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Moths - get rid of carpet/close gap between built-in dresser and concrete floor

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by Marritza, 30 Jul 2018.

  1. Marritza

    Marritza

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    dresser gap 1.jpg dresser gap 2.jpg We live in a rented flat and have recently started having problems with carpet moths in one of the rooms. There is 100% fitted wool carpet everywhere, so perfect for them. When trying to find the nest we noticed what looked like rice grains near the fitted/built-in cupboard/dresser and pulled up the carpet. Apparently, there is a carpet square that's been left under the dresser, which is likely the source of the infestation (photos attached). Not sure why anyone would do this but here we are. Repeated treatments of the carpet square and the room itself with steam, insecticide powder and a permethrin-based spray haven't helped - the moths still seem to come out of that area. So, I thought we need to either remove the carpet square or isolate it from the outside.

    Since this is a built-in dresser (no gaps on top or near the walls), it wouldn't be easy to remove it so that the carpet square can be extracted. The other thought I had is to seal the gap between the concrete floor and wooden dresser but I'm not sure what I should use - expandable foam? Silicone sealant? Also, the fitted carpet is meant to go into the gap underneath the dresser, so if I seal it, it wouldn't fit property anymore (not that it does now once we've pulled it up...). Would be grateful for any ideas.
     
  2. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    I'd ask the landlord as you will damage the carpet doing anything.

    is that a baseboard fitted after the unit is in there?

    Rice grains.. Black? That's mouse poo
     
  3. Marritza

    Marritza

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    The landlord is aware but will not do or suggest anything unless we do it ourselves, according to our 4 year experience in the flat. Not sure I understand re: the baseboard - there is a baseboard that only goes up to the cabinet and then the cabinet itself is built in. There does seem to be a baseboard underneath the cabinet but it seems to be a part of the cabinet itself (the cabinet floor is level with the top of it). The rice grains were whitish, semi-transparent. Definitely not rodent-related. Plenty of moths on the traps to prove it's them. :D
     
  4. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    I'd back the hole with nylon string, then apply silicone.
    The string is only to support the silicone before it dries but no point adding "food'

    By baseboard, I meant that many bedroom/kitchen units have the bottom front clipped on, so that adjustable legs can be used and concealed. because the left hand skirting board is cut at an angle, it looks as if it can be slid out
     
  5. Marritza

    Marritza

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    Thanks, I'll see what I can find in screwfix - I've never used sealants before so not much experience there. In regards to the baseboards, I know what you mean - unfortunately it doesn't look like it can get removed easily - it looks like there is a square (or at least 2 sides/corner) of baseboards glued together and the dresser is placed on top of them.
     
  6. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    What's in the cupboard? They must be eating something
    I suffered tiny moths in my kitchen and it turned out to be a bag of flour that was the source
     
  7. Marritza

    Marritza

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    They seem to be eating the carpet. The cupboard has clothes in it but we've gone over the entire thing twice and there's no sign of them (yet)...
     
  8. foxhole

    foxhole

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    You could push back the carpet under the unit with a long tool. [wood chisel, bolster etc] then expanding foam , cut back excess .No trim needed as new carpet will need to tuck under a little.

    Though your l/lord should deal with infestations.
     
  9. Marritza

    Marritza

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    The carpet square under the cupboard seems quite tightly wedged in - I think I might have difficulty pushing it in...will see what I can do. As I mentioned, the landlord won't take charge although he does reimburse us (not for the effort it takes to find/manage the handymen though!)
     
  10. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Should be simple to tuck the carpet back, should be hollow behind base board.
     
  11. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Firstly there has apparently been an explosion in moth numbers over this summer due to the warm conditions and lack of rain having provided ideal breeding conditions. Secondly the type of moths you are talking about, probably the common clothes moth (tineola bisselliella) likes undisturbed corners that are dark and warm and the larvae can exist on almost any natural fibre and a few other things (including wool, cashmere, silk, cotton, linen, fur, feathers, hair, lint, carpets, the bristles of brushes, pet fur and even dust - and yes felt underlay and rugs) as well as a lot of man-made protien-rich products such as the release compounds used on some plastic bags (really!). Don't bother looking for the eggs - they are microscopically small and you'll simply never see them with the naked eye.

