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How to treat moth infested carpets

Updated July 20, 2017

A moth infestation in your home's carpet can devastate the carpet. It is actually the larvae of the moths that eat your carpet, as it is a food source for them. Female moths can lay up to 150 eggs at a time, which hatch in only five days. The lifespan of a moth can be anywhere from two months to two years, and their larval stage can last from 2 to 30 months. In that amount of time, moth larvae can completely destroy any rug or carpet that they are living on. Rugs containing wool and other animal fibres are vulnerable to moth infestation.

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  1. Clean the rug. Larger rugs or rugs that are fastened to the floor will need professional cleaning, but smaller rugs can be washed using a regular washer and dryer. Use hot water, if possible. Cleaning the rug helps to remove the larvae, and the hot dryer kills many of the eggs and remaining larvae.

  2. Use a pesticide or insecticide formulated specifically for killing moth larvae and eggs. Spray the pesticide on the front and back of the rug either outside or in a well-ventilated area. If possible, roll the rug up and let it sit at least overnight to allow the pesticide to do its work.

  3. Vacuum, sweep or beat the rug to remove the dead moth larvae once the rug is dry.

  4. Wash and dry the rug once again, making sure to use hot water, if possible.

  5. Spray all carpet in the home with a moth repellent containing magnesium silicofluoride. Reapply the moth repellent every three years or every time the rug is washed.

  6. Tip

    Vacuum and wash your rugs and carpets regularly to prevent moth infestation. Check dark places and underneath furniture for moths and bugs. Moth balls do not kill moths or larvae. They are only a mild repellent and do not work on carpets. The most eco-friendly and effective insecticide used to treat moth infested rugs is pyrethrum.


    Only spray pesticides and other chemicals outside or in well-ventilated areas.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pesticide/insecticide for moths
  • Vacuum cleaner or broom
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer or hot, dry room

About the Author

Karma Amarande has been a freelance writer since 2004, including technical writing, prose, poetry, research and marketing articles. Her work has appeared in newspapers such as the "Charlotte Observer" and "Gaston Gazette." Amarande holds a Bachelor of Science in philosophy from Berea College, as well as an associate's degree in medical assisting.

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