Carpet Beetles: How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles are insects attracted to natural fibers and can cause damage to carpets, furniture, and clothing.
These insects also eat felt under furniture pieces like music stands. There are several types of carpet beetle, including:
- The black carpet beetle (attagenus unicolor) feeds on fabric and stored products like grain and are black in color.
- The varied carpet beetle (anthrenus verbasci) feed on dead insects, fabrics, and other fibrous material. They are winged and have a splotchy color pattern of white, brown, and yellow.
- The common carpet beetle (anthrenus scrophulariae), or buffalo carpet beetle, eat animal bi products.
Luckily, treatment is the same for carpet beetles regardless of species.
How to Treat Carpet Beetles
Start by inspecting secluded areas of your home for molted skins and fecal matter.
If you find molted skins, there are most likely carpet beetle larvae present, which cause the most damage. If the infested areas include clothes or bed linens, dispose of them. Even if you put them through deep cleaning, you still run the risk of another infestation.
Spray or dust affected areas of carpet and furniture with insecticide. Make sure the pesticide is meant for eliminating carpet beetles. The product should contain chlorpyrifos, bendiocarb, and allethrin to ensure effective extermination.
However, insecticides are often dangerous to humans and other animals, so be sure to isolate the area before the treatment. You can also spread boric acid over the carpet and upholstered furniture, which is lethal to insects but is generally harmless to humans. Be sure to vacuum the acid two hours after applying it.
If you have pets, treat their bedding with diatomaceous earth. While safe for pets and humans, you should wear a mask to protect yourself from inhalation. This product dehydrates carpet beetles and can be used to treat the back of cabinets and closets.
You can also use conventional household pesticides to spray window ledges, closet corners, and any other potential opening for carpet beetles.
During the treatment process, store your clothes and fabrics in bags with resin strips or moth repellent. Resin strips contain dichlorvos, while moth repellent vapors are deadly to most insects that eat fiber. Keep your clothes, sheets, linens, and other fabrics sealed in bags with resin strips or moth repellent for two to three weeks during the treatment process.
What are the Signs of Carpet Beetles?
If there is carpet present, carpet beetles like to hide in dark areas, including in closets, in between sheets, and under beds. This often causes people to confuse them with bed bugs, with the insects also eating dead skin cells in the sheets.
However, carpet beetles don’t bite. They have bristly hairs that may cause skin irritation. If the person has an allergy, they could develop skin rashes that resemble carpet beetle bites.
General signs of carpet beetles include damaged sheets, linens, clothing, drapes, and carpet.
It is important to note that unlike moths, carpet beetles eat fabric in portions and create large isolated holes in the fabric.
Carpet beetle eggs are left in fibrous material like carpeting, which the offspring eat after hatching. Carpet beetle larvae shed their skin as they grow, which you’ll find in the carpet. The skins are left where the beetles are eating, and are dry, flaky, and transparent in color.
What Attracts Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles are attracted to fibrous materials. Homes with open windows or chimneys, which contain animal skins, feathers, mounted trophies, carpets, and other products, are at risk. Dry flowers or even dry dog food may also attract some species of carpet beetle, along with noodles, flour, or meal.
Clothing made from wool blends, cotton, linen, and synthetic materials needs to go through laundry regularly. Do not leave stained clothes out longer than a week. Overall, regular cleaning of your fibrous will help prevent carpet beetles.
How Do I Prevent Carpet Beetles?
Prevention will save you the trouble of treatment, so let’s examine the best ways to do it.
Carpet beetles are attracted to linen, dust, hairballs, damaged furniture, and dead insects, which are all of the makings of unclean carpets. Regular vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting are vital steps to stop these bugs from spreading,
Be sure to store clothes, linens, sheets, and other fabric materials in sealed plastic bags. You could also store fabric in a cedar-lined chest or closets.
However, the lining of the furniture pieces only lasts a few years, and the wood will eventually dry out. You can hang your clothes on cedar hangers, or use cedar oils, chips, and repellent balls to kill larvae.
Seal any holes or cracks in storage containers with fabrics, using duct tape or other long-lasting sealants. Secure air vents by caulking the edges, and be sure to seal your chimney, and repair any damages on any screens.
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