Carpet beetles are a common household pest in many American homes. Though they are not poisonous or dangerous, and while they won’t typically cause too much damage unless an infestation gets out of control, the hard-to-detect carpet beetle can wreak serious havoc on fabrics like carpets, bedding, clothing, and more.
Are you wondering if you’ve seen a carpet beetle lingering around your home? If so, you may be in for an infestation if you don’t take action. But don’t panic. You can get rid of carpet beetles if you know the steps to take and use the right products.
Join us today as we discuss carpet beetles, the damage they cause, and how to get rid of them once and for all.
What Is A Carpet Beetle?
An adult carpet beetle is a small, colorful beetle that feeds on natural fibers and pollen.
Named for their unique diet as larvae, a carpet beetle is a small, oval shaped beetle who grows to be between 1 to 4 millimeters long once mature. As adults, carpet beetles can live both inside and outside of your home and feed on different types of natural fibers and pollen. Mature carpet beetles often live in gardens and in bird nests but have been found to live in homes and even in chimneys and inside of walls.
Adult carpet beetles are typically an annoyance pest because they congregate around light and it is actually carpet beetle larvae that are most damaging. Carpet beetle larvae feed on all kinds of natural fibers and materials including fabric, felt, fur, leather, wool, silk, animal hair and more. This could lead to damaged carpets, sheets, clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, curtains and more.
Along with causing damage to your possessions and property, carpet beetle larvae also have barbed hairs on their bodies that can cause skin irritation to people. However, they are not poisonous and do not carry any serious diseases or bacteria.
Still, if gone unnoticed for long periods of time, carpet beetle larvae can destroy items in your home and cost you hundreds of dollars in damage.
But if adult carpet beetles generally spend their time outdoors eating pollen, how did you wind up with carpet beetle larvae munching away on your belongings?
Let’s find out.
What Has Attracted Carpet Beetles To Your Home?
Carpet beetle larvae are more destructive than adult carpet beetles.
Though it is true that adult carpet beetles tend to hang around outside where their favorite food sources are available, female carpet beetles prefer to lay their eggs where larvae food sources are abundant. Since larvae eat all types of materials from plant based, animal based, and fiber based matter, carpet beetles often lay their eggs inside human homes.
Beetles often find their way inside your home by flying through open windows or doorways. Because they are attracted to light sources, you may find them hanging around your porches in the evening and they can subsequently fly inside when you come in and out of your home.
However, female carpet beetles can also lay eggs on your clothing when you are outside and, if you are unaware, you may accidentally bring an unhatched brood of carpet beetles into your living space.
How To Identify A Carpet Beetle Infestation
Common signs of carpet beetle infestations are sightings of larvae or damaged fibers and carpets.
If you see adult carpet beetles in your home, you may want to go ahead and get a treatment plant together to ensure you stop any eggs from hatching around your house. This is because the presence of an adult carpet beetle often is a sign that there are eggs or larvae elsewhere.
Other signs of carpet beetles include the larvae, which are generally larger than mature carpet beetles and are a light brown color. They shed their skin and may leave the sheddings behind, which you might find alongside clothing or fabrics that are damaged or chewed through.
You may also notice clothing, furniture, curtains, and other materials damaged with holes from carpet beetle larvae. If you come across heavily damaged items, chances are you have a large infestation that needs to be addressed.
The below video shows what else you should look for when trying to identify if you have carpet beetle larvae in your home and how to go about removing them.
How To Get Rid Of The Carpet Beetle – Most Popular Methods
Like other types of insects, adult carpet beetles are attracted to light.
Carpet beetles are insects, which means infestations are often remedied by common pest control treatments including natural repellents, insecticides, home remedies, or professional help.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of carpet beetles using safe, natural ingredients, we would recommend using natural repellents. You can buy a number of products that are effective and safe to use in homes with children and pets. Many natural repellents that work for how to get rid of the carpet beetle include repellents that use essential oils and natural dusts.
If an infestation is especially severe, you may find that you need a more intensive treatment that uses chemical poisons to eradicate your home of damaging carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae. While insecticides are effective, they can sometimes be harmful to people, pets and the environment and should be used only as directed and with caution.
When it comes to getting rid of carpet beetles, there are lots of home remedies and DIY recipes you can make yourself to control and remove these annoying pests from your home. If you’re interested in doing your own pest control, we have listed some of our favorite home remedies and recipes to control a carpet beetle problem for you further down.
Any pest problem can get out of control and not everyone can eradicate carpet beetles on their own. If you find you are dealing with a large carpet beetle problem that you can’t get rid of, this could be a sign of a more serious problem and you may need to contact a pest control expert.
We will talk about when it is time to call a professional for pest management further down but for now, let’s talk about how to get rid of carpet beetles using natural repellents.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles Using Natural Repellents
Because carpet beetle larvae are attracted to fibers like clothing, using natural repellents you can spray on clothing are sometimes preferred.
