Have you noticed holes in your carpets, furniture, and clothing? It’s easy to assume that moths are the culprits – and rightfully so. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, carpet beetles are at fault. Being extremely common insects, the carpet beetle is an all too regular house guest known to plague many unsuspecting homes across the United Kingdom.
Chances are that at some point you have most likely had carpet beetles in your home.
Here’s how to tell if you have carpet beetles, what you can do to get rid of them, and even practical tips on how to prevent a carpet beetle infestation.
Telltale Signs That You Have Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetle infestations are usually confined to one or two areas, so it’s not hard to track down this particular pest. If you suspect that you have a carpet beetle issue, then here are some of the things you need to look out for.
- Spot the adult beetles: The larvae tend to do the damage, but you can’t see them. It’s the adult beetles that you need to look out for and you’ll usually find the adults on or near your windows.
- Trail of damage: Carpet beetle larvae like to eat uninterrupted, so you’ll most likely find holes on your favourite carpet, jerseys, and blankets in darker areas. Take a torch and look in dark corners or under heavy furniture.
- Find the droppings: Since the larvae eat a lot, they leave a lot of droppings near the source of the infestation. Their fecal pellets look like little grains of sand and are typically brown or black in colour.
Why Do You Have Carpet Beetles?
If you’re wondering whether a carpet beetle infestation means that your home is dirty, then perish the thought. While it’s true that carpet beetles are attracted to open food, food waste, and dirty fabrics, having carpet beetles isn’t necessarily a sign of a dirty house.
Their preference for dark, undisturbed places means that they squirrel their way inside our homes, seeking out the nooks and crannies. Carpet beetles can come in through openings like windows and vents, and in the flowers and plants that we buy.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles
Once they’re in, it can be a mission to get them out. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We have a few tips to help you defeat these pests once and for all, however you must be meticulous and we can’t promise that you’ll be able to get rid of them on your own.
Depending on the severity of your infestation, it could take some time to get rid of all of them, and if you miss a spot where your problem will only continue. That’s why we’ll start by reminding you that Combat Pest Solutions is ready and waiting to assist you.
For now, here are 7 steps to help you DIY your pesty problem:
- Vacuum the site of the infestation and then just keep vacuuming until you’ve covered every square inch of your house and all the upholstery.
- Sprinkle boric acid over surfaces, leave it for a while, and then vacuum it up, but please take care as it is harmful to pets.
- Vacuum every day until all the telltale signs of the infestation are gone.
- If the infestation is in your clothes, the only way to remove them is multiple boiling sessions which could ruin your clothes, so most of the time it’s best to toss these garments out.
- Once you’ve vacuumed and tossed clothes (if these carried the bulk of the infestation), we suggest you wash everything on the hottest machine setting and use a steam cleaner on your carpets and upholstery.
- Carpet beetles may even be in your pantry staples (cereal and other dry foods), so have a look, throw out what you can, and store the rest in airtight containers.
- The final step is setting insect traps near infestation sites to make sure you get every last beetle.
Prevention is Easier Than Cure
The good news is that it’s entirely possible to prevent a carpet beetle infestation. This pest is attracted to carpets that aren’t regularly cleaned and exposed to light, as well as improperly stored clothing and blankets, particularly items that are manufactured out of fur, wool, silk, and other animal-based fabrics.
The best way to prevent carpet beetles from settling in is to thoroughly clean any clothing or blankets before storing them and use mothballs or crystals to ward off and kill carpet beetles (or moths). You might even want to have these items professionally dry cleaned as an extra precaution.
You should also set a regular cleaning schedule that includes dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming the nooks and crannies of your home. This is especially necessary if you have pets, because carpet beetles favour areas where they can find patches of accumulated pet hair.
Combat Your Pest Problem
If you see any signs of carpet beetles and want the help of a professional to help you get rid of them, call on us.