You may have noticed some creepy-crawly bugs in your home, but you aren’t quite sure what they are. After doing some basic research online, you have decided that carpet beetles are what you have been seeing around your house. You wonder how to get rid of carpet beetles and then begin your search. You land here, and are looking for thorough information on what you can do to make removal and treatment of carpet beetles a painless process.
There are four main types of carpet beetles found in the United States. Different species are found in different climate areas, but all four types have been found outside of their predicted area as well. These are the species’ names, and what they are prone to infest.
The Black Carpet Beetle
According to a report from the University of Florida, the black carpet beetle is the most common species found in the United States. While they are found both in the northern and southern states, the low humidity up north is better for breeding carpet beetles. These insects typically inhabit carpeting and other surfaces that are around ground level. Sometimes they will also infest animal heads mounted on your wall, or other game animals that have been stuffed and mounted in various places in your home.
Common Carpet Beetle
The common carpet beetle can be found in various places across the United States. These insects are primarily found in fabrics that are made from animals. Fur, silk, and wool are the most common places to find an infestation. Clothing is at a huge risk with these insects. Upholstered furniture is also at risk for infestation when these beetles are around.
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Furniture Carpet Beetle
While the name should infer where these beetles like to infest, there is more than just furniture they enjoy. Typically upholstered woolen furniture is their snack of choice, but anything filled with feathers or animal-scented will gain their attention as well. This would include down comforters, which means these bugs may end up in your bed. Fabrics made of cotton and rayon are also attractive to this particular species.
Varied Carpet Beetles
These beetles are usually covered in scales which can be yellow, brown, or white. In older beetles, their body may appear brownish instead of speckled. Varied carpet beetles love carpet, stuffed animals, and other animal products. Fur and silk are among the hot spots these insects often inhabit.
Where should I be looking for infestation signs?
- Typically ground level fabrics are where the beetles begin. This means throw rugs, carpeting, and anything else you would put on your flooring.
- Mounted animal heads. These bugs enjoy eating through things like deer heads, stuffed birds, and anything else that is saved for souvenir purposes.
- Any plant-based foods in your home. This ranges from cereal to aloe vera that you may be growing in a pot.
- Any place where lint gathers. This could be under furniture which is rarely moved, corners that aren’t swept all the time, and places where cobwebs are apparent.
You may be wondering how to get rid of carpet beetles that are inhabiting your home. There are several different methods to try, all of them varying degrees of work. Thinking about how the infestation is affecting your home and where the infestation is located should be the basis for starting the process of extermination.
Ways to treat Carpet Beetles without chemicals
Treating carpet beetles that are living in your home can be fairly easy if you know where they have taken up residence. From freezing an item to tossing it in the garbage, there is a quick fix for many small infestations. These are some tips from the University of Colorado for clearing the infestation without chemicals.
- If the material the carpet beetles have made a home in can be thrown away, this is the best option. Monetary value should be considered, but this is truly the best way to get rid of the carpet beetles and keep them gone.
- Non-food items that are infested should be put in a sealed bag and placed in the freezer for at least two days. The 48-hour time frame is important because it ensures the entire population of beetles will be dead. This will only work with items that won’t be warped by the extended exposure to cold.
- If you cannot freeze the items, applying heat of at least 120 degrees is necessary for several hours. This will have the same reaction as freezing, but takes a little less time. Again, if the item can be warped due to extended exposure to heat, another option should be tried.
- Any clothing items which show signs that carpet beetles may be present should be taken to the dry-cleaning place immediately. This includes your wool items, fur coats, and anything made with rayon.
- Things like stuffed animals should be sealed in a plastic bag for a few weeks before being added back to the home. This is similar to what is done when children have lice. Make sure the bag is sealed tightly and that there is no possibility any of the beetles could escape. Keep the stuffed animals locked away for at least two weeks, but longer is always better.
Ways to treat Carpet Beetles using chemicals
- You can use regular insecticide that is sold in your local general or hardware store. This can be sprayed around baseboards, places where lint is prone to collect, and anywhere else that was a problem area. You will have to read the instructions about possible harm to animals or children when using. There are different brands which won’t affect animals or children, and there are harsher ones which can only be use with no one else around.
- Calling an exterminator. There are several companies offering services across the country. Depending on your location, there are probably several choices. If you have the money and can vacate your residence while it is done, this may be the way to go if you are experience a moderate to severe infestation.
After you have done the extermination process, you need to prepare yourself to eliminate any possibility of a repeat outbreak. Once you know how to get rid of carpet beetles, the process of keeping them away is much easier. These are some tips for keeping your house free of carpet beetles after you have already had an infestation.
- Routinely clean your throw rugs and carpeting. This will eliminate any of the build up that attracts the carpet beetles.
- Clean any game you have mounted in your home. It is recommended that you freeze your mounted game for up to two weeks at a time. Every few months is best, but as long as you are monitoring any differences, you should be fine if you wait a little bit longer.
- Furniture should be cleaned regularly, especially if it is upholstered. Carpet beetles love to inhabit pieces like this.
- Check your draperies. These often hold places for carpet beetles to hide, providing easy access to rugs and furniture in the surrounding area.
Keeping up with your home once you have found an infestation of carpet beetles is important. Learning how to get rid of carpet beetles is important, especially if you live in an area prone to infestations. Problem areas should be checked often and thoroughly.