Your rug may survive an earthquake or being run over by a bulldozer, but bring in an army of small insects — especially those critters whose primary eating source is the fibers found in your rugs and carpets — and the damage done can be as dramatic as any soap opera and just as extensive.
Household pests and insects; like moths, carpet beetles etc. are a major worry for rug owners and cleaners alike due to the immense damage they do to the rug or carpet.
Their main food source is the wool and cotton fibers that the rug or carpet is woven from, and they are especially attracted to rugs that have not been cleaned properly, or have not been cleaned at all.
The reason for this is that the other thing these little insects love more than your rug is dust and other contaminants that cling to the fabric and form a layer, which the insects feast upon. This is why it is extremely important to bring your area rug to a reputable rug cleaner like LoveYourRug.ca for professional rug cleaning at least once a year.
If you have noticed any bugs under or on top of your area rug, or if you notice any suspicious damage to your rug you may have a pest infestation that may need professional attention. A reputable pest control company in Toronto will be able to solve your pest issue and may help you save your valuable area rug. We would suggest you check out Pestend Pest Control Toronto for a low priced, 100% guaranteed pest extermination in Toronto.
Which bugs should you look for?
It is most commonly thought that moths are attracted to rugs and carpets like a flame, and these bugs are the ones who do the most damage by eating away at the fabric. While this is true to some extent, it is however not entirely correct.
Adult moths; both male and female, do not eat the fabric and fibers of your Persian rug or Oriental rug. However, female moths lay hundreds of eggs at a given time. The eggs, when they hatch into larvae, are the culprits that feed on hair, wool, or silk fibers, and just about anything else.
The larvae of moths can become a major problem, and can cause immense damage to a rug or carpet in a matter of weeks. And the worst part is, you wouldn’t even know about it until it’s already too late. If you notice damage to your rug, it may not be too late. At Love Your Rug we offer professional rug repair services, and we can help repair your damaged area rugs.
One other misconception is that of the carpet beetle. It is the larvae, and not the adult carpet beetle, that eats away at your carpet. In fact, the larvae stage of a beetle is usually the most destructive thing that can happen to a carpet or a rug.
The primary source of food for carpet beetles is pollen and nectar, while the larvae can feed upon fabric and other animal-made products such as wool, feathers, leather, and fur. They also feed on dead insects, pet food, crumbs, lint, and soiled fabric.
What do they look like?
There are many different types of moths that have physical characteristics and which are slightly different from one another and are differentiated by names similar to those characteristics.
The carpet or clothes moth is the most commonly found, and the reason of all our woes. This species is further sub-divided into the webbing clothes moth and the case-bearing or case-making moth. The adult grown moths of both species are relatively small in size; only about 58mm with a dull and grey-fawn colour.
Both species look quite similar in appearance; although the webbing clothes moth has a golden sheen to its body, while the case-bearing moth is more silver and grey tinged. They both have wings, which they open to fly when it is warm, and fold along their backs while at rest.
They have small, stout, and relatively furry bodies complete with a feathered antennae. The antenna is usually a physical feature of the male.
Adult carpet beetles on the other hand are only about 2-3mm long, and look very much like small ladybirds. You can easily identify the beetle, with distinctive pattern and shapes of its grey and gold scales.
The eggs of the beetle hatch into short and fat larvae known as ‘woolly bears’, due to it having a hairy disposition. Their size is really small, i.e. less than 1mm long when they first hatch.
Where to find them?
Carpet beetles and moths can be found in natural environments such as in nests of insects and birds, and animal burrows. This pest usually enters a house through a direct route inside such as open windows, attics and chimneys.
They have also been known to hitch a ride on animals kept as pets that enter a house. The pests may also be brought by a plant, or a piece of furniture that was kept outside for days.
What damage do they make?
The adults of both insects avoid light, and prefer dark and undisturbed places where they can lay their eggs in peace. They are able to produce 100 eggs at a time on wool, soiled silk, and other fabrics, dead skin, fur, feather etc. and the larvae that hatches further destroys the rug or carpet by spinning a fragile silk webbing or cocoon.
The most destructive stage is of the larvae, when the eggs hatch. Over a 100 eggs mean, 100 larvae will hatch and promptly feed on natural and artificial fiber that can be found on carpets and rugs.
As already mentioned above, these larvae also prefer to feed on artificial fiber laden with dirt, oil, food crumbs and stains, any type of spilt liquid and soiled fabric.
The larvae have voracious appetites and can eat away at entire sections of a carpet or rug. More often, it will find a particular side of the carpet or rug that is more wholesome in the nutrients the larvae needs to survive, which is why you see entire patches of color and fabric worn away on certain sides.
These are slow-moving pests, so it will be weeks until you find any evidence of destruction to the carpet or rug. Often by that time, irreparable damage has been done.
How to get rid of them?
- The insects usually lay their eggs on the back-side of the rug or carpet, so a good idea is to inspect the back from time to time.
- A basic cleaning and dusting regimen should be followed regularly, so that dust and other particles which are essential nutrients for larvae don’t buildup. Annual or semi-annual cleaning should be performed by a professional rug cleaner near you. For factory priced, rug cleaning in Toronto call Love Your Rug today at 416-538-1772.
- If you do find evidence of a larvae or eggs infestation, chemicals are available in the market that will repel adult insects from laying eggs, and kill off larvae and eggs already in the carpet and rug. Alternatively, contact your local pest control company for professional advise and treatment.
In the end, you can’t stop a re-infestation from occurring every once in a while even if following the above methods to a tee. A good pest control expert will give you tips on how to decrease your chances of a pest re-infestation in the future.
For a job well done, and to save your precious carpets and rugs, you will have to consult a pest control company that specializes in exterminating these annoying little critters.