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The main reason for regular rug cleaning and maintenance is to keep area rugs looking great for years to come. Unfortunately, many lovely rugs are brought in to be professionally cleaned and repaired after damage is already done. Moth proliferation is an example of how, in a relatively short time, your area rug can sustain severe damage.
Moths, notorious for destroying clothing, also damage area rugs. The adult moths are not the ones causing the destruction. Rather, the larvae are the culprits that devour fabric, including rug fibers, in order to grow. They eat fur, feathers, and hair but are also quite partial to wool and silk. It takes up to 2.5 years for moth larvae to reach adulthood. During this time, they destroy clothing, carpets, and area rugs by voraciously consuming the fibers.
When inspecting your area rug, pay close attention to check for bald spots in the pile. Delicate moth netting covering part of the rug’s surface can usually be seen in severe infestations. Another tell tale sign indicating moth larvae damage is the presence of their grainy, light to dark brown excrement in the pile of the rug. You may actually spot the larvae, which are vermicular, white in color and smaller than half an inch in length, or you may spot the adult clothes moth. The adult moth is small, less than half an inch long and is beige or light brown in color. Of course, if you spot any of these in your home, inspect your closets and area rugs to find the origin of infestation and to make sure your possessions are salvageable.
Preventing moth larvae infestation by keeping rugs clean is the best and easiest method of protecting your area rug. However, if you already have an infestation, the best thing is to call your local rug cleaners, and schedule a pick up as soon as possible. Some professional rug cleaners provide repair services for moth damaged area rugs.
If there are other area rugs in your home, have them all cleaned to make sure they are not infested as well. Moreover, once the rugs are picked up, vacuum the areas where the rugs were placed. Also, inspect other items like wool clothes and bedding to see if they are damaged. If you have a severe and extensive infestation throughout the home, you may want to call a safe pest control service provider.
Moths and their larvae like dark places with little traffic, such as closets and other undisturbed areas. They are also attracted to rugs and clothes that have organic matter residues such as food and drink spills, human sweat, and pet dander. In fact, the best and most effective method to preventing moth infestations in your home is to immediately clean any and all pet accidents and food spills.
Rugs that are not vacuumed or cleaned regularly are particularly prone to damage from moth infestations. However, preventing this type of damage is easier than repairing it. In fact, regularly vacuuming an area rug, both front and back, will avert infestations and will actually remove moth larvae that are already present. Scheduled professional rug cleaning further deters infestations and helps protect against moth damage. Moreover, professional rug cleaners can apply a moth repellent that would help protect your rug from moth damage between deep cleaning appointments.