Does Vinegar Kill Carpet Moths?

Carpet moths can be really annoying to deal with. While they are not harmful to humans, their notorious presence can be catastrophic for your carpets & rugs.

So what are carpet moths? Does vinegar kill carpet moths? What are the ways to prevent them? Find the answer to these and many other questions in this guide.

What Are Carpet Moths & How To Identify Them?

What Are Carpet Moths & How To Identify Them

Carpet moths are golden in color and are 14 and 18 m long in size, and their larvae- cream in color, have a dark head, and are ¼ to ½ inch long.

Carpet moths like to attack your carpets when they are in their larva stage, and that is how they grow- by feeding on the fibers of your carpets.

These larvae cause dark patches and spots in your carpets and ruin their appearance, which is why it is important to get rid of them.

Because these carpet moths like to feed on fibers, you can find them in your closet, sofas, and around dark corners and edges of upholsteries, closets, etc., apart from the carpets.

Signs Of Carpet Moths

Carpet moths can infest and destroy your carpets anytime, just like carpet beetles do, so you need to be vigilant. Here are common signs of moth to look for to identify if your carpet has carpet moths:

  • Look for visible adult moths congregating on your carpet or rug.
  • Examine frayed edges or holes in your carpet.
  • Look for a white web-like structure or cocoons.

Why Does Carpet Moth Exist?

The lifecycle of a carpet moth consists of mating, laying eggs, and feeding to grow to its full size. When these carpet moths are in their larva stage, that is when they need to feed the most.

These moths get attracted to the fragrance of carpets; they love attaching themselves along the edges, corners, and along dark areas in your home and munching on cloth fibers.

In recent years, carpet moths in the U.S. have become a rising cause of concern. But do not worry. There are ways to deal with carpet moths, which we will see in this guide further.

Does Vinegar Kill Carpet Moths?

Vinegar is known for its anti-bacterial properties and for its acidic nature. When vinegar is poured on any surface, it basically changes the pH level of that surface. So can vinegar kill carpet moths?

The answer is yes. When you pour vinegar on your carpet, the habitat of carpet moths alters because of the change in the pH level, making it difficult for them to survive.

The best part about using vinegar is that it is a natural cleansing agent; it is accessible and even affordable.

How To Get Rid Of Carpet Moths Using Vinegar?


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can get rid of carpet moths using vinegar:

Things Required:

  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Water

1. Vacuum your carpet thoroughly first.

Vacuum your carpet

2. Take a spray bottle and mix 1 cup of white vinegar with half a cup of water.

mix vinegar & water

3. Identify the affected spots and spray the vinegar solution on the spots.

spray on carpet

4. Now leave the solution on the carpet for 20-25 minutes.

5. If you have sprayed the mixture only on certain portions, then after 20-25 minutes, you can simply dust off the killed moths and larvae. However, if you soaked a good part of your carpet and it looks dirty with the killed moths, then you should thoroughly wash the carpet with water.

IMPORTANT: The acidic nature of vinegar can discolor certain carpets. So before you start this treatment, make sure you do a patch test on your precious carpet.

How To Get Rid Of Carpet Moths From Wool Carpets?

How To Prevent Carpet Moths?

How To Prevent Carpet Moths

Prevention is better than cure and so here are all the things that you can do to prevent carpet moths in your home:

  • Carpet moths love the hot and humid atmosphere, so turn down the heating in your home.
  • Carpet moths love human hair and skin cells even, so make sure you vacuum your carpets frequently to make your carpets less hospitable for these uninvited guests.
  • Make homemade repellant using thyme, rosemary, lavender, etc., and place them in spots that see a frequent infestation. Make sure you replace the herbs with new ones in a few months.
  • You can use vinegar and other home remedies every once in a while to clean your carpets.
  • Carpet moths thrive in dark and humid areas, and they hate sunlight. So expose your carpets to direct sunlight every once in a while.
  • If the infestation is extreme, then it is best to call professionals.

