There are two main culprits for textile damage in the UK – carpet moth (clothes moth) and carpet beetle. Both are insect pests that eat animal fibres, such as wool and cashmere. It is highly unlikely these pests will harm synthetic fibres, so there is your biggest fix to eradicate the little blyters! Sorry to all the people who work in the wool business.
Clothes Moth and Carpet Beetle Species
So I could go on all day about “Tineola bisselliella” and “Tinea pellionella“, clothes moth species, and “Anthrenus verbasci” – carpet beetle, but I think you really want to know how to prevent them in the first place. Prevention is the cure people, so either visit Wikipedia to learn about them or skip this bit and read on……
Early Detection is
very important to stop an attack and incur considerable and costly damage. Insect traps are valuable in catching flying and crawling insects for identification. The sticky insect traps work well but note this is not a control measure to eradicate them.
Clothes moth and carpet beetle are often found in bird nests. Bet you didn’t know that! They are also often found in discarded or old carpets, found in many people’s lofts or attics. If you have natural fibre carpets and textiles then you need to find the bird nests (after the nesting period) and remove them. Roof spaces should be cleared of old carpets, nests and suspect material.
Your vacuum cleaner is a weapon that clothes moths and beetle dread. Regular vacuuming will most certainly help, massively I may add, in preventing these insects setting up shop in your home. Pay particular attention to UNDER furniture and along the edges. Do not think that heavy furniture, that is not normally moved, will be unaffected! If it’s on your carpets move and clean. Visually check for insects and damage to your carpets.
Carpet Cleaning wool and wool mix carpets at least every 18 months will create an environment that textile insect pests do not enjoy. Even if your carpets look clean you can bet there is soil and debris deep down that hot water extraction can only remove.
General Cleaning & Dusting is a must for good home hygiene and they do not like a clean house. So clean, clean, clean.
Wool based clothing should be cleaned and put into sealed containers or bags. Do not simply place on hangers and hope for the best. Cleaning is important because clothes moths prefer soiled as opposed to clean clothing.
Synthetic Carpets can be used as a last resort for homes that are vulnerable to infestations. As I mentioned before carpet beetle and clothes moths rarely eat synthetic fibres. I say as a last resort to people who prefer wool based carpets or natural fibre carpets. Switching to synthetic will prevent further infestations but still treat areas, if needed, to kill any moths, beetle or larvae.
Carpet Beetle and Carpet Moth Treatment
Prevention will normally stop an infestation but if you are unlucky then read on……
You can pull your hair out, waste time and money, plus on top of all that suffer severe damage to clothes and carpets. Most products on the net are useless. Unless they are for professional use don’t bother! Forget the advice on forums and call in the experts.
An insecticide spray is safe when used by an expert. After a few hours you can return to your home and your health will be left intact. A second spray may be required for heavy infestations and carpets may need lifting around the edges.
If you are looking for a professional service then consider using carpet cleaners who use insecticides as part of their work. Make sure they are licensed and fully trained. Carpet cleaning companies are normally much cheaper than pest controllers.
There are no real permanent fixes if your property and fabrics are favoured by moth or beetle. The warmer weather is certainly a factor for breeding and it’s a good idea to get prepared. If you don’t have these pests in your life it doesn’t mean you never will! Proactive cleaning and prevention methods will help win the battle. The war? Well that rages on!