Moths Attack Wool Rugs in Victoria BC

A wool hand tufted area rug came to Luv-A-Rug for cleaning. The client told me that the rug had been stored for a while. When I hear that a rug was stored without being cleaned first I automatically start to look for moth activity.It doesn’t matter if you store your rug from a few weeks to several years, if your rug hasn’t been cleaned moths will find it.

I didn’t find moth damage, I found something much better. I found live moth larva eating the rug! I was excited about finding the moths, the client-not so much.

There are two different types of moths that eat wool: the clothes moth and the webbing moth. The moths that are common to Victoria, BC are the clothes moth.

It isn’t very often that we find moth damage in this early stage. It is usually after they have eaten a noticeable hole or a professional has pointed it out the empty larva casings. When I unrolled the rug I had disturbed them and they started to move, it is easier to notice them, since dirt doesn’t wiggle around.

I noticed the one first and after I found him, finding the smaller ones was easy after that. I found at least 10 larva, but there were more I am sure hiding within the wool fibers. When I tried to capture them in pictures they kept disappearing into the fibers. I guess they were camera-shy. There will be no noticeable damage to this rug because they were caught early.

This little one is about a 1/4 inch in length. With my extensive experience with moth larva, I would say that this little guy hadn’t eaten very much yet because he was still clear and not the colour of the wool fibers.

The larva change to the colour of the fibers that they eat. After the larva go into the cocoon stage the casing they leave behind is also the colour of the wool they ate. The casing look like flat pieces of rice.

These little guys ate the back of a rug just past the fringes/tassels. The excrement is like fine sand. When you find flat pieces of rice shaped casings on your rugs you need to get them cleaned and treated professionally

It is really hard to find the moth eggs. They are very small, like fine sand, and are attached to the bottom of the wool fibers.

Luv-A-Rug must do our non-toxic, non-chemical moth treatment to all rugs we find with evidence of moth activity, since there is no way to tell if all the eggs have hatched, how old the moth damage is, and if there are tiny larva hiding within the fibers. It takes just one male and female egg to hatch and you rug can become a great lunch buffet.

I am glad that the client had mentioned that the rug was in stored. If he hadn’t said anything and I forgot to ask, the unhatched eggs would probably have survived the cleaning and damage could have occurred.

How could the eggs survive the badgering and cleaning process?

The female moth attaches the eggs to the bottom of the wool fibers with a glue like fluid. This makes the eggs hard to remove by vibration, cleaning and vacuuming alone. The eggs are very small, less than 1 mm in diameter, and up to one hundred eggs can be laid by a single female moth.

Moth’s do serious damage to wool area rugs that is why we will not clean an area rug if we find evidence of moth activity. When you do have one rug that has been home to moths, you need to have all your wool rugs cleaned and treated. There is no guarantee that they stayed on one rug and that your other rugs don’t already have eggs or larva in them.

Moths that eat wool love dark, dirty, undisturbed areas of your wool rugs. They need organic dirt such as pet urine, drink spills, dead skin cells, pet dander, etc, so when you vacuum you need to do the whole rug, even under and behind furniture.Plus check at least a foot under all the sides of your rugs to make sure they aren’t eating it from the back.

It isn’t always easy to get the hard to reach places, but it is necessary to vacuum them at least one a month and get it professionally cleaned at least every year or two.

Here is more information about the clothes moth and how to spot them and prevent an infestation.

>Another example of Pile reversal in rugs.

>It is easy to forget to rotate your area rugs on a regular basis, and because of that you only see your rug in a certain way. After the rug is cleaned and you lay it down the rug can still look dirty. It isn’t the cleaning process it is the way the light is reflecting off your rug. If you laid it down the opposite way it as before cleaning you may notice pile reversal.

Here is very distinct pile reversal on a wool Chinese runner.

When you bring your rug in for cleaning to our  Luv-A-Rug, rug cleaning studio in Victoria BC, we let you know about any pile reversal your rug may have before we clean it. Pile reversal is noticeable before cleaning unless your rug is more dirt than rug, which we can take care of too.

Pile reversal is mostly caused by the way you walk over the rug. Every time you step on the rug the fibers twist and turn and after time the fibers can change to the opposite direction they were woven. This can happen on a synthetic or a wool rug and is permanent. The best way to slow it down and make it less noticeable is to rotate you rug ever few months. Flipping the rug 180 degrees allows for even wear patterns on your rug.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary, Your rug Victoria and Vancouver Island BC rug cleaning expert!

>How to Find a Good Secondhand Magic Carpet


Where is the best place to get a second hand rug?

Auctions are a popular place to get a great deal…………most of the time.

Depending on what you are looking to buy you can get the deal of the century or a big flop.

Here is Victoria, BC we have two Auction Houses, Lund’s and Kilshaw’s, who auction off area rugs. We get a lot of the rugs bought at the auction for cleaning and a lot of the time the buyer got a great deal for the size and type of rug purchased.

