As a disclaimer - We are NOT pest control specialists. We are RUG specialists.
RUG STORAGE TIPS
If you are placing a rug into storage, here are the preparation guidelines for proper care of the textiles if they are natural fiber (wool, silk, cotton).
1) Wash the rug thoroughly.
Washing not only removes potential bug hitchhikers in the rug fibers, but it removes all of the soil and contaminants from the foundation fibers of the rug as well. Compacted, ground in soil in a rug over time can dry out cotton foundation warps and wefts in a rug and lead to dry rot.
A proper rug washing facility, such as ours, will also have "insect repellents" that can be used as a final application on the rug, front and back, that will leave the rug "not tasty" to bugs so they will go elsewhere.
2) Roll and wrap in Tyvek paper.
Folding rugs is something you will see done in many rug galleries in order to conserve space, but can cause undue stress on the foundation fibers of rugs over time. (You can lessen this stress by folding the rugs with the fuzzy pile OUTWARD which allows the foundation fibers to bend less, but it also gets the rugs dusty easier)
Ideally rugs should be completely cleaned, insect repelled, and then rolled for long term storage. You roll the rug from the bottom end first to create a tight roll.
(To know which end is the bottom end, pet your rug and see which direction when you pet is going WITH the nap, and which is going AGAINST it. When you are petting WITH the grain it takes you to the bottom end. This is the end where the weaving began. Roll from this end.)
With silk rugs, or more fragile older wool rugs, you can roll the rug with the pile pointing outward to allow for less strain on the foundation. Also big shaggy rugs roll tighter with the long shaggy fibers pointing outward as well.
Wool and plastic should NEVER be combined in storage. Wool has a natural high moisture content (this is why it is flame resistant, it self-extinguishes with flame), so this means if wrapped in plastic and with no airflow, the fibers can "sweat" and create a problem in storage.
3) Elevate when storing. Don't stack heavy items on top of them.
Keeping rugs off the floor allows you to easily see if there are any potential problems with rodents more easily in a storage unit, and since storage facilities seems to often be built in low lying regions, if there are floods keeping the rugs elevated can keep them safer. Not stacking heavy items on top of them can keep strain from causing foundation damage to the rug.
4) Check the rug annually.
If possible, check your rugs in storage once a year to make sure the packaging is secure. If the rug was professionally cleaned, and the insect repellent applied, you can extend your check up of opening up the rug packaging, but it may need to be reapplied after 2 or 3 years.
If you have used Tyvek paper it can be unwrapped and the same paper reused because it is tear resistant. Clear packing tape works best with the Tyvek paper.
Tips To Prevent Unwanted "Guests" In Your Rugs!
Rugs should be regularly vacuumed to prevent dust and grit from working its way into the foundation of a rug. Weekly vacuuming is a must for rugs under consistent foot traffic. You do not need a heavy beater bar vacuum, you just want to "lift up" the settling dust that gets on the tips (the same dust that settled on your hard floors and needs to be swept up weekly). Just a quick "sweeping" of the tops of the fibers is all you need.
But quarterly, rug owners should be more invasive with their dusting, and with the upholstery attachment on their vacuum - or if they have a canister vacuum - pull back the corners of rugs and vacuum the floor underneath and the back of the rug corners.
Carpet beetles and moths like to settle around the edges of rugs, and usually will eat from the backside of the rug where it's dark and undisturbed.
A quarterly "dust and disturb" routine will keep them from finding the rug a nice place to sit. They want to place their eggs in a safe spot to have a meal as they grow. If you disturb them, they will move somewhere else.
Rugs under regular foot traffic should be washed every 18-24 months. If the foot traffic is heavy (or there are pets and kids on the rug a lot) then once a year is recommended. If the rug gets light or no traffic and is regularly vacuumed, then closer to 3 years is not unreasonable.
Rugs that are regularly washed rarely have bug problems, because nothing is more DISTURBING to bugs than having the rug rolled up and taken on a trip for a full service wash.
If you would like one of our rug specialists to assess your rugs, give us a call.
We can provide all these services listed above.
Follow this link to learn more about our Oriental & Area Rug cleaning services.
Information and tips taken from therugchick.com