtains as well. Take your rugs and place them in an area where they can receive direct sunlight. The ultraviolet rays will work quickly to kill any eggs that are still hiding in your rug. Don’t forget- the backside of your rug needs to be placed in direct sunlight, too.

If you have access to a leaf blower, use one to blast air in 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.

Your next step will be to sanitize and wash your rug- bring your rug in for a professional cleaning. At Behnam Rugs, we can 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.

natural cleaning methods kill moths not rugs
The professionals at Behnam Rugs will sanitize your rug the natural way. Kill moths without damaging your rug.

Even if the foundation of your rug has been damaged by moths, there are still options. Behnam Rugs can permanently dye your rug to minimize how obvious any damage is. The moth damaged areas will be hidden by the dye.

In severe situations, your rug may require a large amount of reweaving. Reweaving is generally a more expensive repair option, and the cost can be very high when reweaving is required on a larger area. In these situations, your rug may need to be sent to a country such as Turkey or Iran for the reweaving job to be completed. This process can be time consuming and costly. Remember to constantly check your home for moths in order to prevent this sort of hassle.

Can I Chemically Treat My Rug?

Behnam Rugs does not recommend chemically treating your rug, be it for moth proofing or moth extermination. Harsh chemicals can damage your rug, and they can also hurt you. Your rug lives with you, whether it is on your floor, your wall, or your stairs. You and your family constantly interact with your rugs. Behnam Rugs prefers natural prevention methods and restoration methods.

More Questions?

If you have any further questions on moths and how they can affect your rugs, please feel free to call Behnam Rugs at 972-733-0400 or visit us during our store hours. Behnam Rugs has over 39 years of experience with rugs and rug repairs, and our rug experts would love to help you.