Most people aren’t aware of the damage and destruction moths can do to their area rugs. Moths can cause extensive damage to your area rugs by attacking the pile, fringes, and the knots of the back of the area rug. The first step in protecting your area rugs against moths is to educate yourself about moths. Moths are picky little pests that eat animal fibers such as wool, silk, cashmere, angora or fur, or any other materials that contain keratin. However, they only eat animal fibers that are idle and undisturbed. What do we mean by that? Take, for example, the portion of an area rug that lies under a bed or sits under a couch. Those areas rarely see any disturbances like foot traffic or vacuuming. Even an area rug that is placed in the closet, attic or storage. These area rugs would be ideal candidates for moths since they are idle; they are not being disturbed. Moths have a way of knowing which fibers are idle and when they find a suitable location, they lay their eggs.
Flying moths do not eat your area rugs, but their eggs hatch into larvae that consume fibers like wool, fur, feather and silk fibers. Moths and their larvae thrive in dark, undisturbed areas. A bad moth infestation will sometimes leave a cobweb-like blanket in the area of the damage. You may also notice a fine, sand like debris.
Moth damage can be prevented by regularly vacuuming your area rugs and frequent rotation of area rugs. We highly recommend vacuuming every portion of both sides of your area rugs every three to six months. Unless moths have already laid eggs somewhere else in the home, this method of disturbing the wool regularly will fully protect your rugs from moths. If you are worried that moths may be in your home, the best way to find out would be to check the edges of your area rugs as well as areas under furniture. If possible, check the back of the rug too. If your area rug is rarely used, you can safeguard against these little pests by spraying the front and back of your area rug every six months with a moth deterrent insecticide.If you see areas that are missing wool but the cotton foundation remains, it is likely that you either have moths or have had them in the past.