As we mentioned above, we love natural repellents for pest control because they typically use ingredients that are natural and safe for people, pets and the environment. That said, even some natural ingredients can be irritating or harmful to people and pets, so we suggest doing your research and reading directions before using any products you purchase for pest management.
If you are wondering about some of the best natural repellents experts recommend for getting rid of carpet beetles, we have listed some for you below.
MdxConcepts Organic Pest Control Spray
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Carpet beetles can be killed and repelled by a number of natural ingredients and even essential oils like peppermint and tea tree oil. This is one of the reasons using natural repellents like MdxConcepts peppermint pest spray works so effectively against these annoying and destructive insects.
This product is fine to use both indoors and outdoors and is safe for people, pets, and the environment. You can even spray it in kitchens! Best of all, this product works on a number of pests aside from the carpet beetle like ants, spiders, fleas, stink bugs, silverfish, roaches, earwigs, and even scorpions.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Spray
Wondercide is another spray that uses essential oils to control and manage pest problems This natural pest spray is specifically meant for indoor use and is effective against carpet beetles, roaches, spiders, ants, fleas and more.
It comes infused with different types of essential oils but we recommend purchasing the peppermint oil product as peppermint has been proven to kill carpet beetles on contact.
Eco Defense Home Pest Spray
We like this natural pest spray because it is biodegradable and safe for not only the environment, but also for people and pets. It doesn’t stain and is safe to use on fabrics and furniture, making it ideal for pests like carpet beetles and their destructive larvae.
You can spray this product into cracks and crevices as well for spot treatment or use it as a preventative to keep pests from returning to your home. It works against carpet beetles, roches, spiders, ants, fleas, silverfish and plenty of other household pests.
Natural Armor Pest Control Spray
We also like this natural pest control spray above because it uses clove oil to kill pests like carpet beetles and is safe to use particularly on furniture and carpeting. It also comes in a large container with an easy-apply sprayer to help you reach difficult areas and cover more ground.
You can use this pest control spray both inside and out to help reduce adult carpet beetles outside while also removing larvae and adults from inside your home. This spray also controls ticks, ants, bed bugs, dust mites, roaches, spiders, and more.
Colton’s Naturals Peppermint Oil Pest Spray
As we mentioned above, peppermint oil is an effective ingredient you can use to kill carpet beetles, so it’s no surprise that a natural pest control spray made with 100% peppermint oil will help you manage this pest problem.
We like that this spray is safe for people, pets, and the environment and can also be used to control other home pests like spiders, roaches, ants and flies.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
We are huge fans of Diatomaceous Earth for natural pest control not only because it is safe, but also because it is effective. This dust insect killer is made from fossilized algae and works by penetrating the exoskeleton of insects like carpet beetles. It is so effective that it can even be used to treat difficult pests like roaches and bed bugs.
This product is safe to use around people and pets and will not harm the environment, so you can use it in your gardens and yard as well.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles With Insecticides
Insecticides are often an effective form of pest control. That said, many insecticides use toxic chemicals and poisons that can be harmful to people, pets and the environment if not used carefully.
If you are dealing with a large infestation of carpet beetles, however, you may find that you need to use insecticides along with other treatment methods to quell the problem. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular insecticide treatments you can use to get rid of the carpet beetle, according to consumers.
While generally considered a natural treatment for certain insects, BorActic, which contains the active ingredient Orthoboric acid, is a dust insecticide that can help kill carpet beetles, larvae and eggs in carpets and on furniture.
This dust insecticide works as long as it is dry and present and can be vacuumed up once you are done. That said, it can be harmful to people and pets in large doses if not used carefully so follow the directions and use it with caution.
Refer-Galler SLA Spray Insecticide Spray
One insecticide we recommend for severe carpet beetle infestations is a product by Reefer-Galler. This aerosol spray insecticide contains a chemical called pyrethrin, which is a poison that kills insects like carpet beetles and clothes moths on contact.
You can spray this insecticide directly on clothing, furniture and carpets to also kill larvae and eggs. That said, pyrethrin is a toxic chemical that can be harmful to people and pets so it’s best to use this product only as directed.
Bio Advanced Pest Control
Bio Advanced pest control spray uses a powerful insecticide that works on a number of crawling insects like roaches, spiders, ants and carpet beetles. You can use it both inside and outside of your home, however keep in mind that the chemicals may be harmful to people and pets and should be used with caution.
That said, this spray is best used inside as a spot treatment or preventative barrier and can help keep insects like carpet beetles out of your home for up to 12 months if applied correctly.
Hot Shot Aerosol Pest Fogger
Last on our list of effective insecticides you can use to get rid of carpet beetles is an aerosol spray by Hot Shot. This spray uses several active ingredients that are effective in killing pests like carpet beetles, roaches, ants, spiders, and other insects.