But what about the other kinds of area rug Auctions? The auctions held in hotels, warehouses, a van in the alley, the here today gone tomorrow kind?

Those are the auctions where you take your chances. That is where the shady sales person lays and waits to take your money. Most times with the fly by night auctions there are people planted in the audience to bid up the price.

They are friends or family of the host of the auction and they are purely there to make you spend more. Sounds bad and it is. Those kinds of auctions often have poor quality rugs, but offer them up as high end or antiques.

It is ALWAYS buyer beware in those kinds of auctions. It is always best to remember if it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Sometimes area rug stores will have or host an auction. That is a safe auction to go to as long as the rug store is reputable. Here is Victoria, BC Caspian Oriental Carpets would have the occasional rug auction. It is a great way to show off new rugs.

Another popular place to buy used area rugs is online. Whether it is through Craigslist, usedvictoria or any other area rug selling website ask to see the rug before committing to buying.

Try to see the rug in a well lit area to check for spots, stains, worn down areas.

Ask if you can get the rug evaluated before buying.

Bring the rug to Luv-A-Rug and we will tell you what kind of rug it is, give you an estimated value, and what the cleaning results will be and price of cleaning with no obligation.

Also ask if the rug has been around pets. Pet urine smells and stains are difficult to remove from a lot of area rugs.

It is better to know what you are getting into before buying because not all ads are honest and sometimes the seller doesn’t know what kind of rug they have or the cleaning results.

Buying a second hand rug is a good way of saving money if you are careful.

You can reach us at 250-590-6210 and at #2-4144 Wilkinson Rd at Interurban Tues to Fri 9:45 to 5:30 and Sat 8-3:30.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

>COMPLETELY OF TOPIC, but it needs to be said

>This blog has absolutely nothing to do with area rug cleaning or work. Lately I have been trying to keep my blog post professional, but something has happened and I need to impart some not-so common sense.

I am not writing specific details about the situation to protect the people involved.

A bit a background about myself:

I am a huge STRESS MONKEY. If there is stress to carry I am there. When I have enough of my own or am feeling generous I take on other people’s stress as well. I stress about everything, relaxing isn’t in my dictionary very much.

I received a personally message from someone I thought as a friend telling me that they were very disappointed in me and they have stopped being my friend. Apparently they had written a public note to me explaining why they were disappointed and then they deleted it.

I have no idea what they wrote I can only guess what they are referring to.

Needless to say, but I am very upset at this event and need to release my emotions.

This all started 6 years ago when something bad happened. A grudge has been carried. Life has moved on.

Bad things happen to us all.

We make some not so great decisions along our journey.

LET THEM GO! Scream your anger at the wind and let it carry away the anger, pain , and hurt.

You don’t have to forgive and forget, but don’t carry around the anger and pass it on to others.

I don’t dismiss the anger and pain the other person feels, but I shouldn’t be penalized by association. Deleting me from their life causes more pain and anger and yet another grudge.

I don’t know if it is worth trying to explain my side of things or just let it be. They won’t trust me anymore and without trust there can be no relationship.

I am not sure of how to handle this situation. I know that any kind of communication will be ignored. It is just a shame that this had to happen and I didn’t get to say my side of things. I don’t think the outcome would have changed, but at least they would know where I stand.

Thank you for listening to my way off topic rant.

Holding grudges is silly, it hurts you WAY more than the person you are angry at.


>DIY Cleaning tips-Are They From a Professional?

>A couple times a week I search other blogs about area rug cleaning. The most popular usually are the Do-It-Yourself (DIY)/Green Cleaning/Money Saving blogs.

Nothing wrong with trying to save money and keeping your house chemical free, but where is the advice coming from?

The blogs about DIY rug cleaning are mostly by every day people and not always by professional area rug cleaners.

One of the most important things missing from a lot of these blog posts is what kind of rug/carpet they cleaned. They usually don’t say and that is where problems can arise.

Cleaning a synthetic area rug is much easier than a wool area rug. Synthetic rugs are mostly made from Olefin or Polypropylene (types of plastics). They are a great rug to have around small children, pets and in entry ways. They don’t absorb spills and last a long time.

When spills or pet accidents happen on a synthetic rug, it is the cotton and jute foundation that absorbs the liquid and smells not the actual rug fibers.

Most cleaners and spot removers are made for synthetic carpets and area rugs, not for wool. They are too strong to use on Wool area rugs. A lot of the spot removers were made when carpet was the most used floor covering. Now hardwood/tile are the most used flooring.

Using the wrong spot removers on a wool area rug can ruin your rug. I use the analogy that wool area rugs are just like the hair on our heads. It is the hair of a sheep, it has cuticles and grows just like our hair and is sensitive to a lot of chemicals. We don’t use harsh chemicals or strong shampoos on our hair, why use them on our wool rugs? The results are similar. Use bleach on a wool rug and the wool lightens or dissolves, same as our hair.

