How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

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Discovering adult carpet beetles and crawling larvae in your home is never a good sign. While carpet beetles can be common in homes, they are persistent pests whose feeding habits can damage your property if not remedied early. Learn more about the nature of carpet beetles and how to get rid of them.

What Are Carpet Beetles?

There are two main groups of carpet beetles:

  1. Black Carpet Beetles: Adult beetles are black and oblong-shaped ranging in size from 1/8” to 3/16” in length.
  2. Varied, Common, and Furniture Carpet Beetles: All three varieties are relatively the same size with an oval shape and a variety of wing color patterns.

Carpet beetles go through a full metamorphosis including egg, larvae (crawling stage), pupae (cocoon), and adult (beetle). Larvae are easy to spot by their striped tan and white color with hairy bodies. The larvae stage is the most harmful because they spend their time feasting on carpets, fabrics, and other food sources.

Both adults and larvae prefer to feed in dark, quiet areas. This often allows an infestation to go unnoticed resulting in the need for professional extermination.

Are Carpet Beetles Harmful to Humans or Property?

The only real harm carpet beetles inflict on humans is a case of the heebie-jeebies…

However, they can wreak havoc on your property.

Carpet beetles may infest carpets, blankets, upholstered furniture, comforters, pillows, coats, and other clothing. They cause damage to your property by feeding on carpeting, clothing, silk, leather, fur, wool, and animal hides as food sources. Other food sources include pet food, animal carcasses (such as dead mice or squirrels in walls), dead insects, animal nests, and pollen. Beetles feed in dark, secluded places such as basements, closets, drawers, storage boxes, attics, and in between walls.

How Do I Prevent Carpet Beetles?

While adult carpet beetles can live indoors or outdoors, female beetles come inside to lay their eggs. Sealing cracks in windows, doors, siding, and the foundation are important to keep beetles and other pests from entering your home.

Another preventive measure to keep adult beetles from entering the home is hanging sticky flypaper strips near windows to catch them. If you experience repeated infestations, sticky pheromone-type traps on windowsills and in closets can help stop beetles before they lay their eggs.

How Can I Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Infestations of carpet beetles don’t take long to become a big problem. Use these steps to get rid of beetles in your home:

  • Identify the source. Find where carpet beetles are hiding by searching for shed skins and fecal pellets. You may also look for holes in fabrics in closets, drawers, attics, basements, and storage boxes.
  • Vacuum them up. The first step to getting rid of them is immediately vacuuming them up. Make sure to get their babies too.
  • Wash fabrics in hot, soapy water. Carpet beetles are resilient. To get rid of eggs, larvae, and beetles, clean fabrics in hot soapy water and hire a steam cleaner if an infestation is in your carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Use a dusting of boric acid. Boric acid kills almost any insect. The only downside is boric acid may bleach fabrics and could be harmful to children or pets. Use caution before coating your fabrics with a dusting of boric acid and keep it away from areas where children or pets are present.
  • Get help with professional pest control. Unfortunately, DIY pest control methods don’t always fix the problem. If you have a serious infestation on your hands, you may need to call the experts to safely and effectively handle a beetle infestation for you.

Are carpet beetles ruining your carpet and fabrics? If you’re experiencing an infestation, get rid of beetles fast and efficiently with professional pest control from Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control. Contact us today for a free estimate or to schedule an appointment.


About the Author:

Chris Murphy is President of Inman-Murphy Inc., one of the fastest growing pest control companies in Memphis, TN.