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Moth infestation eats entire carpet: 'Whole place a breeding ground'

The carpet was so destroyed that it broke away as the pest controller moved his hand along it.

Footage of bug-infested carpet crumbling under the hand of a pest controller has sent shivers through Aussies faced with yet another critter to worry about.

Sydney pest controller Christopher Moschella shared just how bad infestations of the clothes moth — also known as the carpet moth — can get if "left unattended", filming hundreds of larvae scattered across a decrepit, rotting carpet.

When moving his hand across the carpet, it broke away with ease revealing how little fabric was left behind. "The whole place was a breeding ground," he told Yahoo News Australia.

Photos from inside the inherited property showing the larvae from the clothes moths throughout the crumbling beige carpet.
The inherited property remained neglected for years which allowed the carpet moths to take over. Source: TikTok

Moschella claims the owners inherited the Sydney Eastern Suburbs property and had left it empty for over five years. When they returned, they found it alarmingly covered in moths and larvae.

The footage posted to TikTok has since terrified tens of thousands of people who did not realise the pests could cause such damage. "This is why the house I'm renovating is going all tile and laminate — fear unlocked," one person said. "Wow. I had no idea they could do this much damage!" another exclaimed.

Clothes moths can destroy clothes and carpet

The "destructive" clothes moth looks similar to the pantry moth to the untrained eye, but can be even more difficult to get rid of in the home.

According to Western Australia's Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, adult moths do not feed but their tiny white larvae will eat holes through susceptible, natural materials. Their larvae feed on natural products such as cotton, leather or wool and may cause damage to fabrics with natural fibres.

How to know if clothes moths have taken over

Unlike other moths, clothes moths prefer low-light areas and are drawn to places like under the furniture, inside closets or under mouldings. They are also not big on flying so can be sneaky, well-hidden creatures.

You can spot an infestation by looking for silken tubes or patches of silk webbing on clothes or fabric, or by looking for holes in fabric or patches of missing carpet — rarely would it get to the stage seen in Moschella's video.

If you think you have an infestation, your best option is to call a local pest control company who will come and spray your home.

Prevent an infestation of clothes moths

Ongoing cleaning, regular pest inspections and pheromone traps are your three biggest defences against a this tiny pest.

  • Cleaning: vacuum your carpet regularly and wash your clothes before putting them back in your closet.

  • Pheromone traps: These attract the moth, luring them out of the dark onto a sticky surface where they are then stuck and killed off. The traps that work on clothes moths have the added benefit of working on pantry moths.

  • Pest inspections: Moschella recommends getting a reliable pest controller to come every six months to a year so they can check the property and spot any potential pests.

Other natural deterrents include lavender — which you can put in a small cloth bag and place around your home — and cedar wood.

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