They enter your home through many channels, such as taking a ride on cut flowers, pets, clothing or flying straight through an open window.
However, once inside carpet beetles settle, lay eggs and their lava can wreak havoc on your upholstery, clothing, carpets, and just about anything else.
The good news is that you don’t need to give them a chance to cause damage, so as you spot the little buggers, follow a simple strategy to get rid of them.
So you know that these bugs are not good news, but what are carpet beetles how do you get rid of them?
Carpet beetles are small pests that damage your furniture, carpets, clothing, and any other material inside your home if it’s left to its own devices. Fortunately, it’s very easy to eliminate them if you use the right treatment and products.
Getting rid of the infestation revolves around cleaning, so you will be doing lots of it.
What exactly are carpet beetles?
The name “carpet beetle” tells you just about everything you need to know about these little critters.
These bugs are well known for infesting clothing, carpets, and upholstery and just about anything that you’re supposed to walk around barefoot.
Worse than that, they are not just infesting your carpet but laying eggs and breeding in it.
So if you are like most homeowners, you don’t know that you have carpet beetles until you come across one. So here’s everything you need to know about them.
These tests are more or less exactly what they sound like they are beetles that lay eggs in any material that is fibrous such as carpets and clothing.
However, there are several species of carpet beetles, but they’re all oval-shaped and about 1/8 of an inch long.
They also vary in color based on their maturity and type of species.
The most common carpet beetles are the black carpet beetle, the varied carpet beetle, and the common carpet beetle.
The Black carpet beetle feeds on fabric and food products such as grains. They are dark brown to black in color and bullet-shaped.
Their eggs grow to 1/2 inch in length and look more or less carrot-shaped.
The Varied carpet beetle feeds on dead insects and other fibrous material.
They are approximately 2 to 3 mm long in their adult stage and have wing covers that are covered with white, brown, and yellow spots.
So they have more or less a splotchy appearance.
The Common carpet beetle is also known as the Buffalo carpet beetle and eats any material made from animal byproducts.
And their shell is covered in black and white patterned scales, and they also have scales along the middle of the shell.
How to Detect Them?
Carpet beetles are known to hide in the dark and in secluded places of your home.
Lots of people confuse them with bedbugs, and they do also infest beds so they can feed on dead skin cells and sheets.
However, unlike bedbugs, they do not bite you. They will irritate your skin, especially if you have an allergic reaction to them.
However, they do not bite. At the worst, you most probably will develop – bite-like marks on your skin if you ever come into contact with these carpet beetles.
However, they eat fabrics in your home, so if you do find damage in your linen and sheets, then you should most probably have carpet beetles inside your home.
However, unlike moths, they feed on one portion of the fabric at a time. So the damage will be large and isolated holes in your fabric.
As they feed, they shed their skin in order to keep growing. The shed skin is often translucent and flaky. Often they shed their skin in the same place that they are feeding.
What are some natural remedies for carpet beetles?
More often than not, carpet beetles are attracted to loose or easily consumed food sources.
They usually feast upon damaged fabrics; however, they can chew through the whole fabric as well.
They particularly enjoy feasting on hairballs, dust, lint, damage furniture, and clothing.
So cleaning up the debris that attracts them is one of the best ways to prevent them. Regular vacuuming and dusting as well will also keep infestations at bay.
The infestations that last the longest are those that have a consistent food source.
So if you have old furniture or damaged pieces of fabric, this will definitely be an attraction for them.
Old clothing, carpeting, old rugs, and sheets are particularly appealing to these pests.
So one of the best things you can do is go through your storage, looking for all materials that can harbor these pests and get rid of them.
You will have to clean and wash all your fabrics to keep your home carpet beetle free on a regular basis.
In the event that you are not using any specific fabric, store it in an airtight container to make it harder for the Beetles to access it.
Beetles are particularly upsetting, and once you discover one of them, you will no doubt be spring cleaning for several days thereafter.
