Moth Damage Repair

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Rug Moth Damage Repair

Many people prepare for their annual deep cleaning as we enter the spring season. It is the ideal time to lift heavy furniture from handmade rugs and check to ensure the rugs are moth free. Minor infestations are eradicated by thorough professional cleaning.
If noticed infestations go unaddressed, moths are capable of eating through significant areas of rug pile. The damage moths cause to rugs is often not noticed until it is too late. Female moths are capable of laying hundreds of eggs that hatch into larvae and consume silk and wool rugs. It is the larval stage that is destructive. Adult moths are harmless.

The life cycle of moths is between two and three months.
Moths are pests that eat natural fiber protein such as silk or wool. They are fond of wool dyed with organic vegetables. Moths and larvae thrive in undisturbed, dark areas with little traffic and vacuuming. Rugs stained with sweat, oil from hair, urine, and beverages are also inviting to moths.

Investing in professional rug cleaning once per year is recommended for Oriental and Persian rugs. It is an investment in the preservation of the rugs. Bad infestations have left a cobweb-like veil and sand-like debris in the damaged area. An infestation frequently involves more than a single rug. It can spread from and to sweaters, furs, and woolens.

Moth Damage Repair

The face and back of the rug are exposed to direct sunlight for several days. The rug is inspected to ensure there are no more living moths. Technicians vacuum the front and back and wash with ample detergent and water.
The rug is dried in the sun. The next step is to make a foundation. Cotton foundations sometimes stay intact. If the foundation remains intact, the cost of repair is less expensive than dry rot or holes in a rug. Moth damaged wool rugs typically have a hole in the damaged area. Holes can be repaired. They require rebuilding the foundation.
Rebuilding the foundation entails making vertical and horizontal threads, called warps and wefts. Knots are tied around the threads. It is a highly specialized process. A lay person is incapable of repairing moth damage. Rugs must be taken to an experienced professional.

The repair is done by master repair personnel. Matching the weave and knot technique to the original rug is a feat to be mastered. Other delicate parts of the repair are matching the color and design of the rug. The repair of moth damaged rugs is an art.
Preventing future infestations

To avoid future moth damage, vacuum the tops of rugs weekly and the backs several times each year. That process should include the pad and the floor beneath the rug. Flakes, crystals, and moth balls do not guard against moths.
They serve as somewhat of a repellent, but they do not destroy larvae. The smell of moth balls is hard to remove from a rug. Cedar scent is not a moth damage prevention technique either. A non-staining insecticide that is specifically for moth killing can be used. The pesticide is safe for home use because it breaks down quickly after being used.
Moths also attack stored rugs. It is best to roll rugs and store them in a cool, dry area. Roll the rug around a cardboard tube and cover with an old bed sheet or sheet of muslin. Place the rugs on a counter, shelf, or table. Never put a stored rug on a concrete floor. Check every six months for signs of mildew or moths.