Beetles

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles don’t just eat carpet fibers, they eat almost everything: hair, blankets, animal nests, furniture, garments, and lint. They’re also known to eat dead insects, animal carcasses, leather, and pollen from flowers in your house. These beetles will eat anything organic, including organic carpet fibers and other products. They can destroy your carpets and furniture if you let them breed all they want. You can also develop allergies if you inhale the small strands of hair that their larvae shed. Follow these tips to get rid of carpet beetles in your home:

    • Know where they hide: Carpet beetles are hard to see because they’re very small; for instance, the Australian carpet beetle is only two to three millimeters long, while the black carpet beetle is slightly larger at three to five millimeters. These insects also like to feed in dark, secluded areas like basements, drawers, and closets.

Look for shed skins and fecal pellets to discover where carpet beetles hide. You should also check the underside of your rugs and carpets, as these insects like to live in these places. Also, inspect large pieces of furniture, including couches since they are also typical habitats of carpet beetles. Leave no stone unturned to find adult beetles and their larvae to prevent further damage to your furniture.

  • Suck them with a vacuum cleaner: The easiest way to get rid of carpet beetles is to suck them with a vacuum cleaner. Simply put the vacuum cleaner over your carpet and other pieces of furniture and suck away. It’s not only the adult carpet beetles that you have to go after. Make sure to suck the little hairy things as well, because these are their larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are very destructive because they need to eat a lot for them to grow.
  • Wash your carpets: Vacuuming your carpets will not get rid of all carpet beetles, their larvae, and eggs. Wash your carpets in hot, soapy water to kill all the remaining carpet beetles. Like other insects that feed on animal remains, the eggs of carpet beetles are very resilient. Soak all your fabrics in hot water, and then soap them right away. You may also use a steam cleaner to thoroughly clean the carpets or call a professional to do the job for you.
  • Dust with boric acid: Boric acid is an excellent repellent and insecticide. It kills almost all kinds of insects it comes into contact with, but it’s still safe for humans. It is the perfect choice if you don’t want to use strong chemicals. Boric acid is a weak acid that’s mostly mined in the Southwestern United States. Don’t put too much boric acid on colored fabrics however, because it can discolor them.
  • Use carpet treatments: Use carpet treatments that contain allethrin, bendiocarbs, and chlorpyrifos to get rid of carpet beetles. There are a lot of treatments on the market today that are specially formulated for use against carpet beetles. Read the instructions carefully before using the product, and don’t hesitate to call the manufacturer if you have some questions. It’s also advisable that you read product reviews first before buying one for your home.
  • Hire pest control agents: Getting rid of carpet beetles might seem easy, but there are cases when these insects return to your carpets even if you’ve taken all the steps above. When your carpet beetle problem is this bad, the best thing you can do is to hire pest control agents to get rid of them for you. These professionals have all the right equipment and knowledge to solve the problem quickly. Don’t hesitate to spend a bit if it means saving your beautiful and expensive carpets and furniture.
  • Get rid of old clothes: If you have piles of old clothes in your wardrobe or somewhere around the house, throw them away because carpet beetle larvae can feed on them. Don’t give these clothes to other people if you’re aware that you have carpet beetles in your house. Get rid of the clothes or wash them thoroughly to make sure that all the beetles they carry are exterminated.
  • Remove birds’ and bees’ nests: Carpet beetles can lay their eggs on birds’ nests and bees’ nests around your house. Get rid of these nests or make sure that they are far away from your house to reduce your risk of having a carpet beetle problem. Be careful when removing nests though, because adult birds and bees might attack you.
  • Spray your house with insect spray: Spray your furniture, floor boards, and carpets with insect spray to kill carpet beetles. Pay attention to the underside of carpets because some eggs and larvae are lodged in it. Take your pets outside before doing this though, because the odor of insect spray can kill small pets, like birds. Cats and dogs may also become very ill or die when they lick your carpets after you’ve sprayed insect spray.
  • Go for the eggs and larvae: Don’t worry if you fail to kill adult carpet beetles because their eggs and larvae are a bigger threat to your carpets and furniture. Go for the eggs and larvae as adults will have no reason to return to your house if their eggs and larvae are already gone.

Inspect your carpets regularly to prevent carpet beetles from multiplying. Act quickly if you see larvae or eggs on your carpets, because it will only be a matter of time before they are destroyed. Don’t underestimate these tiny insects because they’ve ruined many expensive and luxurious couches and carpets before.

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About the author

Nicole Harding

6 Comments

  • Boric acid does not kill carpet beetle larvae – I have kept larvae in a pot with boric acid (and borax too) – for several weeks and they are still perfectly happy. Also cedar oil, lavender oil, salt and diatomaceous earth does not kill them or even deter them.

  • Lusi – Thanks so much for this info. I guess that boric acid might kill the adults? I don’t know. I just discovered that I have an infestation and I’m trying to figure out what to do. Have you found anything that kills the LARVAE? I’m going to start with a general cleaning, and then dry-cleaning my wools/silks and washing my other clothes in hot water. I did want to use boric acid and diatomaceous earth, but if that doesn’t work… Thanks for any other help you can provide.

  • I live in NE Texas (Dallas). I have some large black bugs which look like
    beetles (maybe roaches?). They are big and black (not dark brown) and ugly.
    They are in my walls too and make noise trying to get in my windows. Do you know what they might be. They are very noisy, and I did not think roaches are
    noisy, so I think they might be some kind of beetle. Wondering if Boric acid
    will get rid of them.

    thanks

  • How do I know if there are carpet beetle eggs or larvae in my couch? How can I treat my couch?

    My landlord sent out someone to spray the floorboards, which appears to have worked for those around the floorboards, but will it continue to work if they have laid eggs in my couch or elsewhere, will this eventually kill them too?

    Thank you for the page.

  • Hi we have found some of these beetle larvae in our carpets while we were on the hunt for bed bugs i was just womdering do these beetles bite humans as we are all covered in bites we havent found any bed bugs but we have found 10 of these

  • Over the past 6-12 months I been sporadically finding tiny holes in my clothing, around the belly button area. The holes are in my thin cotton teeshirts. I have 6-7 ruined shirts with 1-3 in each shirt, however, recently I found on the cuff of a long sleeve tee a 3″x2″ area covered with tiny holes, too many to count! I read alot of info on-line but I do not know where to go from here! This is only happening to my tee-shirts (none of my husbands clothes), I do not have a belly button ring, I have always washed these shirts in a tight weave ligere bag (so I do not hink they are snaggin in the wash machine), I do not think a belt or counter top is causing the holes since none of the other shirts have them when I wear belts or cook in the kitchen. The tee’s with holes are only on the bottom row of the closset.

    Eight days ago I: vacumed the entire closet and master bedroom with a rainbow vacume cleaner (great suction), removed everything from the master bedroom closet (hanging, drawers, shoes, etc.) and wiped out the drawers and shelves with bleach wipes, I placed all the clothing/socks/shoes outside in below zero temperature (24-4 below zero). I sprinkled 98% Boric Acid (cockroach killer) on the carpet of the closet floor and agitated it in with a hard bristle broom. I placed “20 Mule Team” borax laundry detergent powder in the adjacent room (master bedroom) to the closet and agitated it into the carpet. Everything has been sitting for the past 8 days (outside in freezing temps and borax in the carpet).

    How long do we need to let the borax sit in the carpet? When can I return the clothes to the closet? I have NEVER seen a beetle, larve, eggs or fecal waste or the larve skin anywhere in the house over the past 6-12 months and still do not see any in the empty closet that has the 98% boric acid on the carpet!

    HELP!

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