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Fabric pests cause extensive damage to carpets, clothes, furniture, etc. They feed on the keratin contained in animal furs, hairs, feather, etc. An understanding of this will help in identifying and managing these pests. We will discuss the most common of these pests, the common carpet beetle, the black carpet beetle, the casemaking clothes moth, and the webbing clothes moth.


Fabric pest management is a five step process. They are as follows:
  1. Identification: This will direct inspection efforts in the right direction and also help in determining treatment. For identification of these pests, see Pestdude's FABRIC PEST IDENTIFICATION page.
  2. Inspection: Check everywhere possible food material could be, including attic.
  3. Sanitation: Good sanitation practices will help in prevention. These insects like soiled material and the cleaner, the better with respect to keeping them under control. Dry cleaning or washing in hot soapy water followed by a hot dryer will kill all stages of these insects. Throw rugs will require removal for cleaning. Wall to wall carpeting may require removal for complete cleaning and treatment of backing material. Because of the expense of doing this, try treating without removal first. The carpet should be thoroughly cleaned, including all edges.
  4. Treatment: A thorough treatment of the area surrounding the infestation should be done with an appropriately labeled liquid pesticide, being sure to get all cracks and crevices. DO NOT spray clothing.
  5. Monitoring: Closely watch and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment program. If you did this yourself and the fabric pests are still there, then you should consider hiring a pest management professional.

See also:

If you have any questions, please ask Pestdude!