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Evidence of a textile pest infestation may commonly be found in carpets and other stored products, such as blankets and fine knitted goods. Identifying problems with textile pests becomes even easier once you know the signs to look for and where.
Regular inspections and monitoring will help to identify a problem early to ensure fast and effective textile pest treatment. This will help to reduce the risk of long term damage to sensitive and valuable items, even leather book bindings and woodwind instruments.
Signs of damage may only become visible after an infestation has long been established. Clothes moth and carpet beetle larvae feed deep in the carpet pile in dark and undisturbed areas, meaning infestations may go undetected for years, particularly if the areas are not regularly cleaned.
If you have items in your home or business that could be at risk, it is critical to regularly look for other visible signs of an infestation to identify a problem early.
Live or dead adult insects - such as carpet beetles or textile moths, often found gathered around window openings are an indication of an infestation. To confirm their presence, move heavy items of furniture to expose carpet underneath. Look for moths that may scurry or fly from behind or underneath furniture.
Faeces and shed skin - carpet beetle larvae produce faecal pellets about the size of a salt grain and shed brown shell like cast skins. These will be concentrated in the source area of infestation. Part the carpet pile to expose the backing in several areas under furniture, around skirtings and in corners, and examine for the presence of insect droppings. Examine the surface of the carpet in the same areas for loose or eaten pile and insect debris such as silk threads, cocoons, tubes, cases and cast skins. Carpet pile will be removed on vacuuming in areas of severe infestation.
Larvae - textile pest larvae prefer to hide in quiet, dark, undisturbed locations such as under large items of furniture (that are not often moved) or in wardrobes or closets. Carpet beetle larvae have alternate light and brown striped bodies and are covered with dense tufts of hair – giving them the nick name “woolly bears”.
Textile pests are usually attracted to natural fabric items such as carpets, tapestries, rugs, leather book bindings, upholstered furniture, silks and feathered items. Their presence will usually be indicated by insect debris (droppings and/or silk threads) around the damaged area.
Woolen products - In general, untreated woollens stored unprotected in cupboards for several months are more prone to insect damage. Wool textiles in frequent use and regularly washed or drycleaned are unlikely to suffer damage from textile pests unless infestations occur nearby.
Knitted goods - Insect damage to fabrics and fine knitted goods usually takes the form of irregular shaped holes where yarns have been completely severed and eaten, much like the damage small caterpillars can do to leaves of plants.
Other items at risk - include pillows, mattresses, cushions and furniture with traditional fillings such as feathers or horse hair. Brushes and paint brushes made with natural bristles, and pads and felts in woodwind instruments (especially if stored for long periods of time) may also be found with damage.
Call Rentokil free on 0800 736 865 for fast treatment of textile pests.
Trusted in New Zealand for over 50 years, our technicians have all the expertise needed to bring an infestation safely and quickly under control.
We will identify the exact textile pest species invading your home or business.
With access to leading innovative processes we will ensure effective treatment, which will prevent future re-infestations.
Protecting New Zealand homes and businesses for over 50 years