If you’ve ever had to deal with carpet beetles, you already know how destructive they can be.
These tiny pests destroy carpets, furniture, clothing, and on top of all that, they’re difficult to get rid of without the right knowledge and gear.
Unlike wood beetles that only eat wood, carpet beetles are notoriously known to feed on anything including cotton, wool, fibers, foods, and animal products.
We recommend you take action and begin carpet beetle control immediately.
If you spot even one carpet beetle, it’s very likely entire infestation is underway, as they can reproduce very quickly (four times a year).
In this article we will tell you exactly how to get rid of carpet beetles and their eggs to solve your carpet beetle problem as soon as possible.
Quick Navigation: What's in This Guide?
- Identifying Carpet Beetles
- How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles (10 Pro Tips)
- 1. Find the source
- 2. Vacuum infested areas
- 3. Throw your infested clothing right away
- 4. Use Boric Acid powder (see recommended)
- 5. Place insect traps (see recommended)
- 6. Use mothballs (see recommended)
- 7. Wash and clean everything
- 8. Use preventive sprays
- 9. Get rid of infested food
- 10. Substitute natural fibers with synthetic ones
- How to Tell if You Have Carpet Beetles inside Your Home
- FAQs About Carpet Beetles
Identifying Carpet Beetles
- Carpet Beetle Life Cycle (From Right to Left)
The above image shows the life cycle of carpet beetles. There are many known species of carpet beetles. Mainly, these include black carpet beetle, varied carpet beetle, furniture carpet beetle, and common carpet beetle. Here are brief descriptions on each one of them:
- Varied carpet beetle – Varied carpet beetles are the smallest type of carpet beetle and have a slightly rounded shell. Usually, they are brown or black in color with specks of white on their backs. They like to devour natural fibers such as cotton, wool, fur, and leather.
- Furniture carpet beetle – These are relatively larger in size than varied carpet beetles. They carry a more rounded shell that is of light brown color. They have black, white, and yellow scales on their backs. Like varied carpet beetles, they also feed on natural fibers.
- Black carpet beetles – These are the largest types of beetles and that’s why they are more noticeable than their counterparts. However, they do not have a rounded shape and are shiny black with brownish legs. These have more refined tastes. Their healthy diet comprises of dry foods like oats, grains, cereals, and dry pet food.
- Common carpet beetle – These are small in size and have rounded shape. They have grey to blackish color with varied patterns of white and orange markings on their backs. They tend to attack carpets and other items made of wool, feathers, and fur.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles (10 Pro Tips)
There are a number of viable ways to get of carpet beetles. The first step in any process is to identify the source of the problem and to develop the right plan for your particular situation. The list below will provide you with a number of proven treatment methods to get rid of carpet beetles and keep them away. Regardless of what treatment method you decide on, it is very important to make sure you eliminate all carpet beetle larvae along with the mature carpet beetles.
So, let’s begin with our operation to remove carpet beetles from your home. Follow the tips below:
1. Find the source
Without knowing where your carpet beetles are located, you can’t remove them. Look for all the areas that carpet beetles like to live. Remember that these species like to dwell in dark places. Search for them in cabinets, drawers, furniture, and clothing materials. You will most likely find them near a food source. Hunt for them wherever you have stored dry food and pet food. Watch out for damaged areas and items as carpet beetles will probably be living nearby.
2. Vacuum infested areas
After you are done with locating the sources of carpet beetle infestation, it’s time to vacuum those areas properly. Do vacuum all the areas and things of your home which can’t be machine washed. These include your upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpets. Don’t forget to vacuum your home at least once a day after infestation is removed. This will prevent them from invading your home again.
3. Throw your infested clothing right away
Once you have found the carpet beetle damages on your clothing, blankets, and other similar items, do yourself a favor and throw them away. If you keep such items in your home, there is a possibility of prolonging infestation. There is a high probability that carpet beetles left their eggs behind, which are hidden within the fabric.
