Most beetles are named according to what they love to eat most, their origin and where they inhabit. The most common examples that you have probably heard of are dung beetles, leaf beetles, Japanese beetle, grain weevil and carpet beetles.
The latter is known as fabric- and furniture- infesting and destroying beetle. In this article, we are sharing with you how to spot a carpet beetle infestation, how to get rid of them and make sure they never come back.
What are Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles are often mistaken for other insects. They can be confused for bed bugs because on rare occasions, they tend to climb on beds and feed on dead skin cells or fabric they are attracted to. They are also blamed for some clothing damage caused by clothing moths. But not everyone knows what carpet beetles are until they encounter it first hand.
To keep it simple, carpet beetles are types of beetles that may live secluded places in your house like the basement, storage, or the attic. They stay inside cabinets, baseboards, upholstered furniture and of course, carpets. They particularly like the softness of carpets and for their size, it might be dark at the bottom of those shaggy ones too. Carpets or rugs that we walk on, sit on, or even lie on if it is big enough. If you have children in the house, they play on it too.
Are you sure your carpet is free from these insects? How will you know if you have carpet beetle infestation at home?
Signs of Carpet Beetle Infestation
It might be challenging to spot an actual carpet beetle in broad daylight, especially that they love hiding in the dark. Most of the time, homeowners only get to confirm an infestation is after the damage has been done on your furniture, clothes and carpets.
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However, there is a possible way to prevent these pests in your home. Proactively monitor them, especially at night when they are most active. UV flashlight black light can help trace insects like bed bugs, carpet bugs and scorpions among others.
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The ultraviolet led black light works best in dark environment, the darker it is, the better it works; For few dark color carpets, the reflected stain color will be very close to the color of the carpet, making it harder to see.
How Do Carpet Beetles Get Into Our Homes?
When they are outdoors where there are no carpets, these beetles feed and live on what somehow resembles carpet fibers – flowers. Carpet beetles will feed on pollen, among others. Having said this, there is a possibility that a homeowner can bring in carpet beetles from the flowers in the market or their own garden.
Carpet beetles will also try to seek protection from winter as they fly from outdoors to our window panes waiting for an opportunity to get it. They can even squeeze themselves in cracks and crevices around the house or slip through door gaps which are usually welcomed by rugs and carpets.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
If you have confirmed the presence of carpet beetles in your homes, these are the steps that you need to follow to get rid of them:
1. Identify the severity and locations of the infestation
Identifying how serious the problem is will help you decide whether you can handle the treatment on your own. If it is severe, you will have to call for professional pest control services. Aside from carpets and rugs, these carpet beetles can dwell anywhere there is fabric and wood.
Likewise, knowing where exactly the infestations are will make sure that you won’t miss a spot during the treatment. This will prevent carpet beetles from multiplying again.
2. Vacuum the affected areas
Thoroughly cleaning every part and corner of your home will instantly decrease their population. Vacuum cleaning will help remove the adults and larva from the baseboards, furniture, sofas, beds and curtain where they might be hiding.
If your vacuum cleaner has steam cleaning capabilities, it will surely help kill the remaining beetles and eggs that were not removed by the vacuum.
3. Wash the affected fabric
Immediately wash the infested clothes, pillows, sheets, towels and rugs. Have carpet cleaners wash your carpets and rugs immediately. You also have to make sure that they are made aware that it needs to be cleaned immediately due to carpet beetle infestation. The beetles can crawl to other carpets and spread without you or them knowing it.
4. Apply carpet bug repellent, traps or killers
There are several ways to get rid of any remaining carpet beetles that may be hiding in your home. Here is a rundown of the best carpet beetle treatments:
Harris Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally-occurring product. It originated from sedimentary rock deposits from diatoms or fossilized algae. It is completely safe and is a certified food grade material. Among its many uses, it is best known to be a natural pesticide.
It is easy to use this product, simply apply the powder using the duster included in the package. Leave the powder on infected areas and vacuum after two hours.
Insect growth regulator prevents the growth of insect larvae to adults and eggs on further developing. An ounce of this product should be mixed with a gallon of water to treat a 1500 square feet of space. The mixture can also be dispensed in spray bottles for application on rugs, carpets, curtains and furniture.
Carpet Beetle Prevention
Aside from dwelling on carpets and rugs, carpet beetles also benefit from eating lint, old furniture, animal fur and hairball, and dead insects around your home. Keep your house free from these elements with regular sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, especially the dark parts of your homes like the attic and the basement.
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Regular washing and steaming of carpets and upholstered furniture must also be done. Old clothes, sheets and fabric must be thrown away that let it harbor these pests.
Carpet beetles may not be harmful to humans in the most direct way possible. But it can destroy the things at home that we care for the most. Imagine an heirloom painting or a one of a kind carpet torn off by these pesky insects.
These won’t happen to you as long as you proactively monitor, maintain cleanliness and keep these tips handy. You will surely not let carpet beetles set foot on your home.