Any carpet cleaners will tell you that as bad as fleas in the carpet area, carpet moths are worse because they damage the fibres. Or rather, it is their larvae that do all the damage, munching their way through those tasty, natural fibres until they finally encase themselves in a cocoon and turn into a moth. Then of course, the cycle starts all over again. One carpet moth can lay up to 150 eggs and these will hatch into tiny and very hungry caterpillars within 5 days.
So how can you tell if that moth fluttering around inside is a carpet moth? The adult carpet moth is beige or brown in colour and has a small wingspan of 14-18ml. It is wise to get rid of any moth that is inside – or at least catch it and let it go outside if you are that way inclined. At least it won’t lay eggs that will hatch into little grubs that can ruin your carpet.
Here are some signs of carpet moth infestation: –
- Carpet fibres that have come loose for no apparent reason. This happens because the larvae ate the knots.
- You might see little caterpillars crawling around under your carpet.
- You may notice tiny cocoons that blend in with the wool in your carpet. Often they are a flat, oval shape with pointed ends.
- Moths flying around the room.
However, even if you don’t see any such signs, it is still possible to have carpet moth infestation. Moths love the dark and their larvae are tiny and hidden in the carpet, so you may not even see them.
But what about beetles? Carpet beetles can also damage your carpet. Similarly to moths, it is their larvae that do all the munching, but there is no larvae without the adult, so these too should be controlled. What do they look like?
Their oval body is shiny and dark brown to black, while their wings are patterned in white, yellow and dark brown. They are fairly small, with 0.03-0.04cm being the common size. When outside, the adults feast on nectar and pollen; once inside they lay eggs on wool carpets or rugs or the leather lounge. Once these hatch they eat anything that has natural fibre in it, from wool socks to animal skin rugs.
Here are the signs of beetle infestation: –
- Cocoons under carpets or rugs.
- Small grubs crawling around the floor.
- Adult beetles on the skirtings or windowsill.
- Holes in the carpet and other natural fabrics.
- Shed skins or faecal pellets on or near the carpet.
The best way to treat these pests is to get a professional carpet cleaner in to steam clean the carpets and upholstery.