Last Spring while doing a regular clean of our snug I noticed that something had been having a jolly good munch of a couple of areas of the carpet - in a corner and along the skirting board. There was no obvious sign of a culprit. I gave the carpet a good vacuum and thought no more about it. Then one warm evening during the Summer, and there were not many of those last year, as we were about to go upstairs to bed I noticed about a dozen flies crawling up the wall. Before I went to bed I just had to clean them off the wall. I could not leave them there overnight to cause havoc. So out came the vacuum cleaner and I used the nozzle to remove them from the wall, as that seemed to be the easiest way of doing the job without making a mess of the decoration. The snug would, of course, be the only room that is wall papered. After that I started to keep an eye on things. I continued to find flies on the skirting board and carpet almost every day and the carpet was becoming more and more moth eaten. Fortunately all the areas of carpet involved were in corners or behind furniture and only the carpet in the snug was affected. We had never had a problem anything like this before and were at a loss to know where to start to resolve it. As it happened the carpet had been bought from a chain, which had closed its' Chester store. This made life difficult as my first port of call would have been them. Undeterred I found their head office address on the Internet and wrote asking their advice.
While waiting for their response I used to crawl around the carpet several times a day removing the culprit insects. I kept a tally on the calendar of the number that I caught. The average was six per day. About two months later we received a reply which stated that the problem was nothing to do with them. The company that we had purchased the carpet from had gone into liquidation and the new company, with almost the same name, had nothing to do with it! But in the case of a genuine fault somebody must be responsible. We appeared to have no alternative but to ask a pest control company to come to have a look at the carpet. They promised to be discreet. However, I hardly think that finding a man on your doorstep dressed in a white overall suit of the sort worn in crime/murder programmes on TV is discreet. Having had a look at the carpet he confirmed what we had suspected, that we had an infestation of carpet beetle. In our case the insects looked nothing like a beetle, but the term 'carpet beetle' seems to be used for any sort of carpet infestation caused by an insect.
The treatment was to spray the whole carpet with a solution of alpha cypermetherin, but before this was done we had to sign a COSHH assessment and he had to get the canister of the chemical from his van. This involved walking up and down our garden path several times. By now, in addition to the white overall suit he was also wearing head gear, a mask and gloves. I am sure that the neighbours must have been beginning to think that there had been at murder at our cottage. We stayed out of the room while the spraying was being done and for another hour or so afterwards. This treatment, which can not have actually taken more than 15 minutes, cost a cool £200.
Every cloud has a silver lining. I was not to clean the skirting board or vacuum the carpet for three weeks.