Wondering how to get rid of carpet beetles? You’re not alone. These pesky insects invade millions of homes each year. But getting rid of them isn’t as hard as you might think. Read on to learn all you need to know.
Disclaimer: The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.
Help! I Need to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
There are varying types of carpet beetles, but you are certainly one of the lucky ones if you are not familiarized with any of the variations – especially the larvae.
Whether you have an infestation of the varied carpet beetle, furniture carpet beetle, black carpet beetle, or the common carpet beetle, you’ll find that they don’t spare much in your house. Regardless of which type of carpet beetle is residing in your living space or how the bugs got there, you must get rid of them fast.
They may be small, but the damage that they can cause is not. All it takes to eliminate carpet beetles is knowing where their hiding places are and what attracts them into your home. Buy why stop there? To prevent them from returning, you should then deep clean your home, use an insecticide, and monitor your infestation.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles in 5 Steps
Step 1: Know Your Facts
Knowledge is power. To win the battle over the beetles, you should know a few things. Seeing and recognizing the signs of a carpet beetle infestation is the first step to getting rid of carpet beetles. Not sure if you have an infestation?
Here are some signs to look for:
- Damage to multiple items in your house, including carpet, linens, furniture, and other items containing natural fibers
- Holes in your carpet
- Little brown marks or stains
- Frequent rashes and itching on your skin
An ounce of prevention goes a long way. Knowing what attracts carpet beetles into your home helps you know how to keep them out. In short, like anything with natural animal fibers. Unfortunately, such fibers exist within countless household items – clothing, furniture, bedding, carpet, and many other frequently-used objects.
While it may seem like overkill, it’s often best to get rid of anything that the carpet beetles tend to levitate towards, as they most likely left their eggs in their tracks. The eggs are hard for the human eye to see. So, if the thought of larvae hanging out on your favorite t-shirt creeps you out, toss it.
Even if that thought doesn’t creep you out, throw it out. If you don’t do so, you actively invite the bugs to stay longer. Keeping this in mind, be sure to familiarize yourself with what their favorite hiding places are. These include carpets, rugs, shirts, dog beds, literally anything with loose fibers.
Step 2: Pinpoint the Source
Keep your eyes peeled. Make a physical or mental note of wherever you see carpet beetles around your house so that you can target them. Ideally, you should treat your space as if every part is infested with beetles. But having target areas is also a great idea.
Step 3: Keep Your Home Squeaky Clean
As we mentioned above, treating your entire house as if it was infected and targeting specific areas is critical. Similar to bed bugs, carpet beetles and larvae die when they come into contact with high heat. With that in mind, vacuum everything you possibly can.
Toss your rugs, clothing, cushions, blankets, and anything else with natural animal fibers into the washing machine, and then proceed to dry them on high heat. If you can’t throw something in the washing machine, hand wash it with hot water and soap.
Step 4: Use an Insecticide
After you’ve noted the carpet beetles’ favorite places and have cleaned your home thoroughly and consistently, choose an insecticide. Think about how big your infestation is and whether you’ll be treating your home as a whole or only treating some spots.
Also determine whether or not you need to be wary of any ingredients. If you have a pet or child in your home, they can get sick after ingesting insecticide. If you’re treating a high-traffic area, look for a natural remedy, or buy a pet- and kid-friendly insecticide.
The Most Popular Solution
Depending on the intensity of your infestation and on your unique situation, there are different intensities of insecticide you may use. A milder option is one containing boric acid. It’s an excellent choice for many reasons.
Not only does it kill just about any bug, but it can also be used even if you have a child in your home, as it’s safe for humans in small doses. With boric acid, all you have to do is put a layer on any infected areas and leave it out to sit for a couple of hours. Then, simply vacuum it up.
The Natural Solution
A more natural solution is to spray a mixture of white vinegar and water onto the affected areas. Although this is not technically an insecticide, it’s another milder option to exterminate the beetles that’s safe for pets and kids.
The Most Effective Solution
If you are facing a more intense infestation, then opt for a more potent insecticide. A bifenthrin-based insecticide is a good choice. These types of sprays not only kill the carpet beetles, but will also kill any other bug that has snuck into your home.
An insecticide with a higher percentage of cyfluthrin is a very strong option that both kills many different species of bug and also prevents them from returning. Better yet, it can be used on surfaces that many other insecticides cannot and lasts for up to three months.
Not only do you want to kill the live carpet beetles, you also want to ensure that their eggs won’t hatch and prolong the problem. To treat this issue, choose an insecticide with an insect growth regulator, or IGR.
An insecticide containing IGR helps to keep the infestation under control by killing the larvae. If you opt for a standalone insecticide, you can buy a separate IGR product and mix the two so that you still target the larvae.
Step 5: Monitor the Infestation
After you complete the above steps, don’t assume that the home remedies successfully killed off every bug and larvae. Stay vigilant and actively seek out whether or not there are still carpet beetles in your living space.
Besides using your own eyes to look around, you can also place glue traps and watch to see whether or not you catch any carpet beetles. If the problem persists, repeat the insecticide treatment or call an exterminator.
Things to Consider
While the steps above should maximize your prevention efforts, there are a few things to keep in mind when treating for pests.
What to do:
- Trace how frequently you see the bugs and where you see them.
- Before treating your home, make sure you frequently clean it.
- Decide whether or not you can use an insecticide on all materials where you find the bugs.
- Pick an insecticide with IGR or mix the insecticide you choose with IGR.
- Monitor your infestation continuously after you spray the insecticide by placing glue traps.
- Call someone for help if you are unable to get the infestation under control.
What not to do:
- Don’t use the insecticide if it may cause damage to parts of your home
- Don’t use a harsh insecticide if you have a young child or pets in your home
- Don’t keep infected clothing, linens, rugs, or any other infected items.
- Don’t let the infestation go untreated, even if you have already tried the home remedies.
So, How Do You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
As long as you take the time to learn about carpet beetles, you’ll know how to get rid of them. Keep your space tidy and choose an insecticide that matches your needs. Pay attention to the aftermath of the situation and, if necessary, call a pro.