What’s eating your rug?
The common clothes moth is more likely to be found eating your wool carpet than your wool clothes. People often think they are two separate moths but the reality is that they are the same. As a rug cleaning specialist this is the number one problem I have to deal with.
How can you tell?
The video explains in more detail how to recognise the signs of a moth infestation. But simple things like checking the underside of your rug is a must for early diagnosis.
Flip your rug over and have a good look. if you can see a mass of matted ” spiderweb” like threads then you know you need to take action.
This is a very early stage and the eggs may not have hatched yet, best course of action would be to vacuum the back of the rug and or contact a rug care specialist.
Another indicator that you may have an issue will be small white cacoons that will be evident on the surface of the carpet. This is the next stage in the cycle between larvae and adult moth. Another place to spot these is between the skirting boards and and the edges around your room.
The simplest and easiest way to control carpet moth is to vacuum on a regular basis. Moving furniture, such as chairs sofas and tables will disturb and disrupt them. Vacuuming around the edges of your fitted carpets is also vital. Another place they love to lay their eggs is behind the television.
Females lay eggs in batches of 30 up to 200 at a time, the eggs adhere to the fibres of the carpet via a gelatin like glue they also spin mat like webs that are evident underneath the rug. The eggs then hatch between 4 and 10 days later.
Virtually invisible they begin to feed immediately and they continue to eat and develop from between 1 month and 2 years until they reach the pupal stage.
At this point they will spin a cocoon and spend another 10 to 50 days developing into Adults. By this time the damage has already been done.
The Adult Carpet moth
The adult moth has only one purpose once it emerges from the cacoon and that is basically to reproduce. Not all adults fly and many prefer scuttling across surfaces rather than flying. Adults livefor an additional 15 to 30 days although males will die shortly after mating and females after laying their eggs.
The life cycle can be completed in one month when conditions are at there optimum,with temperatures of around 24 degrees and in relative humidity.
Low temperatures can slow the process dramitically taking several years for the process to develop from egg to adult.
The advent of central heating and good insulation mean that the moth will happily carry on breeding all year round.
Larvae will hatch and develop in temperatures from 10 to 33 degrees Celsius. The cycle from egg through to egg takes about 4 to 6 months with two generations a year.
So from just one female moth laying a single batch of eggs, could potentially mean that you may well have between 2700 to 120000 hungry moths eating your treasured rug. In just Under 3 years
This is why the lavea is considered a serious pest and needs to be dealt with.
Andrew The Rug Man
Question: How often should I have my rug cleaned?
Answer: On a regular basis regardless of the visual appearance.
There are 3 main reasons to clean carpets and especially hand woven or hand knotted rugs.
1: Appearance, the main consideration when buying a Persian, Oriental or Turkish hand woven rug is the beauty that they bring with them.
The vibrant colours and intricate designs and patterns can be lost in the dust and debris that collect over time and the colours lose their vibrancy when smothered by dust.
2: Health, both your own and that of the rug. Like fitted carpets your rug will collect and hold onto the dust that filters through the air and settles on to the surface of your rug.
Over time this damaging debris including skin cells will be compacted deep within the fibre and simply vacuuming will not get it out. This will not only dull the colours but will act like an abrasive and cause premature wear, it also will become a good place for bugs to live and feed.
Like all filters the rug will reach saturation point and dust from the surface will easily become airborne as you walk over it or as heavier items are placed or dropped on it.
As the dust comes up from the rug back into the air, you will inadvertently breathe it in causing irritation.
3: Value, people buy and love rugs for many reasons and not always for the monetary value they can hold. Many rugs we deal with have a value much more precious to the owner than money.
Sentimental value is a major consideration, it can be a family heirloom or a present from a special person or even a memory from a trip or honeymoon.
So by having a regular cleaning cycle we can preserve and in a monetary situation increase the value of the rug.
If you keep animals, dogs or cats then a regular cleaning should take place at least once every 18 months to 24 months but preferably every 12 months.
Spills spots and accidents
Life is full of little accidents and should you find yourself in a position where you need to deal with a spillage spot or accident then first thing is not to panic!!
Blot up what you can with kitchen roll then use cold water to wet the area and blot that area.
A good professional rug cleaning company such as the Cambridge Rug Cleaning Company will provide you with an appropriate spotter to help with most of these small spots and small marks.
If you have a more serious spillage for example a red wine or tea or coffee stain then you can follow the above advice but they will need cleaning out of the rug before becoming a permanent problem.
If you have a body fluid issue then you will immediately need to call an experienced rug cleaning company. Urine needs to be washed out from the rug; once the stain begins to yellow often the problem becomes permanent.
Some people view rugs in the same manner as carpet, this can be a fatal mistake for rugs for the following reason.
Wool as a fibre is very efficient at collecting and holding on to dust and debris.
Given that a good quality rug will contain between 400 up to 2000 knots per square inch compared to a high quality wool fitted carpet which will contain around 180 to 260 tufts per square inch, the ability a rug has to trap and hold more dirt is far greater.
I recommend that deep cleaning a rug should be carried out professionally between every 18 months and two years to keep it looking fresh and clean.
Thanks for reading
The rug man