You notice thinning areas and bare patches on your carpet. You look closer and see moulted larval skins scattered here and there. Just a few more sweeps of the eyes, and there they are – tiny brown critters crawling and eating away the fabric of your favourite rug.
All you want to do now is get them off ASAP, but you’re unsure how. Luckily, we have all the information you need, from identifying the culprit to getting rid of carpet beetles.
What You Kneed to Know About Carpet Beetles
Before you can eliminate the enemy, you have to know them first. To start, we’ll walk you through the basic information about carpet beetles to tackle the problem efficiently.
What Are Carpet Beetles?
As the name implies, these domestic pests are commonly found in carpets and rugs. They can be easily identified by their signature mottled dark brown patterns with white and black patches. Sometimes, their markings could be tinged with orange and yellow.
Adult carpet beetles are about 2.5 centimetres long and like to stay in the cooler, darker parts of the house. An adult beetle could lay one hundred eggs or more at a time. The eggs are usually white or creamy and are no bigger than a millimetre. These will then hatch into brown, hairy larvae known as woolly bears.
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What Are Carpet Beetles Doing on My Carpet?
Like moths, carpet beetles feed primarily on fabrics and other materials such as leather and feathers. Remember that the larvae inflict more extensive damage than the adult beetles since they are visibly more prominent and feed more. Thus, you would want to remove them, not just the adult insects.
Besides carpets, these beetles could also be found in other places like:
- Furniture upholstery
- Cabinets where clothes or rugs are kept.
Are Carpet Beetles Dangerous?
Carpet beetles don’t bite or sting, nor do they carry diseases. However, they can damage home items made of fabric, especially when stored for extended periods. They could cause bare patches on carpets and even create holes in clothing.
The more carpet beetles are present, the more significant the damage will be. That is why it is ideal to act immediately when you spot a few because they grow exponentially.
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How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
Before calling professional carpet beetle exterminators, we recommend trying these methods first, as these are just as effective yet cheaper alternatives.
This is one of the safest ways to clear your carpet of pests. You may pick the food-grade variant of diatomaceous earth so it is safe for humans and pets.
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a mask, is recommended when treating your carpet. That’s because fine particles may still irritate the nose.
Diatomaceous earth is applied by sprinkling lightly and evenly over the carpet and let sit for a few hours before vacuuming.
Another organic way to eliminate carpet beetles is by misting the carpet using vinegar. You can use white or apple cider vinegar for this method. Both are just as effective in killing larvae and eggs.
The heat can wipe out the beetles so that carpet steam cleaning will do the trick. Finish the job by vacuuming the carpet to remove the larvae and eggs afterwards.
A surefire way of eliminating carpet beetles is by using an insecticide. These are readily available in stores, so they’re easy to access. Once you have one in hand, don’t get too excited to spray it all over your carpet. Test a small amount on an obscured portion of the carpet to check for potential staining. Also, remember to take safety precautions before, during, and after spraying. It is best to be careful when handling toxic chemicals.
Compared to chemical insecticides, this is a milder substance lethal to carpet beetles. It’s advised to keep the room well-ventilated and to wear PPE when handling boric acid. Powdered boric acid is dispersed over the carpet and evened out using a broom. It’s left to sit for a few hours and then vacuumed thoroughly.
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How to Keep Carpet Beetles Off for Good
Once you’re rid of the carpet bugs, the goal is to keep them from returning.
Misting carpets with substances that carpet beetles hate is an effective way to keep them off forever. Vinegar or boric acid solution is our ideal option if we use them regularly since they are harmless to humans. The ratio for the boric acid solution is one tablespoon of powder for every two cups of water. Keep them ready in a spray bottle for easy access.
Regular Carpet Cleaning
This step is necessary for sanitary purposes. This will also stop carpet beetles’ breeding on the carpet. The more frequently you disturb their potential hideout, the less likely they are to breed there. So, vacuum carpets at least twice a week and deep-clean them at least twice a year.
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Treat Other Suspected Areas and Seal Gaps
Your carpet may be clean from carpet beetles, but the crawlers aren’t entirely out of the picture if they are still in your home. That said, seal all potential entry points and keep mothballs in all nooks and crannies if possible. Besides carpets, these pests are also known to hide and breed in cabinets where pieces of cloth are usually kept. Carpet beetles tend to settle in less disturbed places that sunlight can’t reach.
Also, be wary when bringing in-house plants as they may carry the bugs into the home through this.
Carpet beetles are sneaky little bugs that could be annoying and destructive if neglected. Effective repellants and insecticides are primarily everyday household items and are non-toxic to humans and pets. Still, the best way to dispose of carpet beetles and keep them off for good is to stick to a regular cleaning schedule. You can try one of the methods mentioned above or a combination of some.