4. Use Boric Acid powder (see recommended)
Boric acid is one of the most effective solutions to kill nearly all kinds of insects. The only thing good about carpet beetles is that they are highly vulnerable to boric acid. Generously sprinkle boric acid on your rugs, carpets, furniture, and vacuum them after two or three hours.
Where to get it: You can find Sunmark Boric Acid Powder here.
Another produce we recommend is Zap-a-roach boric acid powder.
Where to find it: You can find Zap a roach powder here.
This will destroy all kinds of carpet beetles, larvae, and their eggs. Boric acid is an excellent chemical compound that also prevents future infestations. Caution: Keep your pets away from those areas where you have sprinkled boric acid. Boric acid might cause undesirable effects on animals.
5. Place insect traps (see recommended)
If you are bent on removing carpet beetles infestation entirely, placing insect traps will be beneficial. It stops the reproduction and protects your food from carpet beetles and larvae. Simply hang insect traps on the hook or string or place them around the infested areas after cleaning. You can also place them around those areas which you suspect can get infested. Use any trap you like as most of them work but we recommend you to use pheromone glue. This is effective and allows you to see whether you have removed infestation entirely or not.
6. Use mothballs (see recommended)
Mothballs are a good way to prevent carpet beetles targeting packed clothing, fabrics, and other materials.
You can pick on some Enoz Para Mothballs for carpet beetles on Amazon. They do have an odor that some users find a little too strong. If you want to try a more natural product we find RakrisaSupplies Lavender Scent Sachets to be effective for both moths and carpet beetles.
Pack your clothing and other items into boxes and put mothballs in these boxes before storing them.
7. Wash and clean everything
It is necessary to wash and clean every fabric item in your home with soap and hot water. This may include clothing, bedding, curtains, cushion covers, towels, and other infected fabrics. Wash your clothes with laundry detergent and machine wash them on the highest temperature. Use a steam cleaner to wash your rugs and carpets. You can shampoo your carpets with hot water to kill carpet beetles.
8. Use preventive sprays
Preventive sprays are very helpful to keep carpet beetles away from your home. You can find several insect killers or pest control sprays on Amazon. You can buy them online or you can purchase from a store. Choose one that is specifically designed to remove carpet beetles and apply it according to the directions written on the packaging. You can use Bayer Advanced Home Pest Control, Total Solutions Extinct Concentrated Liquid Insect Killer, or Raid Flying Insect Killer.
9. Get rid of infested food
If you suspect any food is infested with beetles, get rid of it straight away. Besides, try not to store those foods in your home which are commonly targeted by beetles.
10. Substitute natural fibers with synthetic ones
If you want to go fully radical with carpet beetles and wipe them out completely, replace all your natural fiber textiles with synthetic textiles. You might have heard that keratin is the most favorite protein for all types of insects. Carpet beetles are fond of keratin too. This protein is abundant in natural materials like wool, leather, hair, and similar fibers. So, items such as carpets, rugs, and furniture which are made from these materials are an easy target of carpet beetles. If you don’t have their favorite food (i.e. natural fibers) in your home, you will also not have them!
Hunting Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles reproduce rapidly. Most of them breed four times every year. Now the question is if you have found one in your home, how to find others?
When you know that carpet beetles have invaded your home, it’s more likely that other areas and things in your home are infested with them too. They are often found around the edges of carpets and rugs, under furniture, baseboards and closets, in the wall and floor junctions, inside cabinets, floor vents, and ducts. They like to munch on clothing, blankets, and human foods like flour, pasta, and crumbs.
Moreover, carpet beetles are also attracted to animal hides, pet dander, and their dead bodies. If any insect or animal has died, carpet beetles will infest its skin, fur, hair, and feathers. Apart from these indoor objects, some beetles are also found living outdoors as well. They live, breed, and feed on dried flowers, their nectar, and pollen.
How to Tell if You Have Carpet Beetles inside Your Home
In order to find that your house in infested with carpet beetles unlike any other bugs like moths or termites, you need to look out for the following indications:
- Large and scattered holes in rugs and carpets made of natural fibers.
- Damages and holes in leather furniture, clothes, blankets, woolen sweaters, pillows, and other materials.
