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How to get rid of carpet moths

Mark Lucas by Mark Lucas

If you’ve noticed balding patches in your carpet, particularly around the edges of the room, it might be an indication of carpet moths. An infestation of carpet moths in your home can feel upsetting and invasive. But with a little know-how and patience, you’ll have your home feeling fresh again.

Before attempting any kind of cleaning, you should consult your carpet care guide. Different materials and carpet types react in different ways so it’s important to check the following methods are appropriate and won’t damage your flooring.

What are carpet moths?
Carpet moths usually live outside in birds’ nests or on animal fur or skin and because of their pale colour, often go unnoticed. Once inside, they breed up to 6 times as quickly, so once you spot an infestation, acting quickly is important. When hatched, they look like grains of white rice.

Getting rid of carpet moths
Firstly, thoroughly vacuum the area, and empty your vacuum cleaner into a closed container such as a bin bag to get rid of any moths or larvae. If you have a bagged vacuum cleaner, you’ll need to bin your bag to prevent further contamination.

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There are a number of products on the market to fumigate your home, including natural options. For severe infestations, chemical options are preferable. These products will include full instructions which you should follow carefully, but they generally involve removing furniture and people from the home, applying the product and then opening all windows and doors and waiting a few hours.

Moth powder and other pesticides can treat individually infested areas. Again, carefully read the instructions and keep children safely out of the way. Other products are available, such as sticky pads which give off pheromones to attract the male moths.

Contrary to their name, carpet moths don’t just favour carpets – be mindful of other soft furnishings such as curtains and sofas, and move large pieces of furniture as they can squeeze underneath. Make sure when you’re following the above advice you include these other soft furnishings in the treatment.

Carpet moths are tricky to get rid of, so you may find you have to repeat the above processes a few times over a number of days or weeks. Don’t cut corners: rushing things risks a further infestation.

What to do next
Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may find you are able to salvage your carpet. But if you are left with large bald patches or staining from pest products, you might find you’d prefer to replace your carpet entirely. Your local Hillarys carpet specialist will be able to help you make the right choice for your home.

Preventing a further infestation
As with anything, prevention is better than cure. Carpet moths are stubborn creatures to get rid of once they have ventured indoors, and one easy way to keep them at bay is to vacuum regularly and thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the edges of rooms, as well as dark corners, as this is prime position for larvae.

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