WIth warm weather comes all of the creepy crawlies. As you prepare for summer and begin spring cleaning, remember to check your closets, rugs and wool upholstery for signs of moths. There are all sorts of moths that enjoy the warm, damp climate of late spring and early summer. Pantry moths are the first that come to mind, but it is hard to miss a swarm of those – they don’t hide. Moths that are a little more elusive are clothes moths.

Where to look:

Moths like dark, quiet areas – under furniture, under rugs, inside closets… It is not uncommon for our clients to discover moth damage when it is already severe because the larvae have been busy feasting underneath a rug in a quiet corner under a chair. Wool furniture, like this beautiful velvet sofa, are victimized on the backs where they rest next to a wall, or below the armrests of an unfrequented chair.

How to identify moths:

  • Moth eggs are very difficult to see as they are small, but they tend to be in clusters and look a little bit like dandruff.
  • Once the eggs hatch, the larvae grow and are easy to see – they look just like fly larvae/maggots and they leave small casings behind that are about the size of a long grain rice.
  • The larvae travel across the fabric as they feast – they will eat wool, silk or fur – and leave trails of silk webbing that look like snail trails.
  • The most obvious indicator of moth activity is something that looks like a worn spot in the rug or upholstery fabric. The larvae eat the knots (wool and silk) fibers and leave behind the foundation fibers that are a different fiber, such as cotton, jute or a synthetic blend.

How to eliminate moths from your home:

There are only three ways to effectively kill moths, eggs and larvae.

  1. Poison (we don’t do this because we are green.)
  2. Boil (most fibers and fabrics cannot withstand steam temperatures.)
  3. Freeze (the giant freezer at Mother Nature’s Cleaning specialty rug washing facility is the perfect solution.)

The lifecycle of a moth is important to understand if you want to ensure an infestation is quickly and completely contained, and at MNC we are intimately familiar with all stages of these beasties. We have perfected our process of elimination and deterrent and can ensure that the pests are eliminated at each stage with our sub zero moth elimination process.

The good news is that moths don’t really travel very far, so an infestation tends to be localized – thoroughly checking all of the areas near where you found the first signs should be enough to contain the situation.

The bad news is that moth eggs can transfer to anything they come in contact with, so if you’ve walked on them and then walked through other areas of your house, it is possible to have spread them. As you are removing infested items from your home, be very careful not to put them in contact with anything. Best practice is to wrap them well and keep them isolated. if you are calling a professional to remove items from your home that have live activity, it is best to inform the driver, so that the driver can also take precautions to protect any other customers belongings that might be in the van.

The same rule applies for items that you might be dropping off at a professional cleaning facility like Mother Nature’s Cleaning. It’s best to leave the items outside of the building where they can be inspected and processed without contaminating anything else.

The moth treatment process at Mother Nature’s Cleaning is very thorough. It is important to us not to leave any beasties behind, so once items are processed they are thoroughly sealed, then we begin our subzero process. Once the process is complete and we ensure complete eradication of pests, items are thoroughly washed, dried, inspected, and then sprayed with a natural deterrent.

The one thing to be aware of when you have identified moth activity and destruction, is that when the rugs are washed any fibers that have been damaged will be rinsed away. It is possible that what looked like a minor feast, was actually a bigger party – so what looked like a small hole was full of broken fibers that was easily rinsed away. Area rug repair can reverse moth damage to an almost unidentifiable level, and at Mother Nature’s Cleaning we are also rug repair experts, so don’t lose hope!

If you’ve discovered an infestation of creepy crawlies in your area rugs or upholstery, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can eliminate your moths and repair their damage in one fell swoop.

Happy cleaning!