Moth Infestations Don't Stand A Chance
Carpet Moths (Tinea bisselliella Case Bearing) - What Are They?
Below we've listed the most common and essential information requested by customers about Carpet Moth Infestation.
Carpet moths belong to a group of insects called Lepidoptera. These comprise both moths and butterflies. So why is this important?
It's necessary to understand that moths undergo full metamorphosis. A four-stage process that we can interrupt at any point to break the lifecycle and eliminate or pause any activity. Eggs-Larve-Pupae-Adult.
The carpet moths lifecycle is slow, so we never look at them in terms of days or weeks. In fact, under optimum conditions the process takes a few months to complete. By contrast, in situations that are less than ideal it can take years! More typically, life begins and convenes over the course of a year.
Carpet Moth Larvae
The moths' larvae have a distinctive appearance. As the image above clearly shows, the moths' larvae develop within a sheath of silk and carpet fibres, which steadily grow in size as the young grubs mature and finally pupate.
Moth grubs are often described to us as small, moving grains of rice. The colour can vary greatly depending on the colour of the natural fibres in the carpet or rug getting eaten. This also means moth caterpillars can remain well concealed and camouflaged.
Where Do Carpet Moth Larvae Live?
Moth larvae prefer dark areas where they are unlikely to be disturbed for long periods. Patches of missing carpet fibres are noticed while vacuuming around the edges of each room.
What Causes Carpet Moths?
Causes of infestation might not be as exciting as you might hope. This species of moth and many more like them are native insects, not introduced or exotic. This common little moth enters homes through lofts, vents, attics, doors and windows.
Sometimes the moths will be introduced to the property on second-hand furniture, carpeting, rugs, other textiles and even stuffed animals!
The Most Common Areas Of Moth Larvae Activity Include:
> Large Items Of Furniture - Under bookshelves, pianos, sofas and sideboards, etc.
> Storage Areas - Carpets and rugs stored in attics, lofts, crawl spaces and garages.
> Room Edges/Perimeters - Especially behind large items of static and moveable furniture.
> Cupboards - carpets in storage cupboards and built in wardrobes.
What Do Carpet Moth Larvae Feed On?
Small numbers of textile moth larvae tend to go unnoticed, but in undisturbed areas like beneath larger items of furniture, even small amounts of larvae will cause noticeable damage.
Larger infestations of larvae, quickly destroy your carpets, rugs, clothes and associated natural fibre textiles. Textile pests have a liking for what makes up all animal hair, - the protein Keratin, which is the preferred food of their larvae (pictured above).
What Carpets Are Most At Risk?
Woollen and wool mix floor textiles are most at risk, especially in humid areas like bathrooms, and because wool represents a significant investment, it deserves to be well protected.
In many cases, only professional control methods and products can tackle and eliminate moth problems effectively and very often, a variety of control methods need to be implemented together, to achieve satisfactory results.
What Damage Do Carpet Moths Cause?
Moths can emerge at any time of year inside a warm property where they developed as larvae; however, they are restricted by the climate outdoors, most commonly associated with animal fur and bird feathers. The adults are on the wing outdoors from May until September.
What Damage Will Carpet Moth Cause?
The Adult Carpet Moths "ARE NOT" damaging your carpet - it's the moth larvae causing the damage!
Homeowners commonly replace damaged carpets like for like, thinking the previous floor coverings were the problem. Typically, it was the moths, entering the property usually in the warm summer months, that started the infestation by laying their eggs on suitable natural products.
It's all too easy to think that the moths are the problem, when in fact these are only part of the typical carpet moths lifecycle and NOT the part that causes damage to carpets. Your carpets get stripped bare by the moths' larvae.
Should I Remove Moth Eaten Carpet?
In a small number of cases, replacement carpets are the only economically feasible option.
Before you remove affected carpets and re-lay new ones, you should consider a band treatment of residual insecticide around the edges of the room to ensure that any existing infestation is stopped in its tracks and is unable to infest the new carpets or rugs you are putting down.
Many customers, including landlords, tenants and local authorities are seeing the benefits of synthetic carpets. It would seem that many are turning to this common sense form of proactive prevention.
The downside to synthetic carpets is the comfort. Cheaper versions of this popular floor covering are squeaky, full of static electricity and uncomfortable underfoot. These carpets also scorch easily if exposed to high temperatures.
Alternatives To Moth Pesticides
The chemicals or pesticides used to combat moths of all kinds within the home is a taboo subject. Generally speaking people will spend large sums of money on useless products and formulations online. Moth killer spray from the shops is often 100x less potent than the professional products applied by professionals.
Clothes Moths Vs Carpet Moths
Clothes moths are small, golden in appearance and about half the size of carpet moths. Clothes moth larvae don't have a protective case to live in and appear as small maggots or caterpillars on carpets rather than grains of rice. The two species live side by side, but clothes moths tend to be more common in dusty environments where they feed on the skin flakes found in the dust under beds or dander from pets.