Carpet moths - any experience?

We visited an elderly relative quite recently who is confined to downstairs due to mobility issues.

We were asked to get some things from a bedroom and discovered dozens of carpet moths and wear in the carpet. Largely confined to a single bedroom currently but they were hopping out of the doorway (they don’t seem to fly well) when the door was opened.

Other rooms may have more synthetic furnishings than that bedroom, but there were quite a few cobwebs with dead moths if you looked closely near skirting on the stairs suggesting this problem may have been there for a while.

We found a few spray solutions on Amazon with very good reviews, unsure whether to try these or advise the family to get a professional pest controller in - problem is the elderly relative would freak out if she knew so we’d prefer to handle it on the ‘Q.T.’ if possible. The local council website indicates they only deal with a small number of pests due to financial constraints, largely rodents and roaches.

Very annoying those little buggers.I used these two in the past with some degree of success. It’s imperative that you hoover the carpet thoughtfully first. Both available on the river.
Best of luck.


Unfortunately, if there are holes in the carpet ( which will be wool if moths are eating it) then the carpet will need to go if you are serious. Synthetic carpets eg nylon will be ok. That is what we had to do. You can use moth traps which use pheromones to attract moths. The moths think that there is sex on the menu but instead they get stuck and die (albeit happily). There is no one single solution that works - it is a never ending battle unfortunately


Thanks, will take a look - the first one I saw had some kind of hormonal property which tackled different stages of the life cycle, whatever we try if we do it ourselves will I suspect require several treatments.

Yes there are worn areas (presumably ingested!) in the carpet - other rooms upstairs seem unaffected currently hopefully due to the furnishings being more synthetic or linoleum in another where the boiler is.

I think you’re correct the carpet will need to go , though might feel happier treating it first before doing that, though if bagged maybe just better to get on with it.

Don’t relish the prospect of shifting/moving a lot of heavy furniture and I’m convinced they’ll have been at non-synthetic clothing under the bed and in wardrobes/drawers :worried:

On the plus side, removing the carpet is unlikely to be a huge deal immediately as she can no longer go upstairs and lives downstairs for reasons of safety.

I had a carpet rug in the kitchen diner, which developed an infestation. Bought at auction years previously, I realised after it was taken away to be professionally cleaned and repaired, that it had never been treated for moth proofing, which had been done for all new carpets over the years, by the carpet specialist. Luckily it hadn’t spread anywhere else.
Best advice is remove the carpet, preferably straight out the window, cut if necessary, vac with a professional vacuum in every room and treat as you see fit.
A professional company will be used to such a situation and while appreciating the need for sensitivity, it does provide an opportunity to attend to the whole house. It won’t just be clothes and blankets at risk, curtains may also been infected. Good luck

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Good advice, thanks.

I believe the moths lay 100s/1000s of eggs at a go so it’s a bit daunting as they can lay them in tiny crevices you won’t spot.

Have also wondered about sticking a dehumidifier in the room to dry it out to make it uncomfortable for the little blighters.

Don’t bother with the dehumidifier - you would have to make it so dry that it would be unpleasant. Aa I said it’s a constant battle - at the end of winter my wife puts our woollen jumpers away in sealed bags. All about damage limitation

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I read somewhere that bagging and freezing is effective for clothing and similar assuming it’s not so damaged you’d chuck it.

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Yep. We’ve had the little buggers throughout the house for many years - and indeed still have them, destructed two this evening!

We cannot put down insecticide coz of the kitties (and there’s a sad story in there concerning Freckles). Any carpet with any amount of wool will get chewed, poly prop is the only answer. Or go solid floor. Wool sweaters are stored in plastic ziplock bags, and my Burberry Cashmere scarf is still in the freezer!

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We have wool carpets and have had a couple of outbreaks over the years. I have used the Indorex spray which has been very effective and is also preventative. The can goes a very long way, we have done many rooms. It isalso good for pet fleas, and inexpensive for what it does.


Do you have indoor cats?

Until last year, but we were careful using the spray, boot the cat out or keep the room closed so they can’t walk on the damp until it has dried.

So i assume it’s “ok” once dried.

However, I’m not sure my wife would sanction that; she won’t allow me to put weedkiller on the paths & patio, because of the hedgehog activity (and tbf, we do get a lot of hogs!)

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It’s all in the small print, it is an insecticide. The good thing is that usually you only have to do a small area with carpet moths, ours have been maybe a square foot each time, but obviously you feel the nneed to go wider.

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If there are cupboards, drawers, wardrobes etc have a look in the back of them. Moths like undisturbed areas, and if they are in the carpet they may wellbe hiding in the depths of these storage areas too, munching their way through any clothing, bedding etc. they can find.

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I think we used that in the past for cat fleas on the carpet, it worked well for those.

Had them in my parent’s house throughout my time there, which was nearly thirty years. They were always fairly obvious and one would come across them from time to time on clothes in wardrobes and on window sills etc. We just took them for granted. They never seemed to do any obvious damage and I don’t ever recall my parents taking any action.

I remember that house spiders were very common there, with some of the very large and rarer species that sadly one doesn’t see so much these days. So probably a nice bit of green pest control going on. Remember- never attempt to get rid of spiders, they are hugely beneficial in a property in contolling all sorts of nasties and far preferable to toxic chemicals.

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Far too many alive/dead just to ignore unfortunately.

I always remember mothballs in drawers as a child, maybe we frogot about pests like moths as synthetic clothing became common.

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Old fashioned mothballs were banned some time ago due to the nasty chemicals in them. Modern ones are less dangerous, but you are still supposed to use them in sealed containers, not drawers or cupboards. This also makes them more effective as it seals in the toxins.
Other, non-toxic treatments include putting clothes on a hot wash and putting rugs outside on a hot sunny day.
You can also put strong smelling natural materials in storage areas, which deter the moths rather than killing them, such as lavender, cloves or camphor.

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