How To Get Rid Of Beetles In Carpets

A common question asked in my Facebook group is “How do I get rid of carpet beetles?” Most of us find an occasional hole in our clothes, assuming it’s just moths, only to discover small holes in our soft furnishings and carpets. In this post, we discuss how to distinguish and eradicate carpet beetles, and take preventative measures to stop them from coming back.

What are carpet beetles?

Carpet beetles are tiny insects that will eat just about any fabric in your home. They prefer to eat natural fabrics like wool, silk, fur, or feathers, damaging furniture, and clothing items. If left untreated, carpet beetle larvae can cause irreparable damage to the belongings in your home.

How to identify carpet beetles .

Carpet beetles larvae grow up to eight millimeters. An adult carpet beetle is approximately 5mm long. Adult beetles are oval-shaped and come in a couple of different species. Some are brown with white markings, and black carpet beetles are shiny black with greenish-looking catches and reddish-brown legs.
The carpet beetle larva causes all the damage caused to carpets, clothes, and soft furnishings.

carpet beetle

What does a carpet beetle larva look like?

They have color-banded bodies with contrasting colors, usually a light brown and dark brown or white. They are covered with hair, and it’s important to note that black carpet beetle larva doesn’t have any hair, and they are more solid brown or black in colors.

carpet beetle lava

How do they get into the house?

Carpet beetles come from the outdoors. They come in through open windows and doors, particularly warm and hot weather. Adult carpet beetles like pollen, so it is particularly easy for them to come inside if you have flowery shrubs growing by your windows or doors. They look for fabric sources like carpets, rugs, and clothing to lay their eggs for their larvae to feed on.

How can I spot carpet beetles?

Finding the source of the carpet beetle infestation is essential to get rid of them from your home. You can then take a few steps to make the control process more manageable.
✔️Check around your home for adult carpet beetles and their larvae.
✔️Carpet beetle larvae don’t like light and prefer to live under dark areas like the fridge, closets, or drawers. They prefer to hang out around the edges of the carpet underneath the skirting boards.
✔️Adult carpet beetles are attracted to light, so you will probably find them on windows or windowsills as they seek out pollen to eat.
✔️If you find adult beetles in carpet and fabric, they will probably still be laying their eggs.

✔️Make a note of where you’ve seen the carpet beetle as you will need to pay particular attention to these areas when using the treatments
✔️If you find signs of any carpet beetles or larvae, you will need to take some measures to prepare your home for treatments.

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How to get rid of beetles in carpets

Thankfully, you can get rid of a carpet beetle infestation with the right products and treatments.
When you find the source, you can take a few steps before treating your home to make the whole process much more manageable.

Preliminary measures to get rid of carpet beetles

Time needed: 1 day.

Preliminary measures for carpet beetle treatment include everyday household tasks that anyone can do

  1. Vacuum thoroughly

    Vacuum your floors, rugs, curtains, furniture, and any soft furnishings that can’t go in the washing machine. After you vacuum, empty the vacuum canister or bag into a bin bag. Seal the bag tightly and get rid of it into the wheelie bin outside.

  2. Concentrate on darker areas

    Carpet beetle larvae are often found in areas that don’t get much light, so remember to vacuum dark areas like wardrobes, cabinets, pantries, end tables, shelves, desk drawers, and under furniture.

  3. Concentrate on windows

    Clean windows and windowsills where the adult carpet beetles like to hang out.

  4. Clean solid surfaces

    Wipe solid surfaces with mild dish soap and water then follow with disinfectant.

  5. Get rid of possible food sources

    Remove any possible food sources for adult carpet beetles to lay their eggs. So, make sure there are no piles of laundry to be washed or put away. Keep clutter to a minimum.

  6. Use a steam cleaner

    Steam cleaning furniture is very effective in helping get rid of carpet beetles. You can use a steam cleaner like this one on high heat to kill carpet beetles, larvae, and eggs remaining on carpets, rugs, and furniture in your home .

  7. Use a high heat

    Clean all washable fabrics like clothes, towels, bedding, pet bedding, linen immediately with detergent and tumble dry on heat over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A high drying heat will kill any adult carpet beetles, larvae, and eggs hiding in the fabric.

  8. Dry clean all unwashable clothing

    Clothes made of wool ,leather, sheepskin, feather or silk will need to be dry cleaned.