- Damaged papers, photos, book covers, and other such materials.
- Damage to animals products like skin and fur.
- The young beetles, named as larvae causes red bumps on the skin which causes rashes and itching. Larvae have hair and bristles on their abdomen which causes irritation to an allergic person.
- You may also find a few small and dry fecal pellets in your home or outdoors. These are the sheds of carpet beetles usually in black or brown color.
How Do They Get Inside Your Home?
It’s not difficult for carpet beetles to creep into your house. These tiny little six-legged creatures easily find their way by clinging on any flower or plant you brought in your home. They can also enter through air vents, electrical conduits, chimneys, and ducts. Additionally, they can fly through open windows, cracks, and plumbing openings in your house. It is also possible that they cling to pet hair or clothing items and make their way inside your home.
How Pest Control Professionals Help You in Removing Carpet Beetles
One of the worst problems with carpet beetles is that they are hard to eliminate entirely once they have entered your home. Although the DIY tips mentioned above are quite useful in reducing their numbers and keeping them at bay, sometimes you have to make a call to the experts.
These little critters are so resilient and persistent that your DIY techniques can fail sometimes to remove all the traces of them. Moreover, they don’t always work on their filthy eggs. So, it will pay you off in the end if you consult pest control professionals and avail their services. They have special rigs and methods to eliminate the infestation from your home. But before hiring services of a specific pest control company, make sure that they have proven experience with this kind of pest infestation.
A pest control expert will survey your home at first to locate the sources of carpet beetles. Once they have inspected your home thoroughly, they will determine whether your home is infested with carpet beetles or with some other kind of pest. After being certain about the infestation’s nature, they formulate a plan of action.
Exterminators tend to use stronger and more effective treatments to kill carpet beetles in your home. These treatments are much powerful than those you can purchase from supermarkets or stores. With the help of their specialized methods, be it carpet beetles, larvae, adults or their eggs, no pest will survive and will be completely exterminated from your home.
After extermination, the next step performed by your pest control professionals is cleaning. They will meticulously clean your home, remove all the dead carpet beetles including their eggs and wipe out remaining carpet beetles that might have been missed. Generally, many pest control companies deliver long-term prevention so your home stays secure from carpet beetles in the future as well. They will also provide you with a lot of helpful advice and beneficial techniques so that you can prevent their outbreak yourself in the future.
You may be concerned about the professional costs. Although carpet beetle removal services are usually expensive than the methods we perform ourselves at home, they are definitely worth the price. This is because of their technical abilities, their extensive knowledge, practical experience, and specialized procedures. Hiring their services can save you from thousands of dollars from potential damages those carpet beetles can do to your home. However, the cost entirely depends upon the intensity of your problem and on the specific services you hire. That being said, you can expect to hire professional carpet beetle removal services by spending somewhere around two to five hundred dollars approximately.
Remember when it comes to finding the best services for your carpet beetle removal, always ask for referrals. It would be worth paying for their services if any of your friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers have used their services before and are satisfied with them. Asking their recommendations for a pest control company will ensure you that you will not have to suffer another infestation anytime soon.
Last but not least, don’t forget to look for their specific experience in these services. They must have proven expertise to deal with such pesky and harmful critters.
FAQs About Carpet Beetles
Do carpet beetles cause allergic reactions?
Yes. Their dead skin shedding and hair can cause skin irritation. You need to remove them physically to cease the reaction. We also advise you to increase the humidity level in your home. However, if you are using only pesticides to kill them, it won’t work. The presence of their dead skin shells is the main cause of allergic reactions.
Can carpet beetles fly?
Yes. Adult beetles can fly easily. They tend to fly from one place to another and can enter into your home from outside through an open window. However, larvae and young beetles can’t fly.
Can carpet beetles live in a bed?
No. It is bed bugs who live in mattresses or beds. They are often confused with carpet beetles who neither live in beds nor do they feed on human blood. However, carpet beetles eat fabrics and create holes in them. But, it is possible that carpet beetle larvae feed on the fabrics in your bed if your house is infested.
