What you need to know about Moths, Bugs and Rugs

What you need to know about Moths, Bugs and Rugs

It may be hard to believe but wool rugs are made to last hundreds of years and in today’s industry a rug isn’t considered an “antique” unless it was created before 1900. When your wool rugs are properly cared for they will last a lifetime.

What happens to your wool carpets lifespan when it is introduced to the wrong conditions and bugs? It’s lifespan is cut severely short, sometimes down to under a single year. Carpet beetles, moths, other bugs can eat way your carpet fibers in a matter of months.

When you store your rugs make sure they are clean and have gone through protective treatments before going into your storage unit, closet, or any place. When your rugs are in storage and don’t have the proper protection a ton of damage is going to occur. Bugs love dark, undisturbed places and unclean rugs contain the right contaminants to attracted unwanted them.

Have you already places your rugs in storage? If you didn’t clean and protect them get them out of storage and have them cared for as soon as possible!


In your home, any rugs that are under large furniture are at risk. Moths and carpet beetles find it easy to eat the rug under a sofa that is rarely moved or vacuumed under. Most damage here will be found underneath the rug on the back side. Any damage sustained on the top side will be easy to spot.

Your wool fibers will be devoured by emerging moth larvae that thrive in the dark and undisturbed areas. In some cases you will find that your rug has visible bald spots. This is where the bugs have eaten away all of the wool and only the cotton foundation remains.

Before the cotton foundation is exposed, you will see moth casings in the stage before the larvae hatches. These cases like sticky webbing, and sometimes small cocoons, depending on the type of bugs.

When an infestation starts you will notice a sticky like lint and webbing. You can save your rug if you have it treated by a pest specialist and cleaned by a rug specialist.

You may thing that only bugs that eat wool will damage your rugs, but you would be wrong. Silverfish, termites, and other bugs can eat wool if there is some type of contaminant that was spilled on the fiber that they find appealing. Think of wool as the dish that their meal is placed on, and it gets eaten in the process. Cleaning up spills and other messes as soon as possible can help prevent the fibers from soaking up the contaminants.

Bugs love dirty rugs. That is why the industry recommends that you have your rugs cleaned every 1-3 years. The timing really depends on the quality of the fibers, the amount of traffic, and how often you vacuum.

For pet owners we recommend that you have your rugs cleaned every year. Moths love to eat wool fibers soaked in urine. Have you ever heard the expression “like a moth to a flame”? Pet urine works the same way as the flame.  When you are quick to clean up your pets accidents you are lessening the risk. You can also have a fiber protector applied for further protection.

Looking for more tips on how to extend the life of your rugs? Check out our blog on rug care tips! CLICK HERE 

Having a routine in place for your rug care can greatly decrease the risk of damage from moths and other bugs. A good routine will keep your investments in great condition for your generation and the next.

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