Textile pests include moths and the many beetle species which feed on the natural protein, Keratin. This can be found in any textile of animal origin including wool, silk, hair, leather and feathers.
Although it’s actually the larvae of these pests which causes visible damage to our homes rather than the fact that they’re trying to eat our prized possessions, they can still cause significant damage to many areas of the home. Items most at risk include clothing, upholstered furniture, woollen carpets and collections of valuable textile items.
If left untreated, textile pests can cause irreplaceable damage so it’s important to identify the signs of an infestation as quickly as possible.
How To Spot The Signs Of Textile Pests
The good news is that once you know what to look out for, it can be fairly easy to spot the signs of a textile pest infestation. Important points to consider include:
• Taking the time to inspect your property on a regular basis can help to identify problems early which will ensure fast and effective treatment
• Ignoring the signs and hoping they go away will lead to significant damage caused to your home. This can be particularly heart-breaking if you have precious items of historic or cultural significance
Apart from the obvious signs of damage, evidence of the following may indicate that you have a textile pest infestation:
• Damage in one area is typically a sign of beetle larvae whereas moth larvae will create more scattered areas of damage
• You may notice live or dead adult insects gathered around window openings
• These pests often cause damage to natural fabrics including carpets, tapestries, rugs, leather book bindings, upholstered furniture, silk and feathered items. Also check for damage on pillows, mattresses, cushions and furniture which is often filled with feathers or horse hair
• Brushes or paintbrushes made with natural bristles, and pads and felts in woodwind instruments may also fall victim to attack if they’re stored away for long periods of time
• Carpet beetle larvae may leave faeces and shed their skin. This should be easy to spot because this is often done in concentrated areas around the source of the infestation. Faecal pallets are about the size of a salt grain and they shed brown shell-like cast skins
• Textile pest larvae can be difficult to spot if you don’t know where to look because they prefer to hide in dark and quiet locations where they will go undisturbed. Ensure you look under large items of furniture (especially those which aren’t moved very often), as well as in wardrobes
• You will know you’ve found carpet beetle larvae by their distinct appearance – they have alternate light and brown striped bodies and are covered with dense tufts of hair
• As with any pest, a sure-fire sign of an infestation is the presence of their eggs. With textile pests, these are often laid in air ducts, cupboards, wardrobes, under furniture and on textiles and fabrics
If you think that you may have a textile pest infestation, please feel free to contact Prokill and we will be more than happy to help. We will also be able to book you in a for a free, no obligation pest audit if you wish.