Moths and Wool spark sm.jpg

Best strategy:

Keep things clean and well ventilated

Weekly vacuuming and general good housekeeping go a long way to keeping pests away. If you clean often, you may remove them without even noticing. Moths like to lay eggs in secluded areas where there is a good food supply like in wool, fur, down, pet dander and other animal-based materials. Vacuuming also removes moth eggs and larvae from carpets before they have the opportunity to hatch. Eggs take a few weeks to emerge from larvae.

Moths rarely attack frequently worn clothing or heavily trafficked carpets. They thrive in stored clothing and in carpet that’s hidden under furniture, especially if there are any food spills or other attractive scents. 

It’s also important to keep closets and carpeted spaces cool and well-ventilated. Moths are attracted to humid areas, so try to keep air circulating and somewhat cool so they don't decide to nest there.

 
 Closeup of moth larvae and eggs in carpet

Closeup of moth larvae and eggs in carpet

 

Natural Moth-Proofing Tips for Wool Carpeting

Moths can be quite beautiful – but not in your carpets!

Springtime in Sonoma County means new growth and new life are everywhere...unfortunately some of this new life can be in the form of annoying critters such as moths. Moths are known to have good taste - they love natural materials - just like us!

If you have wool rugs, carpets and/or wool clothing you may be curious about what the latest thinking is on how best to keep these busy little guys from snacking on your carpets and sweaters. 

Fortunately most all wool yarn has been treated to deter moth infestation before it is made into any kind of wool products. 

Here is some useful information we have found to help discourage moth infestations …besides our basic advice: vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!

Clothes moths – not carpet beetles

In our area, most moth infestations are caused by clothes moths, which can also be found in dry food items - and not carpet beetles.

These moths prefer dark, undisturbed areas, they are not drawn to light like other moths. They like closets, clothes, wool carpet and furniture. They will lay in wait, damaging or destroying wool that is not vacuumed or open to the air. 

Mothballs?

Mothballs are effective to kill moths, but we don’t recommend them. The chemicals in mothballs are toxic to humans, and they give an unpleasant strong scent to your closet - and to your clothes. 

Natural moth repellants

Keep in mind that strong smelling natural materials such as cedar, plant leaf sachets or gel products are usually safe and may help to repel adult moths, but they won’t do anything to get rid of larvae.

  • You can make your own sachets with any natural material such as: dried rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender, or bay leaves. Just fill a small cloth bag with these ingredients, tie with a string and hang it up.
  • Try using essential oils as a moth deterrent. Keep some in your closet or near your stored clothing.
  • You can purchase pieces of cedar to hang in your closet, or fill a sachet bag with cedar chips and hang it up.
  • Try placing cedar-scented items in the pockets of your wool items for extra protection.

Taking care of an immediate moth problem

It may not be easy to do for carpeting, but the best way to kill adult moths, eggs and larvae is to deep freeze the clothing or materials they have infested. Seal them in plastic freezer bags at -18°C for at least two weeks.

Rugs, carpets and upholstery can be treated in a commercial freezer or by a controlled heat process offered by reputable companies.

In a closet, you can trap moths with pheromone moth traps, which attract and kill them with a sticky substance that they can't escape once they touch it.

You can even make your own moth traps with flypaper and fish oil, which attracts moths. Dab a bit on some flypaper and hang it where there is an infestation.

Traps designed to catch mice can also be effective for catching moths.

We hope this information will help you deal successfully with any moth issues you may encounter. When you are aware of how to maintain your home environment, your wool carpets will give many years of beauty and warmth to your home.