How to Protect Your Oriental Rug From Moth Infestations
Unlike traditional carpeting, oriental rugs are a built-in statement for any room or home, boasting centuries of history and culture in each intricate knot and design. These precious ornaments can be delicate and are worth protecting from damage. While oriental rug repair, oriental rug cleaning, and maintenance is always an option, taking preventative measures and knowing causes of damage will enable you to protect your rug and help to maintain its quality and worth. One of the biggest threats to the integrity of any oriental rug are moths and their larvae.
While moths won’t typically eat through an oriental rug like they would the clothing in your closet, Persian oriental rugs are a perfect environment for female moths to lay their eggs. For moth larvae, an oriental rug provides a veritable feast of two of their favorite treats: silk and wool. Since oriental rugs are typically comprised of both of these materials, a moth infestation can pose a great threat to your rug.
Luckily, there are a few ways to tell if your rug is infested with moth eggs or larvae. Larvae typically look like small, white grains of rice. If you notice small particles that resemble grains of sand, what you’re seeing is the waste product of the wool and silk the larvae are consuming and digesting. But you don’t have to see their presence to notice infestation damage. When looking at your oriental rug, you’ll notice inconsistent, bare patches of missing fibers, typically of the same color. This is because larvae tend to prefer different materials and dyes, and will only eat the colors they find palatable. For big infestations, you will often see gossamer splayed in web-like patterns over the rug.
Of course, prevention is always preferred. To prevent your oriental rug from being ravaged by moth larvae, vacuum your rug regularly, on both sides. Although it may sound strange, flipping and vacuuming both sides of your rug ensures that no potential moth, egg, or larva remain. Although larvae are not typically affected by mothballs, when storing your rug, it always helps to keep them in dry clean areas with mothballs for safe measure. Another measure you can take is using certain insecticide sprays that contain chemicals, called pyrethins. While pyrethins are approved for home use, they are considered poisonous and should be used with caution, particularly for those with children and pets.
If you experience an infestation and your rug is extremely damaged, you may have to look into oriental rug repair. If this is the case, find local oriental rug dealers that also specialize in oriental rug repair, and they will do their best to address the damage. In addition to damage repair, oriental rug dealers are also able to professionally clean rugs, salvaging them from stains using special solvents.
Oriental rugs are precious commodities, and by taking the proper measures, you’ll be able to preserve their beauty for generations to come.