Flying Pests Eat More Than Just Clothes
A past article covered the subject of carpet beetles (Anthrenus verbasci). Unfortunately, beetles aren’t the only type of pest that’s inclined to damage your carpet. Another insect that is sometimes more damaging is the carpet moth (Tricophaga tapetzella, also called the tapestry moth). A strong infestation of these creatures can be challenging to remove, but with the help of Preferred Carpet Care and a trusty exterminator, you can make sure these pests don’t have a chance to damage your décor.
Common Variations of Carpet Moths
Adult carpet moths are small, typically half an inch long, and beige in color. Their wings are narrow and have small hairs at the end. Other types of this moth include the clothing moths, brown house moths, and white-shouldered moths. Although the common clothes moth is the most prevalent type in the US, any one of these variations will damage carpet. They have a strong sense of smell and seek out natural fibers from things like wool, silk and fur. Their larvae are about half the size of adults, can live as larva for up to 3 years, and feed on a natural protein called keratin. The larvae are sometimes found traveling to an undisturbed food source, usually in dark corners of closets or behind furniture, but you might also discover them on walls near one of their food sources. And many parts of a carpet are in dark places — underneath furniture, behind furniture, and in closet spaces.
Fiber-eating moths look much like grain moths, which conversely aim for food in pantries and kitchens. As a result, many people get frustrated when their extermination efforts focused in those areas don’t seem to work. The main difference between grain moths and carpet moths is that carpet moths avoid light. They prefer dark, undisturbed areas. That means if you see several of them throughout the day, you likely have a sizable infestation, because many more are in hiding.
Exterminating Carpet Moths
Before getting rid of the infestation, gauge how big it is. Look for signs like small holes or frayed edges on carpets or area rugs. A white, web-like material is often left behind a feeding site in your carpet pile or underneath the backing. Use a moth trap to see how many are caught, but keep in mind the traps only catch adult males. Traps still help to cut down the breeding population, but any females with fertile eggs leftover will still create considerable damage. Also, since grain moths and carpet moths are attracted to different scents and pheromones, it’s important to make sure you get the right kind of trap.
A regular routine of vacuum cleaning helps to keep down an infestation, but these moths like to live in places that seldom see a vacuum — if at all. Make sure to address closet floors, and move furniture around so you can clean behind and underneath their positions. Don’t forget to wash pillows and bedspreads, and lift up cushions to vacuum hidden food sources. Make sure to clean up any spills, so they cannot use it as a food source. Also, turning down your thermostat lowers their life cycle and makes them less active.
Get Experts On Your Side
With over fifty years of experience, Preferred Carpet Care has seen our fair share of these pests, and we know effective ways of removing carpet moths from your home. We use our hot water extraction equipment and solvents to get into every corner of your carpet so moths and larvae have no place to hide. If your moth population is heavy or keeps returning, we can also refer you to qualified pest exterminators.
Whether carpet moths are bugging you or about six months have passed since your professional carpet cleaning, Preferred Carpet Care in Redding offers reliable, thorough service — all of which are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC). Please call us today to schedule an appointment, or use our online form.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On August 12, 2021