Do not let carpet beetles infest your house – they do not stop at eating only your carpet. You can find carpet bugs in your pantry, crawling on your curtains, your closet, storage space, or the laundry room.
You may not have carpets, but that doesn’t mean your home is safe from carpet beetle infestations. These insects are a common pest nuisance to homes, warehouses, retail businesses, and museums. In fact, they are what museum curators’ nightmares are made of.
If you are someone who:
Has seen tiny bugs crawling around your house, eating everything in their way;
Has spotted bugs that resemble ladybirds but are clearly not;
Is trying to specifically get rid of carpet beetles without chemicals.
… this article is perfect for you.
In the UK, several types of beetles can infest properties. The Black carpet beetle, the Varied carpet beetle and the Furniture carpet beetle.
How to identify carpet beetles in your home
The Black carpet beetle – this one is the largest and is less similar to the other two common beetle species. It can reach up to 1 cm and is entirely black or dark brown, and unlike the others, is not round in shape.
The Varied carpet beetle – is the smallest one, barely reaching 0.25 cm. It has a round form, black or brown in colour, with white flecks on the back.
The Furniture carpet beetle – is a little bigger than the Varied carpet beetle, reaching up to 0.5 cm.
Carpet beetles inhabit dark and secluded places both indoors and outdoors. This means there might be a growing population of carpet beetles under your nose without you even noticing. The clearest sign of carpet beetle infestation is seeing adult bugs roaming freely in your home or catching them while they munch on the food in your pantry.
Other signs of infestation:
Damaged fabric such as clothes, carpets, furniture, and curtains.
Shed skin and faecal pallets – both will be near their hiding place.
Dead carpet beetles. You can find them in the pantry, wardrobe, on carpets, basically anywhere.
Carpet beetles don’t bite people. If you get a rash, it’s an allergic reaction to the beetles’ blood or the larvae hair.
Carpet beetles feed on everything, including insects or dead rodents, so they can live for years in your home without you realising that there’s a problem. This pest feeds from its larval stage all through its life.
Signs of carpet beetle infestation
Carpet beetles are very difficult to spot. They sometimes live under floorboards or vents but are commonly found in the cracks and crevices of carpets, furniture, clothing, and other textiles. Carpet beetles can fly and lay up to 100 eggs at a time, meaning that an infestation can occur quickly – but larvae from these eggs do the damage.
Pantries and kitchen cabinets where you keep poorly stored food provide carpet beetles with the ideal living conditions they could even want – darkness and food. The bugs will eat anything in their way – pasta, cookies, sugar, flour, crackers, etc. The insects prefer to eat natural fibres the most.
Their favourite natural fabrics to feed on are:
Pure clothing items
After discovering an active carpet beetle infestation, you’d want to get rid of them as soon as possible. There are natural remedies for carpet beetles that you can try out.
How to get rid of carpet beetles naturally
Before resorting to chemicals, try to remove the pests with eco-friendly methods.
Vacuum clean – vacuum the infested carpet or rug thoroughly. Afterwards, vacuum all your soft furnishings, such as sofas, mattresses, chairs, etc. Basically, everything is fabric covered. Vacuum clean your entire home and throw away the vacuum bag when done. Continue doing this every day for a week. Depending on how bad your infestation is, you may have to vacuum several times a day for the first few days.
Steam clean your carpeting – Heat kills pests. Check the rug manufacturer’s labels beforehand, as some rugs or carpets shouldn’t be cleaned with steam.
Wash textiles at a hot temperature – Do this both for the affected and not affected textiles. If you find some items, like blankets or linens, are badly damaged, throw them away. They’re unsalvagable and could spread the infestation further. Dry clean delicate textiles which cannot be washed.
Put boric acid on affected areas – To kill carpet beetles, larvae, and eggs, sprinkle boric acid liberally on the carpet and vacuum it up after two or three hours. You don’t need a protective mask. Boric acid is safe for humans as long as it’s not ingested or inhaled in large quantities. Do not sprinkle boric acid on dark-coloured carpets, as it possesses bleaching properties! You can get rid of carpet beetles larvae spray by mixing one tablespoon of boric acid in two cups of warm water. Use this spray on tough-to-reach nooks and crannies where more pests might be hiding.
Use diatomaceous earth – You can buy it from your nearby garden centre. It’s not a poison, but it will deprive the beetles’ shells of oils and fats, basically dehydrating them. Sprinkle on the affected carpeting and wait several hours before vacuuming. At this time, keep children and pets away. Use a respirator while vacuuming.
Carpet beetles can be killed with apple cider vinegar – In addition to its fantastic cleaning benefits, vinegar is an excellent natural insecticide, killing everything from flies to carpet beetles. Treat large carpet areas by vacuuming and applying diluted apple cider to affected areas after vacuuming. Besides killing carpet beetles, this will also keep them from returning.
If none of the DIY methods achieve the results you want, then it’s time to get a professional’s help. Check out price rates and details of our carpet beetle removal methods!
Once you’ve managed to rid yourself of the infestation, taking precautionary steps against a new one is important.
Outside of your home
Remove carpet beetles’ nests from your home – it doesn’t matter whether you live in an apartment or house, carpet beetles lay eggs in nests. The offspring can later move to your home, getting inside via small crevices and cracks.
Seal cracks and crevices – inspect both your home exterior and interior and seal any cracks that might be possible entry points for the pests.
Apply a pesticide around your house – spray the house’s foundation and around doorways, windows, and vents.
Buy synthetic fabrics when possible – carpet beetles don’t feed on synthetic materials.
Discard old fabrics – the longer you keep and don’t use your old clothes, the bigger the chance of a carpet beetle infestation. If you have clothes, garments, and bedding that you haven’t used for over a year, consider donating them to charity.
Use mothballs – place naphthalene balls inside tightly closed containers and spaces where your clothing is stored. The chemical will emit a vapour which will kill any and all pests. The closed space will prevent the fumes from escaping, and that’s a good thing because they are dangerous to humans.
Wash fabrics regularly – clean them with hot water. This is rather important for clothing which has not been used for some time.
Wash pet bedding regularly – also vacuum around your pet’s bed and the places where they like to spend most of their time.
Fantastic Services is here to save the day with expert carpet beetle treatments for your London home. If you are not 100% certain that you have a carpet beetle problem, you can get a professional inspection, after which you’ll be informed if you need treatment.
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