Since you cannot be sure of what kind of rug they are talking it about it is like playing Russian Roulette with your cleaning results.

There are safe spot removers for wool. Water is your safest spot remover. A damp White Cotton towel can get rid of a lot of every day spills.

White Vinegar and water is good for fresh, wet pet accidents. Once a pet urine has dried it is pretty much a permanent yellow stain, on wool, cotton, jute and sometimes synthetic.

For red wine put a White Cotton towel on the spill and stand on it. Keep stepping on the towel until either the towel is saturated or you are not getting any more wine off the rug. If you are still seeing wine come up, change to a new towel and keep stepping around the spill.

Club soda, water, salt, dry oatmeal also work at helping remove red wine. The salt and oatmeal absorb the wine, also works for any wet spills.

If you can still see the wine spill, wet a White Cotton towel until it is damp, and keep the spill moist and get it to your rug cleaners as soon as you can. Keeping the spill wet helps the wine not set and stain your rug.

Things to Never use on a Wool area rug are Baking Soda, and any other spot treaters that do not have a Wool safe symbol or say safe for wool. Always do a test spot no matter what you use for spot treatments. Every area rug is different and will react differently even to the same type of spill.

Out of all the stain, cleaning and spot removal advice out there the best things are a White Cotton towel, water, salt, and your professional area rug cleaners.

In a perfect world spills would never happen, in our world they happen every day. Drop by Luv-A-Rug to get your free bottle of our own spot remover. #2-4144 Wilkinson Rd. Victoria, BC 250-590-6210

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary, Your Victoria BC area rug cleaning expert!

>A Round Persian? Oh Yes!

>This is a very unique hand knotted Persian area rug, Tabriz woven. Not only is it round, which is rare, it has a scalloped edge.

Here is another history of Tabriz area rugs from the Rug Rag

This rug is just over 3 feet in diameter, the fringes were longer when it as made. This kind of round rug would have been used on a table.

Using little rugs as table decorations has fallen out of fashion, what is a shame really. Some area rugs made today are too beautiful to walk on, using them as table coverings would be a better use.

Next time you find an area rug that you love but it too lovely to walk on consider using it as a table cover or wall hanging. Area rugs do make great wall hangings as well, since they are works of art.

Another great idea for flat woven area rugs is to make them into pillows or cover a chair cushion. Even if an area rug is too stained or worn to be used as a rug doesn’t mean that the rug is ready to be tossed.

I love seeing your treasured, unique, old, and history rich area rugs. I would love to feature your rug on my blog.

Bring it in to Luv-A-Rug on #2-4144 Wilkinson Rd. 250-590-6210 or e-mail pictures to

When sending pictures I need:

  • One of the whole rug, as much as possible
  • A close up of the back, if possible with a quarter in the picture as well
  • A close up of the fringes where they connect with the rug (front or back doesn’t matter)
  • A picture of any details that you enjoy or that stand out.

Please include your name and e-mail and size of rug(s). I do not publish our personal information or use it for malice spam.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

>Road Salt and Area Rugs

>Yesterday I was reading the blogs I follow and came across one that mentioned road salt and area rugs.

This got me thinking: What does road salt do to area rugs, more specifically wool area rugs?

Apparently I may be the only one wondering that because no one has written anything about the subject except a few sentences I read yesterday. All that was mentioned was that road salt will leave a stubborn white stain on the rugs.

True enough, but does it do anything more serious?

I could not find anything, so here are my thoughts for dealing with the road salt and sand that gets put on our roads and sidewalks:

Do not put your favorite or precious rug in the entrances. Use an inexpensive rug instead. If possible also have a rug outside to wipe your shoes on before stepping inside. I like the really thick scratchy jute ones.

Vacuum the front and back of the rug more often. If the rug is wet give it a good shake.

When shaking a rug DO NOT grab the rug by the fringes or tassels. Have a good grip on the rug itself, this won’t cause any rips to happen on the edges.

Stomp your shoes outside before going in to the house and do not wear your shoes indoors. I know that seems like a no brainer, but we can forget the little things sometimes.

Every season of the year carries it’s own issues for area rugs. In the winter it is road salt/sand, wet weather, bursting water pipes and cannot forget pet accidents.

If your dogs are like mine they hate to go outside in wet/cold weather and area rugs work just as good as the grass for their business.

When the weather is bad, check your area rugs in the rooms that aren’t used as much for pet accidents. Dogs will usually avoid using their favorite areas for their bathroom.

My babies (Daisy and Texas) like to use the spare room that we don’t use very much. Once one starts to use an area the other one will follow.

Once your dogs start to use an area they will keep going back. If your dog doesn’t seem to be doing the usual stuff outside or you see them bolt for an area where they do not normally go, it is time to investigate.

I am wishing everyone a safe, warm, dry and festive New Year’s.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary