No one likes creepy crawlers infesting their homes. Now, imagine these tiny bugs eating away at your precious natural fibre carpet or your favourite leather jacket. Chances are, you could be dealing with a carpet beetle.
It’s time for some pest control, but you may wonder about how to get rid of carpet beetles. More importantly, where should you start? Luckily, there are numerous ways to kill the bugs. Most of them include using chemical pesticides and insect traps. Stick around to learn about how to spot carpet beetles and the best way you can get rid of these cloth-eaters.
What do Carpet Beetles Look Like?
First off, you probably need to make sure that you’re dealing with a carpet beetle. The three most common species that you might find are the Black Carpet Beetle, Varied Carpet Beetle, or the Furniture Carpet Beetle.
Black Carpet Beetle
This is the largest carpet beetle of the bunch, stretching at 1/10 to 25/64 inches tall. They’re oval in shape and black. Some Black Carpet Beetles are dark brown. They usually have hairs sticking out as well.
The bug has six legs and two small antennas. Their heads are crouched inside their bodies as well. In terms of food, the Black Carpet Beetle eats any animal product, whether it’s pet hair, silk, feathers, or even your dog’s food can be a target.
Varied Carpet Beetle
The Varied Carpet Beetle is the tiniest bug on the list. They’re about ⅕ inches. Despite being small, you may easily spot them from their bright colours.
The carpet beetle’s back is adorned with patterns of brown, white, and yellow scales. As they grow older, their shells become dark brown or black.
When it comes to feeding time, the Varied Carpet Beetle likes to gorge on wool and leather, like the Furniture Carpet Beetle.
Furniture Carpet Beetle
The Furniture Carpet Beetle measures about 1/10 to 2/5 inches in length. Similar to the Varied Carpet Beetle, this variation also contains yellow and white scales.
Other species of the Furniture Carpet Beetle are brown-based and freckled with white and black smears. Eating-wise, this carpet beetle prefers wool and a leather-rich diet.
How to Tell You Have Carpet Beetles at Home
Although carpet beetles are natural pollinators and enjoy their time in your garden, they won’t say no to free food and shelter in your house. They’d love to find a place to breed without dealing with outdoor predators and cold weather.
If you’re unsure whether they’ve entered your home, here are some tell-tale signs:
- Skin shedding around the house from molting larvae turning into adults
- Holes in your carpet, curtain, or leather upholstery
- Black and brown, dry, and tiny poop pellets
- Book covers and paper with eaten-off bits
These signs are, for the most part, located in small areas, rather than in multiple rooms.
How Do Carpet Beetles Find Their Way into Your Home?
These little bugs can find multiple entry points to your home. For instance, they may be hidden in some new plants you bought. In other cases, they could be taking a route through your clothes or even in your pet’s fur.
Generally, they can enter your home through your vents, windows, electric outlets, or plumb entryways. The little buggers can even Santa their way through your chimney.
Where to Spot Carpet Beetles in Your Home
It may be relatively easy to spot these little critters in your home. All you have to do is follow the trail of damage. It could be your holed carpet, curtain, furniture upholstery, or clothes. They mostly prefer natural fibers.
Other than that, they can feast on any leftover meals left around the house. You could even find them munching on your potpourri or collection of dried flowers. They could even be taking bites out of your pet’s food.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
After figuring out the signs and how you can identify carpet beetles, you’re now ready to get rid of the pesky bugs. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you eradicate the carpet beetle population living in your home.
Step 1: Find their Hiding Spots
To begin, you’ll want to find where the carpet beetles are most active. You just need to look for areas with holed-up fiber. They could be in your closet, carpet, or curtains. Make sure to also take a look at your furniture and signs of their presence such as small pellets.
Step 2: Use Your Vacuum
After you found their hiding spot, it’s time to bust out the vacuum. You’ll want to vacuum all around the area and all over your house. That includes all the nooks and crannies in your furniture as well. Be sure to use an appropriate vacuum nozzle to suck out hard-to-reach spots.
Step 3: Release the Chemicals
The best chemical to use on carpet beetles or any insect infestation for that matter is boric acid. You can generously dust it all over your carpet and affected areas for about two to three hours before vacuuming it. It should get rid of all the beetles, plus their larvae and eggs. If you have kids or pets, try to keep them away from the boric acid treatment to prevent any harm.
Step 4: Dispose of Infested Pieces
If your carpet beetle has already gotten to it, then it has probably left some eggs on your clothes. In which case, you’ll need to throw all infested clothes out to avoid another infestation from the hatching eggs.
Step 5: Disinfect All Eaten Items
Any cloth and washable material your carpet beetle has eaten from needs to be thoroughly washed and disinfected. You can use a hot water and soap solution or use a washing machine at the hottest temperature level. For carpets, you can opt for a steam cleaner and shampoo to ensure a carpet beetle-free zone.
Step 6: Get Rid of Leftover Food
If you have any food lying around, take it away, unless you want to cater an all-you-can-eat buffet for the bugs. That includes your pet’s leftover food as well.
Step 7: Use Traps
You might want to use insect traps all around your home to catch any survivors. These traps usually use pheromones to attract the carpet beetles.
Step 8: Find Fiber Replacements
This may be a big change, but you can cut the carpet beetle’s food supply short by replacing all your natural fibers with synthetic options instead. That’ll help you ward them off in the future.
Carpet Beetle Prevention Methods
After getting rid of the carpet beetle infestation, here are some prevention methods to follow after:
- Use plastic covers to protect your clothes
- Let in some natural light in your closet since they thrive in the dark
- Build in window screens to keep beetles out or close the windows
- Periodically clean your house
- Put your pet’s food in a sealed plastic container
- Get rid of any surrounding bird nests since carpet beetles also like to nest there
- Make sure your new plant guests are beetle-free by examining them
Nothing worse than finding your favorite clothes or carpet damaged from a carpet beetle infestation. Luckily, getting rid of these bugs is relatively simple. You just need to vacuum the region, use boric acid, and sterilize all infected items.
If you’re too overwhelmed, you can always book professional carpet beetle treatment with our specialists.