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How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

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Carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped insects that range in color from black to brownish-orange. These insects are attracted to light sources and can fly into your home through windows, doors, and small cracks. Once inside, carpet beetles reproduce and can wreak havoc on silk, wool, and pelts.

While getting rid of a few beetles may seem simple, spotting just one carpet beetle can suggest an infestation in your home. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to get rid of carpet beetles and what you can do to prevent a future infestation.

Some infestations may be better left to the professionals. Terminix and Orkin are top pest control companies that can help you get rid of carpet beetles and other pests in your home. Get a free Terminix quote by filling out this online form or calling 866-569-4035, or contact Orkin by calling 877-868-1416 or filling out this quick form.

Types of Carpet Beetles

There are many species of carpet beetles that infiltrate homes and cause damage. Here are four common types of carpet beetles and how to identify each kind.

  • Varied carpet beetle—Reaching sizes of around 3.5 millimeters, the varied carpet beetle is identified through its round shape and fine scales that are speckled in brown, yellow, and white.
  • Fur carpet beetle—This large carpet beetle can reach sizes of up to six millimeters and is found with red, brown, or black shells. This species typically has a distinctive white patch on each of its wings.
  • Furniture carpet beetle—This species of carpet beetle is similar to the varied carpet beetle in size and color, though it’s typically covered in yellow scales with long hair-like protrusions.
  • Black carpet beetle—This type of beetle reaches sizes of no more than five millimeters, has a hard black shell, and lives for just a few weeks.

How to Identify a Carpet Beetle Infestation

Carpet beetles are very small, making them difficult to spot on carpet and fabrics throughout your home. Although they’re difficult to see, the damage and evidence they leave behind is obvious.

Here are a few signs that you have a carpet beetle infestation:

  • Bare spots in wool clothing, blankets, and rugs
  • Larvae skins scattered under rugs, near furniture, or around pet hair and lint
  • Bald areas in fur coats or taxidermied animals
  • Tiny black or brown droppings below your wardrobe or near the base of your furniture

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

To completely eradicate a carpet beetle infestation, you’ll need to remove adult beetles, larvae, and eggs. This can be done through a variety of DIY methods. Take a look at each one below.

  • Insecticide—Treat areas of infestation with an insecticide that contains deltamethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin. Follow the treatment’s outlined directions to ensure the safety of family members and pets inside your home.
  • Boric acid—Found as a powder in many supermarkets, boric acid can be sprinkled on an infested carpet and quickly kill embedded carpet beetles. While poisonous to humans only if ingested in large quantities, boric acid may not be a viable treatment option for pet owners.
  • Diatomaceous earth—This natural product is found online and in agricultural stores. It works by dehydrating carpet beetle larvae. It’s dispensed in a similar manner as boric acid but is available in food-grade models for additional safety.
  • Vinegar—Water and apple cider vinegar can be poured inside of a spray bottle and applied to infested clothing, carpets, and upholstered furniture. If you notice carpet beetles crawling along clothes in your wardrobe, wash these pieces with vinegar and water to kill any remaining eggs and larvae.
  • Vacuuming and steam cleaning—Using a traditional vacuum to suck up carpet beetles and surrounding larvae can be an effective solution. If you need a bit more power, using a steam cleaner is an effective option that combines heat and suction to kill carpet beetles.

Like any DIY pest treatment, this list may be a temporary solution to a more permanent problem. If you use a DIY carpet beetle removal method in your home and the problem persists, contact a professional. A top pest control company will inspect your specific infestation and create an effective treatment plan accordingly, helping you rid your home of pests.

How to Prevent Carpet Beetles from Returning

Here are a few ways to prevent future carpet beetle infestations:

  • Vacuum and steam clean your carpets regularly, removing food sources like lint and hair.
  • Keep cabinets clean and food sealed in airtight containers.
  • Seal obvious cracks and crevices in your windows and doors.
  • Transfer bird nests away from your door or window to a different location, as they can be a vessel for carpet beetles to travel from place to place.

Another effective preventative measure is scheduling regular treatments with a pest control company. These professionals will address a variety of pest issues, including carpet beetles, and prevent future infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Carpet Beetles

Are carpet beetles dangerous?

No. Unlike some pests, carpet beetles don’t harm people or pets. However, they can cause costly damage to carpets, linen clothes, and other natural fibers.

How many carpet beetles is a cause for concern?

Although you may see just one or two carpet beetles in your home, it’s likely there are more around. Adult carpet beetles lay their eggs in dark areas, with more than 100 hatching within a few weeks. This makes it important to address carpet beetle infestations as soon as they are spotted.

Do carpet beetles live in beds?

While carpet beetles might be attracted to the fabric in your bed, they don’t live in your mattresses like bed bugs.

How long does it take to get rid of carpet beetles?

It depends on the treatment. Some DIY options eliminate infestations in a few days, while others may take weeks to completely resolve the issue. If you’re treating a carpet beetle infestation on your own and don’t notice a decrease in the amount of bugs in your area, it may be wise to contact a pest control professional.

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our pest control recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. We review pest control plans, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives by phone and online chat (if available), request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our review standards for plans and services, reputation and customer responses, customer service offerings, workmanship guarantees, financing, and availability to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

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