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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Creepy Carpet Critters

We were cleaning up Monday after Sunday's party. I noticed an abundance of those little gray-brown moths around. I have been seeing then all over lately in much greater numbers than usual. 

I said something to Tom about them, and he said "Oh yes, I think I noticed something I should show you." Tom is the one who does the vacuuming and he had noticed some damage on the edge of the area rug in the living room. 

Well, when we actually got to looking we were horrified! Moving a love seat off the edge of the rug, we saw large areas of damage, lots of moths, and even more little white worms - carpet moth larva. 

While Tom got the vacuum  out to go after them, I got on line to see what to do. There were suggestions like vacuuming then pouring boiling water on the infected areas. spraying with an insecticide, putting the rug in the freezer, and putting it out in the hot sun.


When Tom finished vacuuming, I went back and still saw larva crawling out of the carpet. We figured we had two priorities: don't damage the new hardwood floors with water or spray, and get the thing outside before we tried anything else. 

This is a lovely old 9 x 12 Oriental style carpet that I got from my aunt when we helped empty her house to move her into assisted living. It was perfect for our living room.

However when we got it spread out on the driveway in the hot sun - it got up to 89 here Monday - we saw larva crawling out of it everywhere, not just on the edge. 
 Here you can see edge damage, and below, an area that has been eaten away down to the backing. 
 Below you can see one of the larva.
Well, there was no way I was letting that mess back into my house. Having it treated and cleaned would be costly, and even then I would not be comfortable with it. It is obviously made of wool, and if the moths struck once, they could strike again. 

We left the carpet out to bake in the sun all afternoon, rolled it up in the evening, and on Tuesday morning we loaded it into the van and took it to the dump. 

I was sorry to have to throw it away, but I am relieved to be rid of it. This was my first experience with carpet or clothing moths. This was all new to me. 

Have others of you have similar experiences? 

22 comments:

  1. I've never had a moth experience though knitters all have a fear of such. Moths also go for any food in the garment or rug I believe. Sad you had to let the rug go but I'm with you, no way would I risk that in my house again. Better check your closets if you have wool sweaters. I try to air out my wool items from time to time and make sure they're in very light spaces, though not in direct sun. I think moths like dark places, probably why they were under your love seat. I'll be looking forward to seeing a new rug.

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  2. Wow! sad to have to throw away such a beautiful carpet, but I would have done that too! There is no amount of fumigation that would make me feel okay about it again. I didn't realize that moths would infest a carpet - I knew they could get into a closet, but something that is walked on seems like it would be outside their chosen space.

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  3. I have not had that experience. Sounds frightening and such a waste of a good carpet. I don't blame you though, I think I would have chunked it too.

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  4. I would have done the same thing...

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  5. What a shame! We've had "pantry moths." Then I empty the cupboards of all packaged foods and wash the cupboards all down with vinegar. I need to get out of the habit of buying mixes in quantity when they go on sale. I rarely make dessert anymore, but like to have a mix or two on hand just in case...then they sit there for months on end until the bugs move in.

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  6. It sounds gross. I've never heard of carpet moths. You did the right thing to throw the carpet out.

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  7. I'm another one who hasn't even heard of such happening. I think I would have gotten rid of that rug too because I always would have suspected they would come back. I'm not a fan of creepy crawlies.

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  8. Nope, nothing like that. But I also don't have wool carpets. It was a beautiful old rug, though.

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  9. Oh my gosh! I've never seen anything like that either. Granted, if I found something like that here in Hawaii, I wouldn't be surprised. I'm afraid it would probably be very costly to repair the carpet. What a shame.

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  10. Such a shame to throw away the carpet but in all honesty I would have done the same. I have never come across anything like that before.

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  11. What a shock that must have been. I would not have wanted it back inside either, on your beautiful floors. We started seeing tiny moths in our pantry once. Turns out the things were coming from a bucket of feed corn. We store our feed in buckets in the pantry. Once they start, those little moths go everywhere.

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  12. Oh, gosh. What destructive little creepy things. It's a shame you had to part with that gorgeous carpet. My friend in England had exactly this same experience last year.

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  13. Yikes. That had to be sad. Not only attacked by creepy larva but having to get rid of your lovely carpet. Makes me happy now that I don't own any carpet--cept for a throw rug here and there.

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  14. I have battled pantry moths but I am going to check my wool rug as soon as I get back to VT. What a shame about your lovely rug.

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  15. No, I have never had that problem. I have wall to wall carpeting plus a silk rug from India.

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  16. Oh Linda! What a nightmare for you! As others have mentioned, I've had the pantry moths, but so far, no clothing or wool moths. I need to check my wool rug in the family room . . . but I'm almost afraid to!! This is very scary.
    So sorry you had to haul it to the dump, but you had no other recourse. I would have done exactly the same thing!

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  17. I'd have dumped it too. Once I found those critters had nibbled lines in my favorite winter coat. It didn't show when it was buttoned up so I had it dry cleaned and gave it to Good Will, it would still keep someone warm. Drat!

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  18. Good thing you got rid of it! I think that is why in the olden days they took rugs out and hung them in the sunshine and beat them with rug beaters on a regular basis. I hope they didn't travel too far around the room:(

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  19. Love your Header---such colors.
    Never had any experience with Moths or their larva---eeeeeeeee
    Glad you got it all taken care of. I would have discarded the rug also.
    MB

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  20. We had a landlord once that took moth's for granted. We were renting, and the moths had eaten the edges of the carpet inches out from all the walls. We finally got him to take the old wool carpet up....and we painted the floors. :) We now have my grandmother's collection of wool orientals. I keep them rolled in a cedar chest. Not a moth to be seen. So sorry about yours.

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  21. Oh Linda, I'm so sorry you threw the rug away. We had a problem with rug moths a few years back but they only occurred on a part of the rug that seldom got vacuumed as it was under and behind furniture. I just moved the rug and vacuumed it every day for a month and sprayed a foam cleaner on, mopped it in, let it dry, vacuumed and they've not returned. Your sun baking would have probably done most of them in and regular vacuuming would taken care of the rest. You'll no doubt have fun shopping for a replacement.

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  22. Gross! Reminds me of the carpenter ants I found one morning, swarming around the base of our toilet. Yucky!!!!

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