Wool rugs are designed and woven to last a long time; hundreds of years even. In the rug industry, a rug isn’t considered an “antique” unless it was made before 1900. Wool rugs are made to last and many of them do when cared for properly. However, if a rug is left in the wrong conditions, not wrapped up securely, with the wrong bugs, you could lose it in under a year!
Rugs can be eaten away by moths, carpet beetles or other bugs which feed on contaminants the rug fibres are holding on to. The most common place for damage to occur is when a rug is in storage as bugs like dark and damp places. Damage is less likely to happen in the home, but if it does, it’s usually due to a rug being kept under large furniture. Moths love to explore under sofas which haven’t been moved or vacuumed for a long time and it’s a prime location for them to set up camp!
What does moth damage look like?
At first glance you might not be able to see the damage on the rug as it’s usually found on the underside. Damage from the top side is easier to spot but isn’t as common. You should also look out for moth larvae. If a rug has been damaged and the moth larvae or worms aren’t visible, or the rug has been cleaned and the bugs are gone, you can sometimes see the damage where bald areas of the rug are present – this is where the wool has been eaten away completely and only the cotton foundation fibres remain.
Some bugs which aren’t known for eating wool (such as silverfish, termites, and other creepy crawlies) can eat wool if something has been spilled on the fibres that they find appetising. The wool essentially ends up being the “plate”, and gets eaten away in the process. This is why it is always so important to clean up spills quickly to stop the residue from soaking into the cotton interior fibres and getting eaten away.
Insects find dirty rugs far more appetising than clean rugs and this is one of the reasons why we recommend that rugs are cleaned every 6-12 months, depending on the quality of the fibres and how much use a rug gets.
If you’ve got a rug that needs cleaning then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 01269 842497 or fill out our contact form and we’ll send you over a quote!