Carpet beetles are part of the Dermestidae family of beetles. In common man’s words, they are also known as skin beetles. As a species of skin beetles, carpet beetles feed on dry animal bodies and products. Carpet beetles are usually found outdoors, but they are also a common domestic pest. They can be found in homes, museums, and warehouses, as well as any place where they have a food source. They are notorious for their ability to infest various materials found in households, including carpets, upholstery, clothing, and even stored food. In this article, we will discuss the warning signs of carpet beetle infestation in the house and tips to eliminate them.
Why Are They Called Carpet Beetles?
Carpet Beetles get their name from the fact that they often feed on carpets. While they like to hide in damp, dark places, they also like to lay eggs in carpets that are thick with natural fibers because that’s what larvae like to feed on. That’s why carpets are often prime breeding grounds for carpet beetles.
Signs of Carpet Beetles Infestation
It is crucial to identify the signs of carpet beetle infestation to take appropriate action on time. Here are some signs that your home is infested with carpet beetles.
Shed Larval Skin
As carpet beetle larvae grow, they shed their skin, resulting in cast skins. These cast skins are often found at feeding sites and are a sign of a carpet beetle infestation.
Damage to Fabrics
Carpet beetle larvae feed primarily on natural fibers like wool, silk, and cotton. If you notice any holes, irregular patterns, or damaged areas in your carpets, rugs, upholstery, and clothing, then it is a sure sign of carpet beetle infestation. Their feeding habit can cause a lot of damage over time.
Accumulation of Carpet Beetle Larvae
The larvae of carpet beetles are very small and can be easily concealed in dark, well-maintained areas such as closets and drawers, or under furniture. If you see clusters of small brownish larvae in such areas, it is a sign of a carpet beetle infestation
Carpet Beetle Eggs
Carpet beetles lay tiny, white, or cream-colored eggs, particularly in the hidden locations of the house. Inspect the beams of the carpets, cracks, and crevices in the furniture and baseboards for the presence of eggs.
Damage to Stored Food
Carpet beetles are known to be drawn to food that has been stored in a pantry. Look for any signs of contamination in your pantry, like holes in the packaging, webbing or larvae crawling on the food.
Visible Adult Beetles
The presence of adult carpet beetles is one of the obvious signs of beetle infestation in the house. They are attracted to light and can be found in the vicinity of windows and light fixtures. If you see them in your house, then it is a clear indication of an underlying infestation.
Tips to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
Once you are sure that your house is infested by carpet beetles, you should take immediate steps to prevent further damage. Given below are some of the tips you can follow to get rid of carpet beetle control.
Identify The Source
Identify the areas where you have seen signs of carpet beetles. On the outside, look for cracks in your foundation where carpet beetles could be present. Look for any concentrated areas of carpet beetle larvae in dark places, such as between cushions under mattresses or in closets. Locate their breeding sites and focus on these areas.
Clean and Vacuum Thoroughly
Start by vacuuming areas where carpet beetles are present. Use a powerful suction and often dust areas that you can’t easily get to. Ensure you also vacuum secluded places, such as under heavy furniture, between tiles, or behind the refrigerator, as these are the places carpet beetle larvae like to hide. Be sure to empty the vacuum bag outside to prevent re-infestation.
Wash and Dry Fabrics
Wash all infested fabrics in hot water at high heat temperatures including, carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Dry them in ample sunlight. This will kill any remaining adult carpet beetle, its larvae, and eggs.
Freeze Infested Items
If any of your small items or clothing is infested and cannot be washed, you can keep them in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag for several days. The cold temperature will kill them.
Seal Cracks and Crevices
Seal cracks and crevices on walls, furniture, and baseboards where carpet beetles can lay their eggs. You can use caulk or sealant to seal them. This will prevent future infestations.
Steam clean drapery, furniture, carpets, and any other infested item in your house. High heat will kill any carpet beetle or its larvae lurking on them.
You can select insecticides labeled for carpet beetles and apply them in the infested areas to eliminate carpet beetles. If possible, use natural methods to get rid of them.
Seek Professional Help
If you have a severe infestation and are not able to eliminate it through natural methods, it is better to seek professional assistance. They have the experience, expertise, tools, and products to safely and effectively remove carpet beetles. They will assess the situation and accordingly implement the best treatment plan.
It is crucial to take prompt action to remove carpet beetles from your house as they can create extensive damage to your home’s belongings. By identifying the signs of the infestation and following the tips outlined in this article, you can protect your home from carpet beetle infestation. Remember to thoroughly clean and vacuum, wash and dry infested items, seal cracks and crevices, and use insecticides to deal with the infestations. Do not hesitate to seek professional help in case of severe infestation. Prevention is the key and maintaining a clean living space is essential to keep these pesky pests at bay.