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carpet moth life cycle

What Causes Carpet Moths In The Home?

Moths can be a real pest, and if you have them, we sympathise with you. Normally people will look to their wardrobes, given that household moths are often given the name clothes moths. And the damage they can cause to your clothing.

However, did you know that the place moths love breeding more than anywhere else is your carpets? That is why they are often referred to as carpet moths.

But what causes carpet moths and why do they attack your clothes and carpets? That’s what we’ll be discussing in this post.

Identifying Case-Bearing or Carpet Moths

Before we can discuss where they come from and what causes carpet moths, it’s worth looking at how you identify them. When dealing with any pest, it’s best to understand what kind of problem you have first, before anything else.

Carpet moths are easy to spot and generally have the following traits:

  • Small with a mottled brown colour and black spots across their front wings
  • Have a wingspan measuring between 9 and 16mm
  • Both their hind and forewings have hairy fringes.
  • The moth larvae leave its casing behind. Therefore, if you find small cases that look a bit similar to rice, this is a sign that you probably have carpet moths.

So, What Causes Carpet Moths?

The larvae of carpet moths eat the keratin proteins found in skin and hair. So, they have a strong attraction to fur, silk, wool and other high quality and natural materials. If you don’t have silk or wool carpets in your home, there’s still a chance you will get moths. This is because they will happily make a home in synthetic carpet fibres too.

Within the pile of a carpet or rug, they can hide their eggs – safely out of harm’s way. Once the eggs start to hatch, they turn into hungry larvae. And even if the larvae don’t eat the actual fibres, they will still eat any dirt that collects in them, such as food debris, hair, skin and other household dirt. These are all full of all the nutrients they need to grow.

They’re also partial to dirty clothes for similar reasons. These items will be covered in hair, skin and sweat, all rich in keratin.

Another contribution to what causes carpet moths is the climate. They prefer warm temperatures, so are more active during the summertime.

How Can You Prevent Carpet Moths?

The best remedy is obviously to not have carpets at all. However, if that’s not possible, cleaning and especially hoovering your carpet regularly and often can control carpet moths from becoming an infestation.

Keeping clothing freshly laundered before going back in the wardrobe is also a strategy. And using pheromone moth traps will go some way toward curbing the population.

Prevention is better than cure, so try the tips above. If it is already too late, give Diamond a call and we will come out promptly. We use the latest and most effective moth control techniques.


Sally has been writing on the subject of pest control for 4 years. She always carries out extensive and in depth research and always tries to bring you the most up to date, interesting topics.

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