The average American home contains about 100 different kinds of insects. Carpet beetles are one of the most common household pests, infesting everything from carpets to clothing and furniture.
Though they do not bite humans, these tiny black or brown beetles can cause skin irritation that is often mistaken for bed bug bites. That is because the beetle’s hair fibers can become embedded in human skin, causing an itchy rash.
Carpet beetles are also known to cause respiratory tract problems and eye irritation. Although it usually takes years of exposure for most people to become sensitized to these fibers, it’s still something to be aware of if you have carpet beetles in your home.
Being proactive and taking preventive measures is the best way to eliminate pests at home. Understanding what attracts them and how to get rid of them is the first step in preventing an infestation.
Where do carpet beetles hide?
Carpet beatles sometimes live in vents, floorboards, or in cracks and crevices in your home. (Photo by abc4Utah)[/caption]
Any area of your home can be a breeding ground for pests. Carpet beetles, especially the adult ones, can fly. That means they can come in through open doors and windows or cracks in your home’s foundation.
Once inside, they’ll start looking for a place to lay their eggs. These insects are attracted to dark, secluded areas where they can find food for their larvae. That means you can often find them in wall voids, attics, crawl spaces, and other undisturbed places.
However, the problem starts when the larvae hatch and start looking for other places to feed. These tiny creatures will munch on almost anything they can find, including carpets, clothing, furniture, and even synthetic fabrics with sweat, oil, or food stains.
How will you know if your house has carpet beetles?
Identifying carpet beetles with your bare eyes can be tricky since they’re so small. However, if you look closely enough, you might be able to see them crawling on your carpet or furniture.
Carpet beetles appear as oval-shaped insects with black, brown, or yellowish-orange stripes running across their backs. They move slowly and often roll over onto their backs when touched.
Another way to tell if you have an infestation of carpet beetle is to look for the larvae. These small, worm-like creatures are usually whitish or yellowish and have long, brown hair-like fibers sticking out of their bodies. You can often find them on carpets, clothing, or furniture where they’ve been feeding.
Other signs your home is infested with carpet beetles include:
- Bare or thin spots on your carpets
- Damage to clothing, blankets, and other fabrics made of natural fibers
- Hair fibers falling out of furs
- Small beetles crawling on walls or dead at windowsills
- Larval skins in hidden areas
If you’re unsure whether you have carpet beetles, you can always call a professional pest control company to come and take a look. They’ll be able to tell for sure and can also help you get rid of the insects if you have them.
What will happen if the infestation is left untreated?
When left unattended, a carpet beetle can wreak havoc on your home. Not only will these pests damage your carpets, clothing, and furniture, but they can also contaminate your food.
If you have carpet beetles in your pantry, they can contaminate cereals, grains, and dried goods with their hair fibers and feces.
Carpet beetle feces can cause gastrointestinal issues when ingested. If you have carpet beetles in your home, getting rid of them as soon as possible is essential to prevent further damage and avoid any health risks.
How to get rid of carpet beetles permanently
There are several ways to get rid of carpet beetles naturally. But, before you start trying to exterminate them, it’s essential to take some preventive measures to keep them from coming back.
The first step is to vacuum your entire house thoroughly, especially areas where carpet beetles are most likely to hide, such as under furniture, crevices, and along baseboards. Be sure to empty the vacuum bag after each session to prevent the insects from crawling back out.
Wash all fabrics
Next, wash your clothing, blankets, and other fabric items in hot water (at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit). Doing so will kill any carpet beetles or larvae hiding in them.
You can also put infested items in the freezer for a few days to kill the insects. However, if you have delicate items that can’t be washed in hot water or put in the freezer, you’ll need to take them to a dry cleaner.
Seal up cracks and crevices
Carpet beetles can reenter your home through cracks and crevices, so it’s essential to seal them up. Use caulk or weather-stripping to fill in any gaps around doors and windows. You should also repair any holes in your screens.
Another way to get rid of carpet beetles is to remove anything that might give them a place to hide. It includes stacks of newspapers, magazines, and clothes lying around your home. If you have a greenhouse, keep it free of other bugs.
A comfortable conservatory with less clutter will make it easier to spot and eliminate carpet beetles.
Use a carpet beetle spray
Several commercially available sprays can help you get rid of carpet beetles. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and only use safe products in your home.
You can also use this carpet beetle spray to get rid of carpet beetles in your car, garden, or anywhere else they might be hiding.
Make a vinegar spray
Suppose you’re wondering how to get rid of carpet beetles in a pet-safe manner. In that case, a vinegar mixture is an excellent option.
Simply combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use it to mist infested areas. The acidic properties of vinegar will kill carpet beetles and their larvae on contact.
However, this method won’t work if the insects are hidden deep in fabrics or other materials.
Hire a professional pest control company
Hiring a professional pest control company is best if you’re dealing with a severe infestation. They have the experience and resources to get rid of carpet beetles effectively. Doing so will also help you take the necessary steps to prevent them from returning.
Carpet beetles can be a real nuisance, causing damage to your home and posing a health risk to you and your family.
But with the proper prevention and treatment methods, you can get rid of these pests for good. When you take the above measures, you’ll be able to enjoy your home without worrying about these pesky insects.