Here is a more detailed guide on how you can rid your home of these carpet beetle infestations.
- The first thing you should do is to vacuum your surfaces. If you’ve seen adults or larvae on your carpets and furniture, vacuum it immediately.
- Steam cleaning is your next step. Steam clean over the same areas that you vacuumed, and the heat and moisture will remove the Beetles and the eggs.
- Wash your pillows and clothing. Use hot water and detergent to wash your clothes, linen towels, and clothes. The water should be as hot as possible to ensure that you kill both the adults and larvae. If your clothing has been infested, the best thing would be to throw it away if you don’t want to wash it. Ultimately you need to dispose of them in a plastic bag and place it in a sealed garbage container.
- Vinegar is very useful in getting rid of carpet beetles. Wipe or spray your surfaces with vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar. This can be done on your shelves, window sills, drawers, hangers, and carpets to remove any dirt or food residue.
- If you still have fears of remaining carpet beetles or lava, apply boric acid to the infested areas. Sprinkle this insecticide on your furniture and carpets, and you will kill any remaining Beetles. The boric acid should be left untouched for approximately two hours, and then you should vacuum up the residue and dispose of it in a vacuum bag.
- If you would like to use an indoor insecticide, you’re welcome to do so. This can be used around your baseboards, under sinks, and any cracks or crevices where you believe your carpet beetles could be hiding. It is not recommended for use on your clothing and carpets.
How to get rid of carpet beetles?
Once you have discovered a carpet beetle infestation in your home, you have a decision to make.
While there are many home remedies that you can use to eliminate them from your home, lots of people are more comfortable with calling a professional exterminator.
However, if you would like a few more options when it comes to ridding your home of these pests, here are a few steps that you can try.
One of the best ways to eliminate them is by using an insecticide.
Your insecticide should, however, contain one of the following ingredients, which is deltamethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin.
To ensure that the product will not stain your carpets, try a small area fast.
Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that it is safe to use on pets and people.
Diatomaceous earth is another natural product that you can use to rid your home of these pests.
Ultimately it is a desiccant that will kill the lava by dehydrating it. You can use it to rid your cabinets, closets, beds, and even furniture of these pests.
You should apply it the same way you would sprinkle boric acid on it to eliminate the pests.
When purchasing this product, choose the “food grade” so that it is safe for humans and pets.
However, when applying it, you should use a mask and respirator to keep from inhaling the fine dust particles during the application.
Although these pests may not be chewing on your possessions, adult females will be laying eggs and breeding on your fabrics and carpets.
By using a flying insect fogger, you will eradicate them from your home.
You should also keep flying insect spray on hand to treat strays and newcomers when you come across them.
Prevention is always better than cure.
So to stop adult carpet beetles from entering your home and then breeding, hang sticky flypaper strips near the windows, and this will catch them.
If you find that you have this pest infestation, use a sticky pheromone tape on window sills and closets to stop them from entering and laying eggs.
List of tips for carpet beetles removal
If you have spotted the signs of a carpet beetle infestation inside your home, then your main concern is how to get rid of the infestation.
There are several ways in which to do so, and there are also several tips and tricks that you can apply to remove these pests from your home for good successfully.
Depending on where the infestation is located, you may need to apply some extra extermination techniques as well as some general removal methods to be successful.
So here’s what you need in order to kill carpet beetles and eliminate them from your home forever.
- You’ll first need to reach for your handheld vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming your mattresses, sofas, couches, carpets, and various other surfaces are your first step in the elimination process.
- Next, you should dispose of badly damaged items. This could be blankets, linen, clothing, or any other items that you can afford to part with.
- Your clothing and linen should then be washed at the highest temperature setting. You should use detergent and extremely hot water to do this.
- The next step is to dry clean your delicates textiles. If you have items in your home that cannot be washed, it should be dry cleaned and disinfected. You should call a professional to take care of this step for you.
