Five Ways to Protect Your Oriental Rug from Moth Damage


A good quality Oriental rug (what hand knotted rugs are often called) can last for generations.  It can withstand decades, even centuries, of wear and tear.  But even the best quality wool rug can be vulnerable to the mighty moth.  We are often asked what can be done to protect a wool rug from moth damage.  The answer is fairly straightforward, and can help ensure your new rug will one day be an antique, and your antique rug can see another few generations:

1.  Do not store your rugs for an extended period of time.  Most of the moth damage that we see occurs when a rug is kept in storage for months and even years.  This is because moths thrive in dark enclosed spaces where there is little air circulation.  Whenever possible, it is best to use your rug and not keep it in storage for an extended time.  If you absolutely must store your rug, be sure to have it professionally cleaned before storing it as moths are attracted to dust and dirt.  

2.  Regularly inspect your rugs for signs of moths or moth damage.  This does not have to be an onerous process - spending just a few minutes every few months or so can go a long way to preventing moth damage.  Be sure to take special care in checking the areas of the rug that are hidden from plain sight, such as those areas beneath heavy furniture such as sofas or beds.

3.  Clean your rug regularly.  This is best done with a regular home vacuuming schedule.  In addition, a regular professional cleaning will extend the life of the rug as well.  Professional cleaning only has to be done every two years or so - more often if the rug is in a highly trafficked area; less often if the rug is in a less trafficked area and if no shoes are worn in the home.

4.  If you spot signs of moths or moth infestation of other items in your home, have your rug inspected and cleaned as soon as possible.  This is to prevent any damage from occurring or ensuring that moths do not have a chance to cause severe damage.  The home should be cleared of any infestation before returning the rugs to their original place.

5.  Check all wool items for signs of moth infestation before bringing them into your home.  This is true of newly purchased rugs, woolen blankets or other textiles.  Moths will spread where they are allowed to spread so taking care not to bring them into your home is important.  If you purchase a "new" vintage rug, be sure that it has been professionally cleaned before placing it in your home.