Other Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Carpet Moths

If vinegar is not compatible with your carpet, then here are a few other natural remedies to get rid of carpet moths:

1. Soap Water Solution

Soap Water Solution

Soap also alters the pH of the surface, and they are harmful to insects. You can treat carpet moths with soap solution, but note that it will not prevent future infestations.

What you’ll need?

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottle


1. Mix a cup of water and two tbsp of dish soap in a spray bottle.

Soap & water Solution

2. Spray the mixture on the affected area and leave it for 30 minutes.

spray soap water on carpet

3. Now wash your carpet or rug with plain water and let it dry.

2. Boric acid

Boric acid

So Boric acid is an insecticide and is often used in the treatment of pests. Boric acid is highly toxic for carpet moths and their larvae, so here’s how you can use it:

What you’ll need?

  • Boric acid powder
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Applicator


1. Identify the affected area in your carper and sprinkle the boric acid generously on it.

Sprinkle Boric acid

2. Leave the boric acid as it is for three days to work its magic.

3. Vacuum the carpet to remove the dead larvae and moths. Clean your vacuum cleaner, too, to prevent future infestation.

3. Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Male carpet moths find females by pheromone trails, and you can break the trail by using essential oil scents. Here’s how you can use essential oil to get rid of carpet moths:

What you’ll need?

  • Eucalyptus and Peppermint essential oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • 90% Isopropyl alcohol 


1. Take a spray bottle and add 1 part isopropyl alcohol, ten drops of peppermint oil, and five drops of eucalyptus oil to one part of water.

2. Close the spray bottle, and shake the mixture.

spray bottle & essential oil

3. Spray the mixture on the affected area and leave it as it is for a day.

Spray the mixture

4. Vaccum and clean the carpet after 24 hours. Repeat the steps every two weeks to avoid any further growth.

4. Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be used to kill carpet moth larvae as it is poisonous to the eggs and dries them out. Here’s how you use baking soda to get rid of carpet moths:

What you’ll need?

  • Baking soda 
  • Water  
  • Vinegar
  • Brush 


1. Sprinkle baking soda on the infested area of your carpet. Leave it for 24 hours.

Sprinkle baking soda

2. Now mix equal parts of water and vinegar and spray it on the affected spots. This will neutralize the baking soda.

3. Wash the carpet or rug using water.

5. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a powder obtained from a type of rock. This powder can pierce the body of insects which makes it effective in getting rid of carpet moths too.

What you’ll need?

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Diatomaceous earth


1. Identify the infested area and sprinkle a generous amount of Diatomaceous earth on it.

sprinkle Diatomaceous earth

2. Leave the powder for three days (at least) or until you see the dead larvae and moths.

vacuum the carpet

3. Remove the dead moths and powder by vacuuming the carpet.

Wrapping Up

Carpet moths are pesky little creatures that can wreck your carpets if not dealt with on time. The key to getting rid of them lies in identification, treatment, and further prevention.

In this guide, we answered does Vinegar kill carpet moths? Shared remedies that kill their preventive measures, etc. We hope this helped.


What attracts carpet moths?

Carpet moths get attracted the most to human hair, animal hair, skin cells, fibers, perspiration, moisture, etc.

They love humid and dark areas, so make sure you keep your carpets clean by vacuuming them frequently.

How do carpet rugs get inside your home in the first place?

An adult carpet moth can simply fly into your house throughs windows or cracks and breed on your carpets.

If you picked a rug from a thrift store or a flea market, then it might have been infested already. So avoid buying second-hand rugs and carpets.

How to get rid of carpet moths permanently?

Getting rid of carpet moths permanently requires patience. You can use any of the above-mentioned remedies to get rid of carpet moths.

But doing it once won’t permanently remove the moths. The key lies in carrying out the cleaning procedure every few weeks for the time being.

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