How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles and Larvae - Public Goods Blog

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How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetle infestations can be devastating to your home and the natural fibers that you own. In this blog, you’ll learn how to get rid of carpet beetles and ways you can prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

Image of hot chocolate and marshmallows on a tray on a carpeted floor

If you live in a home with carpeting, you’ll know that there are extra steps that you have to take to keep it in tip-top shape. But, realistically, we all live busy lives, so going beyond a standard daily or weekly vacuuming could be a huge ask. One thing that homeowners and renters should worry about, however, is when their space becomes infested with carpet beetles.

Carpet beetles are small, multi-colored beetles that infest homes and wreak havoc on the organic fabrics within them. If you’ve ever experienced these tiny nuisances, you’ll know just how destructive they can be. If you haven’t, you won’t want to find out.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what carpet beetles are, how to know if your home is infested with them and how to get rid of carpet beetles once and for all. Continue reading to learn more!

Carpet Beetles 101

Even though these pests are tiny, they are among the most destructive insects that can enter a home. Carpet beetles are a combination of tan, white and black, and are ¼ inch in length. Fortunately, carpet beetles won’t transfer disease to your household, and when they’re adults, they are harmless little pests. Their larvae are the ones homeowners need to worry about.

Carpet beetle larvae look like small, hairy worms, but don’t let their tiny package fool you – they are the real nuisance. Because they are rapidly growing and trying to gain enough calories to eventually transform into adults, larvae have a huge appetite that is seemingly never sated.

Where They Live

Just because they’re called carpet beetles does not mean they only live on your carpet. You can find these pests anywhere, but specifically around baseboards, pantries, closets, and dressers. They’re also partial to the nooks and crannies in sofas and other furniture. Lastly, carpet beetles tend to congregate around doorways, so be sure to check them for pin-sized holes that these pests can potentially sneak through.

What They Eat

Carpet beetle larvae eat natural textiles and fibers, such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool. They generally stay away from synthetic materials, so your rug and carpet are safe if they are made with a more affordable product. Additionally, pantries are one of their main food sources as well. Some species of carpet beetles have been known to feed on pasta, flour, cornmeal, and dry pet food.

Signs of a Carpet Beetle Infestation

If you’ve confirmed those multi-colored beetles are indeed inside of your home, you must take action immediately. Carpet beetles typically fly into open doors and windows, and once they land on your furniture, they’ll start to reproduce. These pests may be harmless as adults but they reproduce quickly, exponentially increasing the number of eggs and larvae that live around your house.

The biggest signs of carpet beetles are:

  • New bare spots in your carpet or rugs
  • Large holes in your clothes
  • Small pinholes in books

If you see any combination of these signs, you most likely have carpet beetles.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Luckily, getting rid of carpet beetles is relatively simple. You can either use chemical agents or natural remedies. Let’s dive into each one.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles with Chemicals

The first thing you will need to do is vacuum all of the surfaces that have been affected by carpet beetles. This will contain the majority of them, and allow you to get them out of your home quickly. Then, steam clean your carpets to get up the nearly impossible-to-see eggs. Next, apply a good layer of boric acid, a mild yet effective insecticide, to carpets, rugs, and furniture to kill off any remaining pests. Wait a few hours, then vacuum these areas again and dispose of the vacuum bag (or empty the canister far away from your home.)

Another thing to consider is using a slightly stronger insecticide, like Raid, to target your problem areas. These sprays are widely available and can be used on baseboards, under sinks, and in doorways. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not recommended that you use them on your carpet or rugs. But, in conjunction with boric acid, you can get rid of carpet beetle with relative success.

Lastly, you can call an exterminator that will handle all of the chemicals and extermination protocols for you. Sometimes, at-home remedies can’t kill all of the carpet beetle eggs and larvae, which will make the problem continue. Exterminators have all the tools to completely eradicate this pest problem and any others you may have.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles Naturally

If you are looking for how to get rid of carpet beetles naturally, you can rely on vinegar and essential oils. After vacuuming your carpets and steam cleaning them, wipe your surfaces down with a mixture of white distilled vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Then, follow behind it with peppermint oil. Alternatively, you can combine the essential oil with distilled water and spray it on the areas where you see the most damage. Continue this process until you do not see any signs of carpet beetles or their larvae.

Image of Public Goods brand lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils

How to Prevent Future Carpet Beetle Infestations

Once you’ve gotten rid of the carpet beetles, the steps on how to prevent them are pretty similar to the removal process. Generally, all you need to do is clean your home consistently, batten down their food sources, vacuum often and occasionally deposit insect repellent or essential oils around door openings and baseboards. Additionally, consider adding cedar or mothballs to the places where you store clothes. Another option is to store your clothes in plastic containers that have an airtight lid.

Once you’re finished with the inside of your home, be sure to address the outside as well. After all, carpet beetles have to come from somewhere, and it’s most likely going to be from outside. To prevent a future beetle infestation, spray the foundation of your home and the soil two to three feet out from the house with insecticide, concentrating it around doorways, windows, and other points of entry.

Help Protect Your Home with Public Goods!

Public Goods can help you protect your home from annoying pests in a safe, natural way. Armed with our line of essential oils and household cleaning products, you can deter pests and ensure that they won’t come back. Additionally, you can check out our blog for more tips on how you can use our products in other areas of your life!

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