An infestation of any pest such as carpet beetle in your home is an unpleasant and unsettling experience. It’s usually the best policy if you’re looking for a safe, effective and discreet way to remove the infestation, to use a professional and accredited pest control company.
However if you’re considering the DIY approach for an infestation of carpet beetles we hope these tips will help.
Don’t compromise your safety and the safety of your family and pets when choosing the DIY approach. Don’t hesitate to contact us if at any time you require a professional company to help.
What are Carpet beetles?
There are several species of carpet beetle. Their appearance depends on their stage in life. Young larvae resemble other insect larvae but have brown hairs all over giving rise to their nickname “woolly bears”, while adults have dark brown to black shells and distinct oval shapes. Beetles grow quickly shedding their shells and skin as they grow and changing shapes and colours frequently. Despite this they are hard to notice. Because they don’t fly the damage to your clothing or carpets is often well underway before the problem is registered.
Carpet beetle larvae have long, round bodies and are red-tinted or light brown in colour. Some species have short hairs. Others have distinctive tufts of fur growing from their backsides. The larval form of the carpet beetle is also known as the “woolly bear” due to the tufts of hair around its cylindrical caterpillar-like body. The spiky hairs can cause intense irritation to those with sensitive skin.
What damage do carpet beetles cause?
You will probably recognise the most common ‘symptoms’ but often at a much later stage than clothes moths which are more noticeable at the early stages of an infestation.
- Because there are several common carpet beetles some may not attack synthetic carpets and rugs choosing to feed on organic fabrics and materials instead. However the most common ones love wool, fur, leather, animal hair and feathers.
- It is the larvae of the carpet beetles that are the real pests responsible for ruined furnishings, floor coverings, carpets, fur, textiles, leather and animal matter including pet hair and dead flesh. The adult beetles reside outdoors, where they can find organic food sources and a mate. Their babies – the larvae are usually hatched indoors in dark crevices and hard to find areas in your home.
- The larvae are invisible to the human eye and so they remain unnoticed for several months in your wardrobes and chest of drawers causing extensive destruction to precious possessions.
- Most larvae will happily eat away at your synthetic carpets and rugs too, and the underlay – eating in large clumps going unnoticed behind your furniture. Before you’re even aware of it your carpet or rug is damaged beyond repair.
What to do and what to consider
You must be meticulous in your search for carpet beetles and their larvae. An infestation of larvae can spread rapidly. At the very least, seek professional guidance if you’re concerned.
Getting rid of carpet beetles and their larvae using a DIY approach is not an easy task. You must be prepared to repeat the processes we recommend below at least twice if you’re to be certain you have eliminated them right down to the last larvae.
How to treat and get rid of carpet beetle in your home; what must be done
Because they are so hard to see you have to go by the damage (no matter how small)you can see to clothes, carpets and soft furnishings. This will entail:
- Inspecting and cleaning (washing at home and dry cleaning) bed linen, clothing and soft furnishings including curtains, cushion covers and throws. Just because an item does not show damage doesn’t mean it’s free from larvae or eggs. Do not collect dry cleaned items until after the treatment has taken place or, if this is not possible store them in an unaffected room in your property. Likewise with any items you wash at home. Do not introduce them back into the room until treatment has been successful. Store your clothing in another room.
- Vacuuming carpets and rugs to the edge and likewise with underlay and anti rug slip covers. You may want to consider having these items professionally cleaned with all furniture moved so that areas underneath can be inspected. Store any rugs away from the infested room until the infestation has been successfully eradicated.
- Wiping down all skirting boards, drawers and wardrobes to reduce eggs and larvae.
- Using vacuum attachments to clean all the woodwork, freestanding and built in furniture, around sockets, light switches, light fittings, windows and cracks.
- Ensuring all ornaments/books /files and folders etc that are usually kept in the affected areas are inspected for signs of carpet beetles and are damp wiped or cleaned as is appropriate and placed in bags/boxes or stored in another room.
The process of cleaning the room should be repeated least twice over two days before you begin the DIY treatment. Please do this for every room where you suspect there may be a secondary infestation of carpet beetles.
Make sure that immediately after vacuuming you empty the full canister into an outside bin. Wipe down your vacuum, checking all areas for carpet beetles especially the rotor brushes, nozzles and tools. You don’t want to introduce the pest to another room via your vacuum cleaner.
What DIY treatments can you use to kill carpet beetles?
- You are generally restricted to chemical only sprays over the counter from DIY stores. Pest control companies such as Dyno-Pest use a range of non-chemical treatments and use specialist insecticides that are not available in the DIY sector.
- When applying the insecticide follow the instructions to the letter and ensure the room is well ventilated and that you wear appropriate safety clothing for your face, hands and body. Wear appropriate masks at all times.
- Do not let anyone, but especially children and pets, elderly or frail family members into the treated room until all the treatments have been applied and the residual odour has gone.
- Because carpet beetles and their larvae live deep in the voids of buildings and nooks and crannies and are becoming resistant to over the counter chemical treatments you may need to repeat the clean- and -spray process 3 or 4 times at intervals recommended in the instructions. Inspecting in between should tell you if this is necessary. Be aware it is a painstaking process if you are to succeed at purging your home of carpet beetles and their larvae. You may want to weigh up the cost of doing this with the likelihood of the treatment working.
If you would prefer to use a professional company to get the job done thoroughly please give us a call or contact us via this website.