Carpet Beetle Treatment

Carpet beetle treatment is pretty tough and time-consuming as they have resilient character. Read this article to know how to kill and get rid of carpet beetles.
Carpet beetle is a common household pest. They feed themselves on naturally occurring materials which are of animal origin like hides, wool, silk, hair and so on. For this reason, carpet beetle infestation is mostly found in stored woolen garments, woolen carpets, stuffed animals, feathers, stored food products and so on. These pests can cause severe damage to all these items.

Facts about Carpet Beetle

Adult carpet beetles have an oval-shaped body which is around one-eighth inch in length. There are different species of carpet beetle. Among them, black carpet beetle, varied carpet beetle and furniture carpet beetle are most commonly found. While a black carpet beetle can be identified with its dark shiny body, other species of carpet beetle have colored scales. A female carpet beetle lays about 50-100 eggs on such locations where the larvae can get enough food. The larvae emerge from the eggs within 10 - 20 days and takes around one year to become a full-grown adult. During carpet beetle treatment, you have to get rid of both the adults as well as the larvae. This is because the larvae are more destructive in nature.

Carpet Beetle Treatment

You have to first inspect every nook and corner of the room thoroughly like the area around the baseboard, below the furniture, under area rugs, inside closets, etc. for carpet beetle infestation. It can be identified with the holes that they make on the fabric or other infested materials. An adult will make uniform holes but the holes made by the larvae is irregular in shape and size. Once you have noticed these signs of infestation, you must take some prompt action. If you delay the treatment, their population will grow in no time and may spread to other parts of your home as well. The important aspects of treatment are as follows:
  • Vacuum clean all those surfaces thoroughly where you suspect that there could be infestation. It includes area rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture, storage areas like closet and chests, etc. The vacuum cleaner will suck up both the adult and larvae. Then dispose off the vacuum bag.
  • Those items which are washable should be thoroughly washed in washing machine using hot water and laundry detergent. Keep them inside the hot dryer for almost one hour to kill the beetles.
  • For those items which cannot be washed, you have the option of dry cleaning or ironing. Or else, put them in a zipper bag and keep the bag in a freezer for 48 hours for black carpet beetles. The cold temperature inside the freezer will kill both the adults and the larvae effectively.
  • To clean up these household bugs from the carpets, steam cleaning is a good option available. You can take the help of professionals or do it on your own if you have home steam carpet cleaning machine.
  • Borax powder can destroy the larvae and adult carpet beetles really well. Sprinkle it generously on all those areas where you suspect that the beetles are growing.
  • Where there is heavy infestation, you may have to use insecticides for killing those harmful insects. They are available in aerosol spray can and you have to spray it sparingly on the infested areas. Read the label of the product to know about the precautionary measures which you have to follow while using them. After the treatment, clean up the residues of harmful chemicals from the fabric materials by vacuuming, washing or dry cleaning. In case it does not work, you may have to hire pest control professionals.
Instead of insecticides, people prefer natural treatment methods as the harmful chemicals present in these products are not safe for your pets and children. Any re-infestation can be prevented with proper sanitation and good housekeeping. While storing the items in storage containers use mothballs to prevent growth of these insects.
By Bidisha Mukherjee
Last Updated: 10/5/2011
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