Insect Infestations

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles for Good

Do not let this type of bugs’ name fool you – they do not stop at eating only your carpet. You can find the insects in your pantry, crawling on your curtains, in your closet, storage space, or inside the laundry room.

Even if you don’t have carpets, it definitely doesn’t mean that your home is safe from these irksome bugs. 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:

  1. Has seen tiny bugs crawling around your house eating everything in their way;
  2. Has spotted bugs that resemble ladybirds but are clearly not;
  3. Is trying to specifically get rid of carpet beetles.

… this article is perfect for you.

In the UK, there are several types of beetles that can infest properties. The Black carpet beetle, the Varied carpet beetle and the Furniture carpet beetle.

Table of Contents:

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 that there might be a growing population of carpet beetles right under your nose, without you even noticing. The clearest sign 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:

  1. Damaged fabric such as clothes, carpets, furniture, curtains.
  2. Shed skin and faecal pallets – both will be near their hiding place.
  3. 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 dead insects or 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.

Locate Infestation

Carpet beetles love eating your pantry food. Pantries and kitchen cabinets where you keep poorly stored food provide the insects with the ideal living conditions they could even want – darkness and food. The bugs will eat anything in its way – pasta, cookies, sugar, flour, crackers, etc. The insects prefer to eat natural fibres the most.

Their favourite natural  fabrics to feed on are:

  • Natural cotton
  • Pure clothing items
  • Lint
  • Silk
  • Wool
  • Leather
  • Fur

After discovering an active carpet beetle infestation, you’d want to get rid of them as soon as possible. There are some natural extermination methods 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.

  1. Vacuum clean – vacuum the infested carpet or rug thoroughly. Afterwards, vacuum all your soft furnishings, such as sofas, mattresses, chairs, and so on. Basically, everything which 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.
  2. Steam clean your carpeting – heat kills pests. Check the rug manufacturer labels beforehand as some rugs or carpets shouldn’t be cleaned with steam.
  3. 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.
  4. Put boric acid on affected areas – sprinkle it evenly on the affected area and distribute it into the fibres with a brush. After several hours, remove it by vacuuming. 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.
  5. 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. In this time keep children and pets away. Use a respirator while vacuuming.

Do not sprinkle boric acid on dark coloured carpets, as it possesses bleaching properties!

Prepare a larva killing 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 pest might be hiding.

If none of these methods prove to be effective, purchase an insecticide spray. It should contain at least one of the following ingredients: cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, or bifenthrin. Test on a small spot of your carpet before spraying the entire product.

Visit the main website for price rates on our professional carpet beetle exterminators!

How to get rid of carpet beetle larvae naturally

How to get rid of carpet beetles with essential oils

  1. Neem oil – it’s can kill various insects at any stage of their life cycles by entering their bodies and damaging their hormonal and functioning system.
  2. Cedar oil – dissolves larvae and eggs, dehydrates and suffocates adult beetles.
  3. Eucalyptus oil – the carpet beetles perceive the pungent smell as hazardous and avoid it at all costs.
  4. Clove oil – like the eucalyptus oil, the beetles will not go near the smell of this type of oil.
You may also like:
Insect Infestations
How to Get Rid of Bugs in the House

How to prevent a carpet beetle infestation

Once you’ve managed to rid yourself of the infestation, it’s important to take precautionary steps against a new one.

Outside of your home

  • Remove 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.

Inside of your home

  • 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. For that reason, follow the instructions down to a T.
  • 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.

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When nothing else works – hire professional exterminators

If you don’t feel like dealing with nasty bugs, why not just hire a professional exterminator to get rid of the creepy crawlies for you? With that being said, Fantastic Services is here to save the day with expert carpet beetles 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.


  • Carpet beetles are a dangerous type of pest to have in your home, as they can cause serious damages.
  • To protect clothes, store seasonal clothes and blankets in tightly closed bags or containers.
  • To save your food items from a bug attack, keep everything in plastic or glass containers with lids.

We hope you’ve found our article on how to get rid of carpet beetles helpful. You can leave your thoughts, experiences, or pest control tips in the comment section below.


Did you find our article on getting rid of carpet beetles helpful? Why not share your thoughts or personal experience with us in the comments below?

Header Image source: Shutterstock / Levente Nuber;Body Images source:Tomasz Klejdysz

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