When any kind of pest enters your home, it is important to remove it as quickly as possible. Failure to remove the pest from your property will result it in them reproducing and spreading. In the blink of an eye, an insect infestation can go from just a handful to hundreds (if not more). The same holds true if you have carpet beetles. If you’ve seen one beetle, there’s a good chance more currently exist. So to rid your home of the pest, here is what you need to know regarding how to get rid of carpet beetles.
What Is a Carpet Beetle?
Despite the name of carpet beetle, these pests can live just about anywhere in your home. Calling a carpet home is common, as the insects will consume the fibers of the carpet. However, carpet beetles can eat just about anything else, including your clothing, so it is possible to find carpet beetles in closets or in boxes of clothing you haven’t washed (or worn) for an extended period of time.
As the name suggests, a carpet beetle is a small beetle. It looks similar to a ladybug, so when you see such an insect in your home you may believe you just have a strange colored ladybug. Don’t be fooled though. If the insect doesn’t look like a ladybug, it isn’t one.
How Carpet Beetles Enter the Home
When it comes to how to get rid of carpet beetles, you must also consider how the insects are getting into your home. First, the insects may attach themselves to your clothing when you come in the home. The insects may also crawl in through an opening in a door or window frame. It’s also possible for a carpet beetle to fly in. While carpet beetles do not fly around in the same way as houseflies, adult beetles do have enough strength in their wings to move short distances. This means not only can the carpet beetles fly into your home, but the insects can move to other locations of your home easily.
How to Identify Carpet Beetles
When looking at the different kinds of insects in your home, you’ll want to determine whether or not you have carpet beetles or if you have a different kind of insect. After all, the treatment method for a carpet beetle will be different from other insects. Due to this, before you look at how to get rid of carpet beetles, you’ll need to make sure you have a carpet beetle infestation in the first place.
The Three Carpet Beetle Variations
In general, there are three different kinds of species you may come in contact with. The first is known as the varied carpet beetle. This is the smallest of the three beetles at about a quarter of a centimeter. The shells are rounded and either black or brown. There may also be white spots on the back. Because of the dotted appearance, some will look at the beetle and assume it is just another form of ladybug.
The second kind of beetle is known as a furniture carpet beetle. These are a bit larger than the varied beetle with measurements up to half a centimeter in length. The shell of the beetle is almost a complete circle and are usually light brown in color (although it will likely have white markings on the shell).
The third form of a carpet beetle is a black carpet beetle. This is the largest of the three, measuring up to one centimeter in length. The shells are not circular like the other beetles and the insects look to be either a shiny brown or a shiny black. Because of the larger size and shine of the shells, these carpet beetles are easier to see.
Signs of Carpet Beetles
Hopefully when you find one carpet beetle, it means you have spotted an individual insect before it had the chance to make a nest and reproduce. However, you’ll need to know how to spot signs of the carpet beetle.
First, if you have noticed damaged areas of carpets, it may be a sign you have carpet beetles. Carpet beetles are more likely to consume natural fiber carpets and rugs over composite, although these insects will consume just about anything with a fiber in it.
If you have fur throw rugs or pillows and you’ve noticed damage to these objects, there’s a good chance you have a pest problem. Holes in leather furniture will appear as well and damage to just about anything else with leather, such as books.
Lastly, when cleaning areas of your house (especially corners of carpeting), have you noticed strange, almost shell-like objects, as well as short, bristly hairs? If so, this means you not only have carpet beetles, but the beetles are starting to generate offspring.
How Long do Carpet Beetles Live?
One of the reasons why you need to know how to get rid of carpet beetles is because the insects can live a long time. They may live between nine months and two years. The insects will lay new eggs every seven to 35 days.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
Now that you know if you have carpet beetles in your property, you’ll need to know how to get rid of carpet beetles. Carpet beetles can cause allergic reactions and make people inside the house sick in addition to destroying your carpets and furniture, so it is important to follow these steps for how to get rid of carpet beetles right away.
First, you’ll want to identify the location where the carpet beetles are. If you’ve spotted a carpet beetle, you’ll want to check in the general area. Carpet beetles like to live in dark areas that are close to the food source. If you’ve noticed damaged carpeting, look not only in dark areas around the damaged carpet but even under the carpet.
When you spot the carpet beetles, the first real step in how to get rid of carpet beetles is to vacuum the beetles up. You will want to go over the damaged area, as well as any nearby fabrics or fibers. As the beetles make your home their own home, they will begin to shed legs and skin cells. These skin cells can develop into new insects. Additionally, it is these hairs and legs that you (and others) in the home are allergic to. So vacuum over everything.
It’s a good idea to vacuum your home at least once a day (if not at least several times a week). This will help prevent the further development of carpet beetle colonies.
Coat with Boric Acid
Nothing kills the carpet beetles as quickly as boric acid. You can purchase a boric acid powder that can be sprinkled onto the area of your carpet that the beetles are located. If you have pets, you will want to keep them free of where you apply the boric acid. After a few hours the acid should have done its job and you’ll be able to let the pets back into the home.
Thankfully, carpet beetles are not like bed bugs. While the insects can be confused for bed bugs, these insects do not live off of your blood, so you won’t need to worry about the insects trying to feed off of you while you sleep. However, it is possible for some insects to turn your mattress into a home because it is dark and comfortable.
You will want to wash everything. The heat from your washer and dryer will kill off any insects that have attached to the clothing. You will also want to wash the sheets and other blankets found on your bed. You may also want to invest in a professional carpet cleaning to remove the insects and the skin cells of the insects from your carpet. Of course you should have your carpets professionally cleaned about once a year or so. You might as well schedule the carpet cleaning now, as it will help with the “how to get rid of carpet beetles” process.
Change out the air filter you have in your HVAC system. The best kind of air filter to have in your property is a HEPA filter. This will help rid the air of minute particles of the insects that can aggravate your allergies.
When it comes to pests in your home, you will want to do what you can to prevent the pests from invading your property. There is no shortage of bugs that will try to infest your property. After all, you have a home that often has all the items an insect needs to live a comfortable life. If left untreated, an insect may move into your property and multiple rapidly. This holds true for carpet beetles. So when considering how to get rid of carpet beetles, you will want to remove the insects as quickly as possible. The sooner you act, the less likely it will be that the beetles will expand to other areas of the house.