You’ve got company! While you’re watching telly, there are carpet beetles under your sofa having a TV dinner of their own.
Do you have unwelcome guests? If you suspect a carpet beetle infestation in your home, we’re here to help. This is a quick guide to help you identify the problem and deal with it.
What to Look For
Carpet beetles are a natural part of the outside environment. They find their way into our homes quite easily. For example, on flowers and plants that we bring in, and through openings like windows and vents.
There are a few signs that will betray their presence. Knowing what to look for and how to find the source will really help you here.
Carpet beetle infestations are usually confined to one specific area. Look for holes and damage trails in carpets, furniture or other items around your home.
Here are a few common carpet beetle feeding grounds:
- Leather and wool items
- Furs and feathers
- Photos, book covers, and papers
They’re eating, which means they must be pooping too. Beetle poo is black or brown, about the size of a grain of salt. So, if you find what appears to be a small pile of dark brown salt on the floor, then you’ve found their toilet. Their faeces will be concentrated near the source of the infestation.
Basically, there are 3 main types of carpet beetles, which vary in size from 0.25cm to 1cm. Their larvae are a bit like small crawly caterpillars. Look out for their skins which they shed during their lifecycle. This post from the Natural History Museum provides a helpful identification guide.
Getting Rid of Carpet Beetles in 6 Steps
Carpet beetles like quiet, dark, undisturbed places. Their perfect breeding ground has abundant food and no natural predators. Once they’re in, it can be a mission to get them out.
Of course, you could always get professional help and call our residential pest solutions team if you feel overwhelmed. Otherwise, here’s how to get rid of carpet beetles in six steps:
1. Find the Nest
Look in the places carpet beetles are most likely to inhabit. Animal hides, woollen clothing, and rugs. They also creep into the back of closets and behind seldom moved furniture. They tend to nest in concentrated locations.
2. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum
Once you’ve found the source, vacuum up the infestation. Then keep vacuuming!
You’ll need to cover every inch of your house and all upholstery, covering everything that you can’t wash.
Apply boric acid as a killing agent. Dust it over surfaces, leave it on for a while and then vacuum it up. Please note, it’s harmful to pets, so keep them away when you use it.
Unfortunately, one good vacuum won’t be enough. You’ll need to vacuum everything every day until the infestation is gone.
3. Get Them Out of Your Clothes
If you discover the source of the problem is in stored clothing, you should throw those items away.
The clothes will most likely be too damaged to wear even if you get rid of all the beetles, larva, and eggs. Or, by the time they’ve been through multiple boiling washes, they’ll be ruined beyond recognition.
4. Wash, Wash, Wash
Okay, you’ve found the source, done the vacuuming, and thrown away an expensive angora shawl. The next step is to start washing.
Wash everything you can on the hottest machine setting. Get everything done from curtains and towels to blankets and clothes. It’s drastic but necessary.
For carpets and upholstery, get a steam cleaner or carpet shampoo and wash them too.
5. Get Them Out of Your Food
Go through the pantry and check all your cereals and other dry food. Yes, beetles enjoy convenience. Throw out what you can and store the rest in an airtight container.
6. Set Traps
After scrupulously uninviting the beetles, it’s time for the final step. Set insect traps near infestation sites. This is to make sure you get every last straggler.
Getting rid of carpet beetles is a meticulous process. To keep them away it’s important to vacuum everything as often as you can. Once your place is clear make sure they don’t return.
When you do your regular vacuuming routine ensure every corner gets a bit of daylight. It’s important to move furniture, exposing the carpet underneath.
The best way to deal with carpet beetles is to make your home an unsuitable breeding ground. Vacuum often, let plenty of light in and inspect plant or animal materials that you bring home.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to get the message across to those creepy pests. Crawlies and bugs belong in the garden, not feeding off our belongings.
If you need any advice on how to deal with carpet beetles and other pests, call Combat Pest Solutions. You can contact them here.