While carpet beetles are not dangerous for humans, contact with them or their larvae can still cause some nasty itchy bumps and rashes, and their fibers can cause eye and throat irritation. Plus, carpet beetles can destroy your carpeting and upholstery if you don’t take the necessary precautions in time.
How can carpet beetles infest your home?
Carpet beetles can enter your home in a wide variety of ways. They can enter it via a bouquet of freshly cut flowers, on your clothing, on your pet, or by flying in an open window or door.
The carpet beetle will settle itself comfortably in your home and will start laying eggs. As a result, the larvae will begin developing and feeding on the carpet or another textile in your home. Left without control, carpet beetle larvae can cause irreparable and costly damage to all types of fabrics and furniture, including carpets, rugs, upholstery, curtains, clothes, and more.
How to spot a carpet beetle infestation?
The adult carpet beetles are harmless to people and the fabric in your home, but they do lay eggs that hatch into the textile-eating larvae. This is why you should get rid of any carpet beetles residing in your home.
Usually, these tiny pests can be found around the windows and doors of the home. An adult carpet beetle is oval-shaped and about a quarter of an inch in length and can be black or back with white and tan in color.
The larvae can be found in darker spaces and are difficult to spot. Instead, you can look for other telltale signs like tiny brown droppings, brown shells from the larvae, and others.
So, being so hard to spot, the most common sign that your home has been infested by carpet beetles is the damage on carpets, rug, curtains, upholstery, clothes, and even book covers.
Usually, the new infestations occur in the spring, so you should get ready to fight off these tiny pests.
Inspect your textile furniture and items, and especially clothes that you have packed and store away. If you notice any holes and damage, you should immediately proceed to wash it or dry clean it. If the textile has been damaged heavily, throw it out somewhere in an outdoor trash can.
The larvae will feed on any type of natural fabric and material, including wool, silk, leather, feathers, and even pet hair, fur, and felt. When they grow up, the adult carpet beetles feed on pollen instead.
Here are some of the most common DIY carpet beetle extermination methods
If you discover that carpet beetles have entered your home, don’t fear because when caught on time, they are relatively easy to get rid of without professional help.
Vacuum the house thoroughly
This is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of the carpet beetles and their larvae from your home. Make sure that you vacuum not only the infested areas but the entire house as well. You should vacuum every day of the week or even several times a day if the infestation is more serious.
Don’t forget to vacuum the upholstery of your furniture, and if possible, proceed to steam clean the rugs, carpets, furniture, draperies, and other textiles.
Related: Budget-Friendly Vacuum Cleaners
Use an insecticide
Look for an insecticide that includes treatment of carpet beetles on its label. Usually, these insecticides include bifenthrin, deltamethrin, or cyfluthrin.
Make sure you read the safety and use instructions and take all precautions to keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe when using the insecticide in your home.
Use boric acid
Boric acid in powder form is highly efficient for getting rid of carpet beetles and their larvae. Sprinkle the powder on your carpet or rug evenly, and then work it into the carpeting with the help of a brush. Let it sit for a few hours and vacuum it off.
You can also use boric acid to prepare a DIY insecticide. Mix two cups of warm water with a spoonful of boric acid in a spray bottle, and then mist your carpets, upholstery, curtains, or other textiles which have been infested by the larvae.
Use diatomaceous earth
This product is highly efficient in killing the carpet beetle larvae. Choose a “food grade” product that is safe for people and animals, and sprinkle it on your carpets, rugs, or upholstery as described above.
You should wear a mask when you are applying it in order to avoid inhaling the diatomaceous earth.
Use a flying insect fogger
Insect foggers are also highly efficient for getting rid of carpet beetles and for preventing new infestations too. It will destroy any adult carpet beetles and can also prevent newcomers from invading your house again.
Use sticky flypaper strips
To keep your home free of new carpet beetles, you can install these pheromone sticky flypaper strips on the doors, windows, and closets of your home. This will help eliminate the adult beetles and prevent them from laying and hatching the textile-eating larvae.