There are two species of carpet moth found in the UK; the Carpet/ Tapestry Moth (Trichophaga Tapetzella) and the Case-Bearing Carpet Moth (Tinea Pellionella). Neither species is as common indoors as it used to be, as indoor temperatures tend to be too high for them these days due to central heating.
However, having these moths in your home can cause severe damage to your carpets and other items. Here are a few tips on how to identify them.
Carpet/ Tapestry Moth
The carpet/ tapestry moth is found worldwide, and adult moths tend to be seen from April to October, although this can vary depending on geographical location. They are very small moths, with a wingspan of typically 14 - 18mm.
The adult carpet/ tapestry moth has a very distinctive appearance, with a dark grey-brown stripe across the top of the body which stretches halfway down their forewings. The rest of the body and the hind wings are a very pale grey-beige.
The larvae are more difficult to spot as they can change colour depending on what they eat; they are often the same colour as your carpet as a result of ingesting the dye. It is the larvae that eat your carpets, not the adult moths.
Carpet/ tapestry moths tend to lay their eggs in the darkest patches of your carpet, such as under furniture, behind curtains or by skirting boards.
The carpet/ tapestry moth does not only feed on carpet, but will also eat clothing, fur, animal skin and any textiles or upholstery made of natural fibres. If you have them in your home you are likely to notice threadbare patches at the edge and corners of your carpets.
Case-Bearing Carpet Moth
The adult case-bearing carpet moth is approximately 5mm in length, and has yellowish-brown forewings with three darker dots on each wing. Their hind wings are pale grey and are fringed with hair.
Case-bearing carpet moth eggs are whitish in colour. Their larvae are more distinctive as they are opaque white with brown heads; however, the grub weaves a silken case around itself as it grows, which seals when it is large enough so the grub can pupate. A case containing a pupating grub looks like a grain of rice and is likely to be found in dark corners or under furniture.
If you think you have either species in your home, and would like further advice on identification and control, please give us a no-obligation call on 01635 250 852.
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