Rug Moth Damage Repair & Restoration

Moth Damage in Oriental Rug

Moth damage occurs when larvae eat the rug’s fabric. These insects typically prefer wool over cotton, so oriental rugs are in particular danger. The most common situations that result in moth damage is when a rug is put into storage without being properly cleaned and when the rug is under large furniture and is rarely, if ever, cleaned in those areas.

Moths have a life cycle of about 60 to 90 days, and each time a female lays eggs, she can lay anywhere from 30 to 200 eggs. The adults don’t cause very much damage. It’s these moth larvae that are the primary culprits, and, as you can see, a small problem can turn into a big one very quickly!

If you’re worried about moth damage, call Smart Choice to find out how we can help!

We Identify The Warning Signs

Smart Choice identifies moth damage easily because we see it all the time. Larvae damage is usually just along the edges of the rug, about 12-15” from the edge because the insects are very small and can’t move very far – and don’t have to with so much food readily available.

Moth damage is not always visible on top of the rug, but our pros know exactly what to look for. We usually notice the cotton webbing showing while the wool is missing. This damage is similar to damage of carpet beetles, but Smart Choice can tell the difference!

Before major damage occurs, we will look for warning signs like larvae casings (cocoons or webbing) that signifies the larvae are about to hatch. We’ll also take note of sandy material in the pile of a wool rug, showing that larvae have already begun to feast on your rug.

Moth Damage Repair

To complete moth damage repair, we must make new warps and wefts (horizontal and vertical) to tie the knots around and add new wool to the knots to fill in the bare places Highly specialized skills are necessary to do this because the rug’s knot technique must be replicated exactly, use matching threads, colors and textures make repairs.

Oriental Rug Moth Proofing

Your expensive antique rug can be rewoven, but it’s a very expensive option if the damage is larger than just a few square inches, so it’s always best to catch the damage as soon as possible!

Call Smart Choice to detect and repair your wool rug before the damage is too far gone!

The Moth Proofing Process

When we begin moth proofing an oriental rug, we first expose the rug to sunlight and/or high heat. Moths like dark, cool places, so we upset the perfect home they have created within your natural fiber rug.

The rug will then be treated with safe, anti-bacterial moth-repellant solution and dried at over 1000°F to kill any remaining moths or larvae.

Next, the wool rug will be professionally cleaned all over to ensure that all debris and moth infestation and fully dried once again.  

Finally, damage is repaired. In this last stage of moth proofing, Smart Choice ensures that your rug looks as good as new with hand weaving restoration.

How to Prevent Future Damage

There are several things you can do to prevent further damage for a wool rug or oriental rug made of some other natural fibers.

The best way to moth-proof your rugs is to keep them clean. Vacuum regularly and have your wool rug cleaned every 3-5 years. Move heavy furniture and vacuum all parts of the rug to make sure that all areas get cleaned along with the visible parts.

As we mentioned earlier, bugs like dark, cool places, so rotating the rug every few months to make sure that the rug gets direct sunlight all over is a great way to practice moth prevention on your own.

Moth prevention is far easier and less of a headache than getting rid of a full-scale moth infestation, so follow these steps and get professional help when you need it!