How to Store Your Rug to Avoid Moth Damage

A rug damaged by mothsHow to Store Your Rug to Avoid Moth Damage

So you’ve decided to store your heirloom rug. Moths are one of the biggest threats to the integrity of fine Oriental rugs in storage. They love dark spaces and dirty rugs. That’s why its essential to store your fine Oriental rug properly.

An improperly stored rug can become a breeding ground for hungry and destructive moths. There are a few tips you should follow if you are preparing to store your precious rug. Choosing not to follow these tips can result in a damaged rug that needs costly repairs or even the complete destruction of your rug.Destructive Rug Eating Moth

The first thing you’ll want to do is have your rug cleaned professionally. This ensures that no tasty tidbits of dirt remain to entice moths.

Next, make sure to store your rug in a dry, climate controlled space. Once you have selected a spot to store your rug(s), thoroughly clean the space. Sweep, vacuum, and if you have access to a leaf blower, blast the area, especially nooks and crannies where moths may be hiding. Moths love dark, quiet areas.

Once your rug and the storage area are clean, you’re ready to store your rug. Use a bed sheet or muslin to wrap your rug completely so that no moths can get in and damage the rug. Why wrap it in bed sheets and cotton fabrics? The wool, silk, and cotton need oxygen in order to survive. Never wrap your rug in plastic or paper. Moths eat paper.

You will probably want to wrap your rug around a cardboard cylinder so that it has no trouble standing up if it’s stored in a small space. It is always a good idea to store rugs in a roll elevated from the floor.

Finally, don’t forget about your rug! Check the storage area frequently for dust and debris that can attract moths, mice, squirrels, and termites. The oils and protein in your rug fibers make a nutritious meal for these pests.

Next, inspect your rug and its covering for dampness. If your covering has become damp, remove it immediately and find a new cover for the rug. If you’re vigilant about checking your storage area, it’s likely that a damp rug covering will not have had time to dampen and damage your rug.

If you want to be extra safe, install a few moth traps around your rug in its storage area as a preventative measure. We highly recommend a rug in storage be opened outside every two to three years for direct sunlight to penetrate both the front and back sides of your rug. Vacuuming at this time improves longevity as well.

And there you have it! Everything you should do to store your rug and prevent moth damage.

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.

Moth issue on rugs: casemaking moth & webbing moth
2 types of moths: casemaking moth and webbing moth

How and Why 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 Discover Moths 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.

Moth traps to indicate moth presence in your home
A 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 damage to your rugs, you may consider keeping a moth trap in your home throughout the year.

Antique Persian Rug with 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. Moths 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 | Behnam Oriental Rugs | Dallas Fort Worth
The professionals at Behnam Rugs will wash & sanitize your rug the natural way and 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.

How Did So Many Moths Get Into My Rug?

Last Updated: 5 June 2017

Why Are There So Many Moths in My Home?

Every four to six months, 30 to 200 eggs can be laid by a single moth! Each new moth is then able to lay 30 to 200 more eggs. These eggs are very tiny and, in some cases, can even blend into their surroundings. It only takes four to ten days for moths to hatch and start consuming wool, fabric, and clothing. These larvae consume little by little, but they can easily spread throughout the house, multiplying year round due to climate controlled homes. Although they are hard to see, moth larvae can go from consuming little areas to big patches after hatching.


moth larvae living in a rug
Moth larvae living in a rug. Their paradise is your nightmare!


How Do I Get Rid of These Moths?

Now that you know how the moths got in your rug, you’re probably wondering how you can get them out. Let our rug specialists remove moths from your rugs using our washing facility- right here in North Dallas. Each rug gets a full hand washing with clear water, organic shampoo, and organic conditioner. Our wash is made specifically for the natural fibers in fine Persian rugs. We wash each rug one by one on a flat surface, scrubbing front and back with active live bacteria enzyme. This kills and removes contaminants, like moths! Don’t wait for moths to come around before you take your rug in for a wash, though. Rugs should be washed at least every three to five years. Not only will your rug be beautiful, but you’ll be preventing moths just by keeping your rug clean.


While your rugs are gone, we suggest fully disturbing every area in your home by wiping down surfaces, under couches, tables, chairs, and circulating air in any secluded rarely walked in rooms.

This will help stop the cycles and encourage the moths to find a new home.

Did I Just See a Moth on MY Persian Rug?

Last Updated: 7 June 2017

A Dirty Rug is a Yummy Rug! (For Moths)

Dust and dirt are important to remove off of your rugs for a few reasons. Obviously, you want to live in a clean home, and part of a clean home is a clean rug. There are some less obvious reasons, though. Did you know that dust and dirt have tiny, sharp edges that work against the pile of your rug? What exactly does that mean? It means that the fibers of your rug are being stressed and they’ll wear out faster than normal. Another huge reason to keep your rugs clean? Moths. The dirtier your rug is, the more appetizing it is for a moth.

The photos below might just look like dusty or dirty rugs, but look a little closer. That’s a huge patch of moth damage- not dirt!

Moth activity on a Persian rug
Moth activity on a Persian rug.


is your persian rug dirty or does it have moth damage
Dusty rug? Think again! Those are moths.

Does this sound familiar? Do these photos look familiar? Don’t freak out! It’s not the end of the world.

My Rug Looks Like That! Help!

There are sanitation and restoration options for you. That’s right- your rug can be cleaned and repaired. Take a deep breath and read on.

First and foremost, you’ll want to take your rugs out of your home. They need to be washed by a professional. Behnam Rugs offers free pick up and delivery within the DFW area. Give us a call and we’ll pick your rug up for cleaning for you.

What’s going to happen to your rugs? They’re going to be washed and sanitized. Not only will your rug look clean, but it’ll be clean too. No more moths in your favorite rug’s fibers! While your rugs are being cleaned, we ask that you clean the rest of your home, too. It would be horrible to have your rug cleaned and repaired just to have it be re-infested.

Will My Rug Ever Be the Same?

You’re probably wondering something big- “Will my rug ever be the same again?” At Behnam Rugs, we’ll do our best to make sure every rug goes back to its owner looking as good as new. We know you love your rug. We love your rug, too! That’s why we only use methods we’d trust with our own rugs. Your rug will be cleaned the traditional, natural way. The last thing a moth infested rug needs is to be made weaker by harsh chemical washes. We will use our organic wash to bring your rug back to its original beauty.

Take a look! This is the same rug that you saw earlier in this post. That’s the magic of Behnam Rugs!

A moth damage rug after being washed and restored.
A moth damage rug after being washed and restored.


Restored Moth Damage Rug
Can you believe this rug used to have huge sections of moth damage?