How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Have you ever noticed tiny holes in your favorite sweater or that elegant rug? If so, you might have a carpet beetle problem. These tiny pests can damage your fabrics, making your cosy home a nightmare. 

The challenge is, however, how  to identify, combat, and prevent carpet beetle infestations. Whether you’re facing a full-blown invasion or want to be prepared, this guide will help you make your home a beetle-free zone by learning how to get rid of carpet beetles. 

Ready to take on these fabric foes? Let’s get started and learn how to get rid of carpet beetles.

Also Read:

What Are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped insects that can damage carpets and other fabrics. They come in different colors, depending on the type and region. Some common carpet beetles are speckled brown, while others are red, orange, black, or other hues. You can research your location to find which carpet beetles to watch out for. Carpet beetles also reproduce quickly, making their eggs and larvae hard to spot. Sometimes, people confuse carpet beetle damage with moth damage.

How Do Carpet Beetles Get Into Your Home?

Carpet beetles can fly into your home through open windows and doors, especially in spring and summer. They are attracted to flower pollen, so they may also hitch a ride on potted plants you bring into your home.

Where Can You Find Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles like to lay eggs on carpets and rugs, especially in dark areas. The eggs hatch into larvae, which are the ones that eat your fabrics. The larvae can also feed on upholstery, clothing, or animal products. The adult carpet beetles do not eat fabrics but can be found on windowsills, plants, or curtains near windows.

How To Know If You Have A Carpet Beetle Infestation

If you see a carpet beetle in your home, check your carpets and fabrics for signs of eggs and larvae. Look for holes, stains, shed skins, droppings, or webbing on your fabrics. If you see more than one adult carpet beetle, assume others are hiding elsewhere. Carpet beetles can multiply quickly, so you must act quickly to stop them from spreading.

How to Identify the Source of the Infestation

To get rid of carpet beetles, you must find out where they are hiding in your home. The main places to look for them are dark and secluded areas, natural fiber storage, and food storage. These are the areas where they can find food and shelter. You can use a flashlight and a magnifying glass to inspect these areas for signs of beetles or larvae, such as holes, stains, webbing, fecal pellets, or shed skins. Check every corner, crevice, under furniture, carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Inspect your clothes, shoes, bags, wall hangings, tapestries, curtains, drapes, and other natural fibers like wool, silk, cotton, or leather. Examine your food containers and packages, especially those with grains or dry pet food. If you find any signs of infestation, you must act quickly to eliminate them.

How to Eliminate Carpet Beetles and Larvae

Now that you know where the carpet beetles are hiding, it’s time to get rid of them for good. You can use different methods to eliminate these pests from your carpets and fabrics, depending on the type and severity of the infestation. Here are some steps to help you eradicate these unwanted guests:

Vacuuming

Vacuuming is one of the best ways to keep carpet beetles at bay and eliminate them if they invade your home. Vacuuming regularly removes the beetles and their larvae from your carpets, rugs, and furniture. Don’t forget to use your vacuum crevice tool to reach the hidden and hard-to-reach areas where carpet beetles love to hide. Here’s how to do it:

  • Vacuum every corner and crevice of your home, especially the infested areas. Don’t leave any spot unchecked; carpet beetles are masters of hide and seek!
  • Dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister right away after vacuuming. You don’t want any escapees or survivors!
  • Repeat this step as often as needed until you see no signs of beetles or larvae.

Wash and Dry Clean

Wash or dry clean the infested fabrics. This will kill the beetles and larvae with high temperature and detergent. Here’s how to do it:

  • Wash the infested fabrics in hot water mixed with detergent. The water temperature should be at least 120°F (49°C) to kill the beetles and larvae.
  • If washing is not an option, dry-clean the items instead. Dry cleaning uses chemicals that can kill the beetles and larvae.
  • Check the care labels of your fabrics before washing or dry cleaning them. You don’t want to damage your items while trying to save them!

Freeze Them Out

This will kill the beetles and larvae with low temperatures and lack of oxygen. Follow the steps below to freeze the beetles

  • Place the infested items in plastic bags and seal them tightly. Make sure there are no holes or gaps in the bags.
  • Put the bags in the freezer for at least two weeks. The temperature should be below 0°F (-18°C) to kill the beetles and larvae.
  • Dispose of the dead beetles and larvae properly after removing them from the freezer.

Apply Insecticides

Insecticides or pesticides can kill carpet beetles and larvae on contact or by ingestion. To use these chemicals, follow the steps below

  • Choose insecticides or pesticides that are specifically labeled for carpet beetles. You can find them in spray, powder, or fogger forms. Some examples are pyrethrins, permethrin, or boric acid.
  • Apply them as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the safety precautions carefully and wear protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and masks.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in your home while using insecticides or pesticides. Open windows and doors or use fans to circulate air.
  • Keep children and pets away from treated areas until they are dry and safe.