- Steam cleaning or hot water extraction is recommended in this step. A home steam cleaner can be used, or you can choose to hire a professional to use pressurized hot water extraction techniques.
- Infested food should be thrown away, and this goes without saying as no one would like to have carpet beetle-infested food for supper.
- Anything that has been infested by the carpet beetle should be disposed of. Hairbrushes and other personal items that have been exposed to these pests should be thrown away immediately.
- Next, use a suitable insecticide that is safe for pets and humans to control a medium infestation inside your home. Any store-bought pesticide will do.
- Lastly, sprinkle the boric acid powder over the affected surfaces and let it sit for a couple of hours before vacuuming the residue away.
Another effective way of killing beetle is to freeze them. Take one of your fabric and linen and freeze them for at least 48 hours to kill off the carpet beetle and the lava.
If you are using a frost-free freezer, then you need to freeze them for a couple of days.
Don’t leave anything to chance, and after freezing your clothing and linen, wash them to ensure that you are free of the carpet beetles. The same applies to your carpets and rugs.
Some other handy ways of getting rid of carpet beetles include using essential oils.
Neem oil kills various insects in any stage of their life cycle. It does this by entering the body and destroying the hormonal system.
Cedar oil is responsible for dissolving carpet beetle eggs as well as dehydrating and suffocating adult beetles.
Eucalyptus oil has a pungent smell to these carpet beetles, and they perceive it as hazardous and avoid the scent at all costs.
Clove oil is also very irritating to carpet beetles, and just like they hate eucalyptus oil, they will not go anywhere near the smell of clove oil.
Borax can also be used to get rid of these pests by sprinkling them against the carpet beetles.
You can dilute it in water and spray it directly on the carpet beetles or sprinkle them as a powder over infected surfaces.
Once you’ve done this, you need to vacuum the entire house to pick up the residue.
In fact, vacuuming should also be done before the application to eliminate any dust and debris.
Interesting Facts About Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles are among the most common household pests that are found inside your home.
If you’ve never experienced them in your home, the probability is at some point, you will.
However, here are some interesting facts about carpet beetles that you should know.
Carpet beetles can’t bite you, but they can still make you sick. One of the things you don’t have to worry about is getting bitten by carpet beetles.
Beetles do not have mandibles that are big enough to cause in bite human beings. They also do not have venom.
However, simply because you don’t have to worry about getting sick from carpet beetle bite does not mean that they do not carry other health concerns.
Cross-contamination is highly likely when carpet beetles come into contact with food consumed by humans.
Carpet beetle lava is more destructive than adults. Unlike with other pests, the adult carpet beetles are not the ones that cause damage to your home.
The lava is the culprit. They feed on fabric, wool, leather, fur, and just about any other fabric you have inside your home.
They’ll damage anything from clothing and upholstery, and they can live for long periods of time.
In fact, they can go up to several weeks without any food and move around your home in search of food sources.
Adult carpet beetles are responsible for ravaging your gardens. Surprisingly, they don’t feed on the same food that the lava does.
They enjoy feeding on pollen and nectar that is found outside your home and inside your gardens.
They also enjoy feasting on your favorite foods such as flour, rice, and cereal. These pests also commonly feed on flower petals.
Black carpet beetles infest kitchens. They are the most common type of carpet beetles to be found indoors, and they feed on dry meat, insects, and plants.
This is one of the most common species that you will find inside your kitchen cupboards.
Ridding Your Home of Carpet Beetles: What You Should Know
Carpet beetles are more than just an inconvenience in your home.
While they do not carry any diseases, they do cause allergic skin reactions in people with sensitive skin.
So while there are many ways to get rid of a carpet beetle infestation, prevention is often better than cure.
So to ensure that’s you don’t have to deal with reinfestations, use the necessary precautions to keep them out of your home.
Also, ensure that you dust and disinfect your home meticulously and regularly to make sure that they don’t have a conducive environment to thrive even if they do get indoors.