What are Carpet Beetles And How to Prevent Infestations
As a homeowner, you love to share your house with family, pets, and guests on occasion. The last thing you want is an infestation of creepy crawlies lurking inside too. One of the more common insect problems in a home is the carpet beetle. Although not as insidious as cockroaches, ants, or bed bugs, these small beetles can spread rapidly until you have a true infestation on your hands.
- 1 Carpet Beetles: Complete Identification Guide
- 2 The Life Cycle of These Insects and How They Live
- 3 What are the Major Signs of Carpet Beetle Infestation?
- 4 Top 5 Tips to Stop and Destroy These Unwanted Insects
- 5 When Is It Time to Call in a Professional Exterminator?
Carpet Beetles: Complete Identification Guide
Multiple species of these small beetles show up in houses across the country. They are oval and can range from black to mottled brown and tan in appearance. They move slowly and will curl up or fall over if disturbed. As the name suggests, you will most likely find them walking through the pile of your carpet. They can also infest fabric upholstery and anywhere you store natural fabric items like clothing, linens, and towels.
All beetles go through a larval stage as well. These will also show up in your carpeting or stored material goods. The larva is short, has brown bands horizontal across its body, and quite a lot of long, fuzzy hair-like filaments coming out both sides.
The Life Cycle of These Insects and How They Live
Adult females lay eggs wherever they will be able to find a lot of food once they hatch. Outside your home, this may be in a garden, near animal pens, or even in bird nests. They eat animal products and natural fibers including wool, silk, fur, and pet and human hair as well as natural oils and shed skin cells found on these materials.
Although they are perfectly suited for life out in nature, the beetles can easily be carried inside on clothing, shoes, or pets and find abundance food sources on the floor. They usually live and feed in dark, undisturbed places.
What are the Major Signs of Carpet Beetle Infestation?
The most common way to figure out that you have an infestation of carpet beetles is to actually see the insects or their larva squirming about in your rug, folded linens, upholstery, or other areas of the house. Look specifically under the rug close to walls, on the underside of soft furnishings like your couch and armchairs, and inside dark closets. You may also notice tiny round pellets or their waste if you look carefully.
Damage to towels, clothing, and other fabric items can also show you where the bugs are living in your house. This damage looks exactly like tiny things have been nibbling busily: random patterns of holes and fabric thinning.
Although you certainly do not want any insects in your home, they do not tend to swarm like roaches, ants, or centipedes.
Top 5 Tips to Stop and Destroy These Unwanted Insects
It may be virtually impossible to prevent every carpet beetle adult or egg from ending up in your home, but there are plenty of ways to stop them from infesting it. Once an infestation begins, you also have methods to get rid of it on your own. This all depends on the severity of the problem
1 – Throw Out Anything
Throw out anything that appears to have been eaten by or lived in by these bugs. Even if the item has no adults or larva walking around on it, chances are some eggs are clinging to the fabric somewhere. Besides, why save an old shirt or towel with big holes in it?
2 – Vacuum Regulary
Vacuum regularly on all carpeted surfaces. The adult beetles and larva can be vacuumed up and taken out of the house in the bag or thrown out from the debris container. Remember to get every nook and cranny of the house including closets and under furniture where they most like to lurk.
3 – Wash Natural Fabrics
Wash throw rugs, linens, and other natural fabric materials in hot water with soap. Although there are some fabrics that will not survive a hot water bath, it is the best option for destroying these bugs. Either machine washing or hand washing is fine. Another choice is to steam clean materials. This can be useful for your carpets and upholstery as well.
4 – Use Natural Solutions
Use prepared insecticides specifically formulated for carpet beetle problems or natural alternatives like diatomaceous earth. Always use care to not breathe in or get chemical solutions on your skin. Besides sprays, liquids, and powders, sticky pheromone traps exist on the market. These can be used as a long-term preventative measure to make sure the bugs do not return.
5 – Use Airtight Containers
To prevent another infestation, store all fabric items like off-season clothing or unused linens in air-tight bags or bins. Let some sunlight in your closets several times each week as the insects prefer dark hiding places. Sweep up pet hair and dust promptly to eliminate prime breeding spots. Besides the sticky traps mentioned above, moth balls or fragrant cedar chips may deter the invasion.
When Is It Time to Call in a Professional Exterminator?
If proper home maintenance, cleaning, and do-it-yourself remedies do not work, call in a professional exterminator who knows the right way to get rid of carpet beetles completely. The internet may be full of tips to eradicate these bugs, but many of the methods are messy, time-consuming, and may not even work 100% anyway. Why risk having some of the beetles left over after the end of all that DIY effort? The sooner you call in a professional, the sooner you can get rid of these unwanted pests and return to comfortable living in your bug-free home.
Non Toxic Spray
This non-toxic spray kills larvae, eggs, and adult insects by breaking down their exoskeleton. It is safe to spray around the home and works only on the insects. Feel good about spraying indoors around pets, plants and children.
All Natural Non Toxic Insect Killer Spray by Killer Green