How to use insecticide to get rid of carpet beetles

Once your home is ready for treatment, you can treat your home with an insect growth regulator insecticide spray like this one, then use an insecticide dust like this one for carpet beetles. Make sure it is labeled an insecticide for carpet beetle control.
Once you finish cleaning, be sure to ventilate the area well and keep children, people, and pets away from treated areas until everywhere is dry.

Insecticide growth regulator or IGR

Use an insect growth regulator or IGR like this one to stop carpet beetle eggs from hatching and reinfesting your home. If the insecticide you were using does not include an IGR, you can add one like these drops to your treatment.
IGR works by breaking down the life cycle of the carpet beetle to disrupt the beetle’s regular growth pattern. Juveniles exposed to the IGR will then be sterile as adults, thus stopping the constant reproduction cycle.

✔️Make precise applications of the product throughout your home. Moderately wet the areas rather than soaking
✔️Spray the insecticide around carpets and rugs and under furniture. Around door and window frames and shelving in the corners of closets and cracks and crevices around your home, along the baseboards and the edge of the carpeting, Then be sure also to spray windows and windowsills, shelving drawers, closets, cracks and crevices, and any other spots where you’ve seen carpet beetle activity once

✔️Refer to the product label to see if you can use it across the whole carpet or only recommend spot treatments.
✔️Always test in an inconspicuous area.
✔️Consult an expert for expensive rugs and furnishings.

Insecticide dust

✔️After you have applied the insecticide spray and it is fully dry, you should apply insecticide dust into the cracks, holes, crevices, or anywhere carpet beetles can hide. This helps to reach any awkward spaces where sprays cannot go.
✔️The insecticide dust should be applied inside wall voids, under baseboards, and inside electrical outlets every six months.
✔️To use the insecticide dust, you’ll need a handheld duster like this one. Fill the duster about halfway with insecticide powder and leave plenty of room for air to circulate.
✔️Squeeze the duster to apply the powder at the edge of the carpet alongside skirting boards and anywhere you may have seen carpet beetle activity.
✔️ Applications should be light and uniform.
✔️Treat cracks, holes, and other hiding places with the powder. Dry insecticide dust can also be applied to voids, cracks, and crevices.

You can also use glue board traps like these ones to monitor infestation.

How to use glue board traps

✔️Put the glue boards into wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, and other dark areas in the home. This will help to trap carpet beetles and their larvae.
✔️You should eventually start to see fewer carpet beetles on the traps. If you still see activity after three weeks, retreat the whole area as you did previously.

Preventative measures to help stop carpet beetles

If you take regular preventative measures, you have a better chance of stopping any future infestations from happening.

✔️ Keep up with regular vacuuming, laundering, and cleaning. This will catch any stray carpet beetle that may have got in after treatments
✔️ Seal up and repair any possible openings and cracks that carpet beetles can use to get indoors.
✔️Continue to use the glue traps to see if there is any activity in places you have seen the carpet beetles or larvae.
✔️Reapply the spray every three months or so for round-the-clock control. Maintenance will prevent carpet beetles and other pests from establishing themselves in your home.
✔️Vacuuming your home daily, before, during, and after your treatment will significantly reduce your carpet beetle infestation.

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FAQ

How would I know if it is bed bugs or beetles in carpet?

Some people mistake carpet beetles for bed bugs because of their similar appearance.
Hairy carpet beetle larvae causes some people skin irritations which they presume have been caused by bed bugs bites.
There are many differences between a bed bug and a carpet beetles:
✔️Carpet beetles have more spherical bodies with varying colors and wings
✔️Carpet beetles eat fabric or pollen.
✔️Carpet beetles gather around windows and light sources.

✔️Bed bugs will look like flat, round- oval-shaped insects. There are about 4.5mm in size
✔️Bed bugs will bite humans and animals to feast on their blood
✔️Common signs of bed bugs are black smears or blood spots under a mattress, in blankets, pillows, curtains, or anywhere they have crawled, along with skin shells, eggs, and Larva
To find out more about bed bugs and their treatment, read this post

bed bug

Other valuable products in treating carpet beetles.

Insect bombs like this one will kill all sorts of insects like fleas, moths

Carpet Beetle Killer Strips like these ones are a dry Household Treatment, Kills Carpet Beetles, Larvae and Eggs, providing up to 6 Months Protection

You can get a full kit here which contains the IGR spray , powder, glue trap and bombs