Go Natural

You can also use home remedies to repel and kill carpet beetles if you prefer natural solutions. These substances can be found in your kitchen or garden and can harm carpet beetles. Here are some examples:

  • Vinegar and Baking Soda: Mix vinegar and baking soda to create a cleaning solution that can repel carpet beetles. Spray or wipe it on your carpets and fabrics to keep them away.
  • Essential Oils: Use lavender, peppermint, or neem oil to deter carpet beetles. These oils have strong smells that carpet beetles don’t like. Mix them with water and spray them on your carpets and fabrics.
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your carpets and fabrics. This natural powder can kill carpet beetles by dehydrating them and damaging their exoskeletons.

Quick Tips:

  • Test a small, inconspicuous area before using any home remedy on your carpets or fabrics. You want to ensure they don’t cause any adverse reactions or damage.
  • Reapply home remedies as needed until you see no signs of carpet beetles or larvae.

How to Prevent Carpet Beetle Infestations

The best way to deal with carpet beetles is to prevent them from infesting your home in the first place. By taking some simple steps, you can make your home less attractive and accessible to these pests. Here are some tips to help you prevent carpet beetle infestations:

Seal the Entry Points

Carpet beetles can enter your home through cracks, gaps, or holes in your walls, windows, doors, or vents. Seal these entry points with caulk, weather stripping, or mesh screens to keep them out. This will also help you save energy and improve your home’s insulation.

  • Inspect your home regularly for cracks, gaps, or holes, allowing beetles to enter.
  • Seal them with appropriate materials, such as caulk, weather stripping, or mesh screens.
  • Check them again after the seasons change, as they may expand or contract due to temperature changes.

Tip 2: Inspect before the Introduction

Before bringing any items into your home that may harbor carpet beetles, such as cut flowers, clothing, furniture, or pet food, you must inspect them carefully for signs of beetles or larvae. 

  • Look for holes, stains, shed skins, droppings, or webbing on the items that may indicate the presence of beetles or larvae.
  • If you find any signs of infestation, discard the items or treat them appropriately before bringing them into your home.
  • Be especially careful with second-hand items or gifts, as they may be infested without your knowledge.

Tip 3: Store with Care

If you have items made of natural fibers or contain organic materials that carpet beetles can feed on, such as wool, silk, cotton, leather, dried flowers, potpourri, or animal hides, you need to store them with care. You don’t want to provide a buffet for beetles!

  • Store these items in sealed plastic bags or containers that can prevent beetles from entering or escaping.
  • Consider adding mothballs or cedar chips to the bags or containers as an extra line of defense. These substances can repel carpet beetles with their smell.
  • Check the stored items regularly and refresh the mothballs or cedar chips.

Tip 4: Regular Cleaning Routines

Carpet beetles are attracted to dirt and dust that can provide them with food and shelter. By cleaning your carpets and fabrics regularly, you can remove these sources of attraction and prevent beetles from settling in.

  • Vacuum your carpets and fabrics regularly and thoroughly. This will remove the dirt and dust that attract beetles and prevent them from spreading.
  • Steam clean your carpets and fabrics occasionally. This will kill the beetles and larvae with high temperatures and moisture.
  • Clean the hidden and hard-to-reach areas, such as under furniture or behind curtains. Carpet beetles love to hide in these cozy spots!

Tip 5: Annual Professional Cleaning

Even with regular cleaning routines, you may still miss some dirt and grime that can attract carpet beetles. That’s why opting for professional cleaning at least once a year is advisable. A professional cleaner can remove deep-seated dirt and grime that household cleaning might miss. They can also address specific issues like stubborn stains or residue buildup.

  • Schedule a professional cleaning service at least once a year to give your carpets and fabrics a thorough makeover.
  • Choose a reputable and experienced cleaner that can handle carpet beetle infestations effectively.
  • Plan it around the same time each year so you don’t forget. You can do it around spring cleaning or before winter.

Tip 6: Smart Storage Solutions

If you have items susceptible to carpet beetle infestations, such as woolens and leathers, you must store them smartly when not in use. You don’t want to leave them exposed to beetles!

  • Store these items in sealed containers to prevent beetles from entering or escaping.
  • Throw in a few cedar chips or mothballs to keep them extra secure. These substances can repel carpet beetles with their smell.
  • Check the stored items regularly and refresh the cedar chips or mothballs.

Conclusion

And there you have it, your blueprint to a beetle-free home! No more unexpected holes, no more sneaky invaders. By now, you’ve got the knowledge and the tools to tackle any carpet beetle challenge head-on. Remember, prevention is your best ally, and timely action is key. With these steps in hand, you’re not just defending your fabrics; you’re preserving the sanctity of your space. Go forth, be vigilant, and keep those beetles at bay. Your home deserves nothing but the best, beetle-free and beyond! Ready for a fresh start? You’ve got this!

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