Snug as a Bug on a Rug: What to Do When Insects Infest Your Rugs

An Oriental rug can be an attractive addition to any room; unfortunately, certain species of insects will find the rug attractive as well.


Potential Culprits

Moths
Clothes moths, in particular, often wreak havoc on household rugs. Interestingly, flying moths are not the ones chowing down on your beautiful Oriental rug; their larvae are the real culprits. Each female will lay hundreds of eggs, which can add up pretty quickly. Look out for the following signs:

  • Bald spots on your rug: Larvae sometimes prefer a specific color, so the bald spots may be color specific.
  • Flying moths around your home: The moths are usually silvery tan or soft brown. They fly slowly and often erratically.
  • Thin, worm-like bugs: If these bugs are white, they are likely the larvae. If you find long, fuzzy cylinders that may be the same color as the rug, you’ve found the cocoons.
  • Small particles resembling sand: This is the larvae’s excretion.


Most moths prefer to attack rugs in storage, not those in regular use. Make sure to regularly check your stored rugs for signs of moth damage.


Carpet Beetle
Carpet beetle larvae generally eat through their surroundings upon hatching. The eggs typically hatch in early spring, so you would be wise to start checking for the following signs while you are completing your spring cleaning.


  • Adult carpet beetles: Be on the lookout for oval shaped beetles that are a little larger than the head of a pin.
  • Shedded skins and fecal pellets: Watch for small larvae as well. The larvae have brown bands that run across the body and have hair-like extensions.
  • Bald spots on your rug: Similar to the moth warning signs, balding or heavily-worn carpet could be a sign of a carpet beetle infestation.


How to Treat the Problem
Ridding your house of these pests is no small chore. It requires persistence and dedication. Implement the following methods to eliminate the problem:


  1. Vacuum daily: It may seem like overkill, but vacuum the entire surface of your carpet every day, and pay particular attention to heavily affected areas. You may need to vacuum the primary source of the infestation multiple times a day. Continue this pattern for at least a week. Don’t forget your fabric furniture!
  2. Wash clothes and carpets with hot water: Hot water and detergent can be particularly effective against the larvae in your carpets. Carpet beetles can be particularly tough, so steaming your carpets may become necessary.
  3. Spread boric acid: Use this with caution. While boric acid is not toxic to humans, it can bleach your furniture and carpet. Make sure to vacuum it up within two hours of application.
  4. Call pest control: If the infestation is more than you can handle, then call a pest control company. If your bug problem has escalated to include more than just your rug and your efforts have not made a difference, it’s probably time to call in professionals.


Babayan’s is here to take care of your rug and carpet needs – whether it is repair or professional cleaning. Babayan’s provides free delivery and pick-up for GTA residents, from Mississauga to Vaughan and surrounding areas.

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