I’m not usually one to let things get the better of me or get on top of me as I’m fairly laid back as a rule, but this week all I can think about is the mound of spring cleaning and and carpet care I’ve got to do and the fact that now the kids have gone back to school I don’t have a good enough excuse not to do it. Just to be clear I’m not talking about the usual spit and a lick I perform daily to give the illusion of cleanliness, I’m talking about tipping the house upside down to empty it, then deep cleaning the crap out of it.
Bit of background … Husband is a clever builder type so 10 years ago we built our own house. It was hard graft and we lived in an old 80’s static caravan with leaky windows and draughty doors for a couple of years without proper running water or any real home luxuries. ‘Horrendous’ you might think but being in our little temporary home with a baby, a toddler and 2 big dogs for a couple of years while Husband worked late into the night to build us our perfect home was an adventure I wouldn’t have missed out on. Admittedly it wasn’t cheap, but as we had secured the mortgage already to do the work we decided not to skimp, and only to use the best materials, which included pricey carpets. This meant wool berbers everywhere except for the kitchen tiles.
What no one tells you is that if you don’t vigorously vacuum every last inch of a wool carpet on a regular basis (I’m talking dragging out heavy solid wood wardrobes and cabin beds) that you get carpet moths.
‘’Carpet Moths (Trichophaga Tapetzella) are also known as tapestry moths. Their larvae have a taste for the keratin found in natural fibres and will happily munch their way through wool carpets and silk rugs’’ – Rentokil.
This time last year, a few weeks prior to the first National lock down, we made the gruesome discovery that these bad boys had been lurking in the dark depths that you don’t see on a daily basis. I know I joke about not cleaning and living in a shit hole because in all honesty I’m not one of life’s born cleaners. I wish to God I was but I’m one of those that cleans like Holy Hell only to discover that nothing looks any different except for being more smudged. Having said that the house is usually at an acceptable level of cleanliness and to date no one has ever caught dysentery and died so I thought I was doing okay.
Anyway, at the risk of being dramatic, something I am a little prone to, the whole carpet moth episode freaked me out so much I still don’t like to talk about it. It gives me tit sweats. I’m lucky enough to love my home, and being cooped up here during lock down hasn’t been a hardship for me in the slightest, so long as it’s just us, the people who actually live here and not any extra wildlife. When I researched them and found out that they like natural fibres I was a bit miffed because it meant had we opted for cheap carpets we could have been as dirty as we liked with no threat of invasion. Definitely something I’ll be bearing in mind for next time.
To cut a long, skin crawling story short, we managed to eradicate them in the form of a complete bottoming of the whole house and numerous carpet treatments. I used sprays, powders and even some industrial strength flea spray because I read they weren’t a fan of that. The last 3 applications were unnecessary following the first 3 I know but once it was in my mind that we were infested with creepies, I just couldn’t stop. The tell tale sign that the moths have moved in are little grains of rice in the dark depths of your rooms or under the feet of furniture. Of course it’s far more sinister than it being actual rice. The tiny little pupas masquerading as rice, and what is categorically not rice in any way, are actually moth larvae, baby moths in cocoons that munch their way through your carpets until they are bald. Moths that have grown from eggs embedded in your carpet. The carpet your children play on. As I write this I’m holding back the vomit.
The end result is that we are totally free of small mothy squatters but I now make a point of moving ALL furniture and doing a spring clean that would make a crime scene clean up crew proud on a 6 weekly basis. Homeschooling this time around has been so full on that I’m actually weeks behind with the bottoming rota and even though I know logically that nothing major will happen in a few weeks , it’s all I can think about. So with the reopening of schools I now have a child free house and the ability to clean until my heart’s content (or until the fear of rediscovering those little bastards stops running from my body screaming). I don’t want to scare monger, that’s not what this is, but if you have a wool carpet, have you checked under the bed lately?