A moth free carpet for your New Forest property
Lymington's John Cooper Carpets brings advice on the pesky carpet moth and moth prevention
Moths - the lowdown
The carpet moth, Tinea pellionella, is a tiny but incredibly destructive and hard to exterminate native species that enjoys munching its way through wool carpets. Small in size and dull in colour, carpet moths would escape attention in the wild, living in birds nests or on discarded fur or animal skin with one or two life cycles a year.
But indoors, in a nice warm, centrally heated house, they can manage six or seven life cycles a year, chewing away contentedly underneath your furniture.
They are not the only moths enjoy our environment. The much better known clothes moth Tineola bisselliella enjoys munching on clothes, especially those made of natural fibres. There are other moths and carpet-eating beetles too, some so rare that they are being considered for the internationally recognised IUCN Red List of endangered species!
Confusingly most of these moth species will sometimes switch from carpets to clothes and chew any natural fabrics. It is the larvae that cause the damage, feeding on a protein called Keratin found in natural materials such as wool, silk, cotton and fur. Rough edged holes in clothing or bare patches appearing on carpets and rugs indicate an infestation is underway. While the larvae remains undisturbed with a constant food source, they can live up to three years before developing into adults.
The carpet moth in particular weaves a silken case to protect itself while it is eating your carpet. These cases look like a grain of rice. When it is large enough this case is sealed while the grub pupates and becomes a moth.
When the moth appears it has a wingspan of 15-17 mm and is pale grey to brown with vague dark spots. It lives only long enough to mate - female moths lay between 30 and 300 eggs on the remains of your carpet during their short lifespan of two weeks. The eggs will be laid in dark undisturbed areas, like under rugs or furniture and towards the edges of fitted carpet. The eggs typically hatch within ten days, then the larvae will happily feast on your carpets and clothes for many months. The adults will then lay more eggs and the cycle starts all over again. Adults do not eat wool - it's the carpet moth larvae that cause the damage.
Moths are more prevalent in the south of the UK where it’s warmer, and they tend to produce in spring hence the proverbial “spring cleaning.”
Prevention is the best cure
There are lots of ways of attacking this unwelcome visitor. Moth infestations are notoriously challenging to deal with once established, because hiding places are many, especially in bedrooms with wardrobes and chests of drawers full of “stuff” and, believe it or not, moths love the inside of horsehair mattresses!
A good way to discourage moths in the first place is to ventilate rooms and let in as much daylight as possible. Also, pull furniture away from walls to vacuum underneath, concentrating on the edges of carpets near the skirting boards. Vacuum both the front and the backs of rugs regularly.
There are a variety of natural remedies, including moth papers to trap the adults. There are also insecticide sprays for reaching under the skirting boards, large bits of furniture or loose rugs. All are supposed to see them off, although repeated treatments might be needed.
You’ll find more useful tips on this website https://www.mothprevention.com
Moths don’t like polypropylene
The most practical way to avoid the problem is to cut down the choice of moth habitats you offer in your home.
And if you choose one of the modern carpet materials you’ll be taking a big positive step, because moths hate polypropylene - they are unable to eat much of it at all, and provided no other sustenance is available they will eventually die out due to starvation.
Polypropylene has lots of benefits and is great value
More and more people are choosing polypropylene for lots of other good reasons too like being hard wearing, easy to clean after spills and stains, and coming in a multitude of colour choices.
Buying polypropylene might make sense to your wallet too but it’s definitely not about buying a “cheap” carpet, it’s about what’s better long term for your space. And with new polypropylene ranges coming out all the time like the fantastic and exclusive Greendale editions at John Cooper Carpets in Lymington, you’ll be spoiled for choice and get excellent value too.
For those for whom nothing but wool will do... John Cooper Carpets can help you choose a wool carpet which has been pre-treated for moths. Pop in and see the fabulous Ulster ranges.
If you’d prefer to avoid carpet altogether... you’ll be impressed by the quality of the range of top quality vinyls at John Cooper Carpets.
John Cooper Carpets of Lymington
John Cooper Carpets is a long-established Lymington family business which offers a wide range of quality carpets, vinyl and wood flooring. Good old fashioned service combined with great prices thanks to being part of the Greendale buying consortium.
John Cooper Carpets offer a renowned combination of free parking right outside the door, friendly atmosphere with absence of corporate clipboards, easy to browse displays, an area to sit down and browse on a comfy sofa with a cup of coffee, samples which you are welcome to borrow free of charge, expert advice and expertise on hand on all aspects of floor coverings and fittings, and finally all round great value prices.
Open Mondays to Fridays 9am – 4pm, Saturdays 10am - 1pm. Find contact details for John Cooper Carpets.
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