What Do I Do If I think Moths are Eating My Rug?

I think I have moths - what do I do?  We hear this numerous times a week from worried clients who either suspect or know definitively that their beloved wool rugs are slowly being devoured by silent moths they didn't even know they had.  If you think you may have moths, there are a number of important steps that you should take, in order of importance:

1.  Isolate the item you suspect has moths from all other wool items.  You want to minimize the possibility the moth infestation will spread to your other wool rugs, furniture, or clothing.

2.  If the rug is smaller, put it in a bag or airtight wrapping until the rug can be thoroughly cleaned.

3.   Sweep then mop the floor with a combination of vinegar and water to ensure that all moth larvae are removed.  We encourage clients to air out the room for a few days as well.   If the infestation is severe, you may have to contact an exterminator.

4.  Arrange to have your rug professionally cleaned.  If you have experience cleaning handmade rugs, you can do this at home yourself.  You just need to take care that the cleaning process is thorough and that you remove all larvae.  Take special care that the rug is completely dry before returning the rug to its place.

Moth damage can be avoided by not putting your rugs in storage, regularly examining rugs that have heavy furniture on top of them, and regular vacuuming.  It is impossible to eliminate the risk of moth infestation entirely, but a few preventative steps can greatly reduce the risk of heartache when a beloved rug is damaged beyond repair.