Because it is a fogger, it works well to reach hidden bugs like carpet beetle larvae and pests that may be hiding in fabrics and folds of linens and furniture. However, the chemicals used can be toxic to people, pets and the environment so it should be kept out of reach of children and used with caution.
Best Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles
Essential oils are a useful home remedy you can use to get rid of caret beetles.
Carpet beetles and their larvae can be difficult to get rid of if you’re not sure about how to go about it. They are quite small and their larvae and eggs can be tough to see. However, you can still use natural home ingredients, recipes and DIY methods to control and kill carpet beetles.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite remedies.
Vacuuming often will help control and reduce your chances of a carpet beetle infestation as it will often suck these annoying pests and their eggs up into the vacuum bag. That said, make sure you remove the bag after vacuuming and dispose of it carefully. To be extra cautious, you can add a bit of Diatomaceous Earth dust to the bag or sprinkle Boric acid over surfaces before you vacuum to ensure you kill the pests.
Steam Clean Clothing, Material, Bedding, and Other Fabrics
Steam cleaning fabrics and linens will help kill carpet beetles on contact due to the extreme heat. This is a quick and effective way to keep your possessions not only clean, but free of pests and the damaging mouths of hungry carpet beetle larvae.
Do Laundry Often
Since female carpet beetles often lay eggs on clothing, make sure you do your laundry. This will help kill any potential carpet beetle eggs and keep them from hatching and spreading throughout your house.
Use Vinegar To Clean Surfaces
Vinegar is a natural repellent for carpet beetles and other pests looking for a quick meal in your home. Though it won’t always kill these insects, it does help deter them and is a safe and natural way you can sanitize your home and keep pests at bay.
You can place mothballs around entry and exit points to help deter carpet beetles from entering. You can also use mothballs in closets or storage areas where you are storing linens and clothing. Mothballs may also help keep other pests out of your home as well like bats, rodents, spiders, roaches, and even ants.
Use Essential Oils
Peppermint oil and clove oil are the two most popular oils you can use to control carpet beetles because they not only repel these insects but can also kill them on contact. You can make your own carpet beetle spray by mixing 10 drops of the oil of your choice into a spray bottle with one cup of water.
Spray this mixture anywhere you have seen signs of carpet beetles or carpet beetle larvae. You can also spray it directly on the beetles to kill them on contact, as we mentioned above.
Other essential oils you can use to repel carpet beetles include:
- Cedarwood oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Citronella oil
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Lavender oil
- Peppermint oil
- Citrus Oil
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles – When To Call A Professional
An infestation of carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae in your home may be a sign of a more serious issue. If you can’t seem to eradicate the infestation on your own, we recommend contacting a local pest control company you trust.
While carpet beetles are not generally a danger to people or pets, they can cause serious damage to your possessions in large numbers and it is best to try and control them as quickly as possible.
Most pest control experts charge between $100 and $300 depending on your region and the severity of your infestation.
Once you have managed to get rid of carpet beetles and the larvae causing you problems in your home, your next step should be taking preventive action to keep them from returning.
How To Prevent Future Carpet Beetle Problems
Vacuuming can not only help kill carpet beetles but also prevent an infestation
Preventing carpet beetles is simple and generally requires routine home maintenance. In fact, preventatives are often similar to treatments for carpet beetles. Let’s go over a few of the best steps you can take to help prevent pests like carpet beetles from entering your home.
Seal Entry And Exit Points
Carpet beetles cannot become a problem in your home if they can’t get in. Because carpet beetles are so small, however, finding their entry and exit points is sometimes difficult. Still, going around your home and sealing any entry and exit points will help keep these pests at bay. We also recommend repairing ripped screens, fixing ill fitting screens, and keeping doors and windows shut during the spring and summer, when carpet beetles are most active.
Vacuum And Clean Your Home Often
Since carpet beetles and their larvae are attracted to natural fibers and other types of materials, one of the easiest ways you can prevent them is by making sure you vacuum, sweep, and sanitize carpets, furniture, and surfaces often.
Doing this may not prevent carpet beetles from entering your home, but it can stop them from becoming a problem as it will reduce the chances of dealing with carpet beetle larvae from spreading in the future.
As we mentioned above, laundry is an important part in controlling and preventing a carpet beetle problem. Since female carpet beetles lay eggs on clothing and unwitting humans often bring carpet beetle eggs into homes, doing laundry often during carpet beetle season can help reduce your chances of having an infestation in the future.
Continue Using Pest Repellents Year Round
Though carpet beetles are most active during spring, they can become problematic anytime of year inside your home if left unchecked. Most experts recommend maintaining a good routine of pest control around your home and yard all year round to help prevent future pest problems and keep carpet beetles at bay.
What do you think? Do you have other ideas on how to manage carpet beetles and keep their larvae from destroying your belongings? We would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.