How can I dispose of dead skin and hair of carpet beetles?
Regular vacuuming is the best solution to get rid of carpet beetles dead skin and larvae. But, if you install a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner, the dead skin will not emit fibers in the air. We again advise you to increase the level of humidity in the infested areas. Humidity prevents shells to build up. Moreover, use shower distilled or cool pre-boiled water in those infested areas to wash out the remnants.
Can dry cleaning kill carpet beetles?
Yes. You can kill carpet beetles in the dryer. Dry cleaning kills them on clothing materials. But, it is necessary that you remove dead skin shedding and hair of carpet beetles too. These can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
How long does a carpet beetle live?
Young carpet beetles live the longest ranging from 9 months to 2 years. They hatch their larvae eggs between 7 to 35 days. These larvae can live for 4 weeks at least without any food source. However, adults don’t survive this long. They can survive for only a few weeks to reproduce and then ultimately die.
Will their numbers rise if I left my home infested for a bit?
Yes. You have to act quickly to get rid of carpet beetles from your home. Their numbers can dramatically rise if your home is left infested for long. Besides, it would eventually be very hard to exterminate those pesky creatures because of such negligence.
Will professional control services exterminate carpet beetles?
Professional exterminators use specialized insecticides which have effective and long-lasting effects. So, the complete extermination of carpet beetles from your home is completely possible. However, you have to ask them for a second visit within several months for a follow-up. Additionally, you need to be cautious about regular cleaning and vacuuming. Subsequent prevention is very crucial to avoid future infestations in your house.
Post-care Op – How to Prevent Carpet Beetles from Invading In Future
Now that you have finally got rid of carpet beetles and their existing infestation, your post-care operation is also mandatory. Of course, you will never want to be plagued with them again. Leave no stones unturned in averting their invasion in your home again with the following tips:
- Clean and vacuum your house on regular basis. Don’t give your carpet beetles any chance to be your guests again by keeping dust, lint, or hair in your home.
- Pack your clothing in dark closets with plastic covers. These beetles can’t chew through plastic no matter how much they try. And in this way, your favorite dresses will be safe from becoming their meal. Plus, place some fragrant cedar wood in your wardrobe. Carpet beetles hate the smell of cedar and won’t crawl near your clothes.
- It is time you start storing all your foods in air-tight containers. Containers with lids will prevent carpet beetles from entering and feeding on your food items.
- Open the doors of your closets for a few hours a day. Carpet beetles reside in cold dark places so if you open your closets up for natural light, they won’t rest in there.
- Keep your windows closed to stop them from coming inside your home. If you want to have open windows, install window screens. This will keep the majority of them to stay outside.
- Remove bird and animal nests from around your house. Usually, all kinds of mites and pests including carpet beetles occupy these nests. So, if you routinely remove nests from inside and outside your home, you will keep them at bay.
- Inspect all plants and flowers thoroughly before you bring them into your house. Plants and freshly plucked flowers are the favorite hiding places of carpet beetles. Through those, these tiny brutes move inside your house.
- Don’t forget about controlling other kinds of pests too. Carpet beetles increase in quantity if they find other critters roaming around your house as well. Use household pest restraint methods time-to-time to control all other sorts of pests.
Follow all the above-mentioned pre and post-op carpet beetle removal tips and keep your home beetle-free. But remember, if the matter gets out of your hand, make a call to the experts right away and stay safe from the threats of carpet beetles.
Hello, My name is Blane and I’m a life-long resident of Southeastern Louisiana. I’ve been working as Pest Control Technician and Inspector at Advantage Services in Louisiana for over 1.5 years now.
I’ve worked in many other industries as well, including consulting, managing, as well as at the ground level in fields including Food Service, Corporate Automotive sales and finance.
Over half of my life has been dedicated to providing service to people with a premium placed on excellence. Whether it be providing counsel, content, or hands-on support; my goal remains to add value to the lives of the people I serve. If you have any questions regarding pest control, leave them below. I would be happy to help you out any way I can.