    Treatment of clothing is quite a rigmarole. You need to remove everything from your wardrobe, vacuum-out all the corners and drawers, and wipe all your surfaces with a detergent-soaked cloth to kill-off any larvae (which in the early stages are so small as to be near invisible to the naked eye). All the clothes will need to be washed or dry-cleaned (curtains and upholstery, too). You could also freeze anything you can fit on your freezer shelves because sub-zero temperatures kill the larvae, although make sure you put clothes in plastic bags prior to freezing to avoid a condensation build-up and keep them in there for 48 hours.

    Once you have decontaminated your clothing it needs to be kept clean because moths love to feast on human sweat and food particles. Never put any clothes back in your newly cleaned wardrobe or drawers that are dirty - especially knitwear.

    Ideally store woollens and any other items you value in zip-lock bags and line with anti-moth paper strips or moth balls (the modern ones don't smell so much of camphor). Drawers should be lined with anti-moth paper and cedar balls or sticks left between layers of stored clothing

    Keep rooms well-ventilated in warm weather and put a natural oil diffuser in your wardrobe or use something like a Rentokill moth cassette instead

    All these products have a defined life, so change them as they reach expiry date

    Treatment of flooring is even worse - the carpet can be attacked by both the clothes moth and the tapestry or carpet moth (trichophaga tapetzella). All the flooring and skirting boards need to be thoroughly vacuumed out, especially under furniture. The carpets then need to be treated with a moth killing powder, vacuumed out then treated a second time deep into the pile using a moth killing spray to kill any remaining eggs and larvae. We were advised that where there is moth damage to carpets one or more fumers (or smoke bombs) will be required to effectively kill them off. Once you've done the decontamination you need to continue to vacuum thoroughly, regularly, and place moth traps close to affected areas to monitor for adult moths and to break the breeding cycle. Regular spraying of the carpet between April and October (the breeding period, although it is getting longer) will help to avoid a further carpet moth infestation

    And how do I know all this? Because I'm dealing with something similar myself at the moment. And having lived in old houses I have to admit it isn't the first time we've gone through these cycles
     
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  12. Marritza

    Marritza

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    Thanks, JobAndKnock, this seems comprehensive. One thing I'm worried about is that this is a child's room and I'm not too comfortable with all the chemicals involved, although we have already sprayed the carpet thoroughly (and used powder). We have a Rentokil surveyor coming in today, although I'm not holding out much hope for that as it's probably going to involve yet more chemicals. I'm hoping our clothes aren't affected (we've only seen moths hopping on the carpet to date).

    Will deal with the gap between the cupboard and the floor once the surveyor leaves. At least we've learned a lesson never to put down natural fibre carpets...:(
     
  13. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Get rid of the infested carpet under the cupboard. Easier said then done, but needs doing.

    You should take steps to protect any good-quality woolen clothes anywhere in the house - jumpers, suits etc. Put them in individual moth-proof zip bags. Continue to do this even after you think you’ve got rid of the moths.
     
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  14. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    We had carpet moths in living room (believe they came in attached to a secondhand sofa we had given when house was bought 13 years ago).

    Constant vacuuming and powders did nothing, ended up ripping up and bagging all the carpet and underlay (fitted liminate back down).

    Luckily it hasn't spread to upstairs..

    I'd make every effort to remove the peice of carpet under the wardrobe and bin the carpet and underlay if it was me.

    That's a carpet moth larvae, they look like tiny maggots..

    Screenshot_20180731-202202_Samsung Internet.jpg
     
  15. Marritza

    Marritza

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    Update - filled the gap under the cupboard with some Polyfilla and the number of moths definitely went down. Put up moth papers in cupboards and drawers, put clothes in bags. Vacuuming all the time, especially corners. Insecticide powder is still in the room corners, will vacuum up today. The Rentokil surveyor quoted something like £2800 for 5-7 weekly spray treatments of the entire flat, including heat treatments of clothes and woolens. Replacing the carpet in the bedroom that's most affected with a good quality synthetic would be closer to £1000. Landlord's decision but I'm not going to feel comfortable in a flat where most of the carpets are 100% wool...

    BTW, that thing next to the nail in the photo ended up being a wood splinter, not a larvae...
     
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