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 it’s 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.
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 pests.
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 insects 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.