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How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

By DoMyOwn staff

Carpet Beetles can do serious damage to your belongings in your home if left untreated. A combination of insecticide spray and dust can help you get rid of a carpet beetle problem.

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Video Transcript

Carpet beetle larvae can cause damage to the belongings in your home if left untreated. Attracted to natural animal fibers including wool, silk, fur, and feathers, carpet beetles can damage carpets, furniture, and clothing items. Fortunately, with the right products and treatment plan, you can get rid of a carpet beetle infestation.

Finding the source of the infestation is key to eliminating carpet beetles in your home.  Once you find the source, there are a few steps you can take before treating that will make the control process much easier.  This includes vacuuming, cleaning fabrics with high heat, and steaming carpets and furniture.

Vacuuming your home daily - before, during, and after your treatment – will greatly reduce your carpet beetle infestation. Carpet beetle larvae are commonly found in areas of the home that don't receive much light, so don't forget to vacuum dark areas like closets, cabinets and pantries.  You should vacuum any fabrics that can't go into the washing machine, like curtains, furniture, and rugs. After you vacuum, empty the vacuum canister or bag into a garbage bag, seal the bag tightly, and dispose in an outside trash can.

You will also want to wash the fabrics that you can and dry them on high heat, over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The high heat of the dryer will kill any adult carpet beetles, larvae, and eggs hiding in the fabric.  Don't forget to wash clothing, bedding, towels, and other linens. For dry-clean only items, like those made of silk, get them dry cleaned.  Other items that cannot be washed can go directly into the dryer.  You can also use a steam cleaner to quickly kill carpet beetles on carpets, rugs, and furniture in your home.

Once your home is prepared for treatment, you'll want to treat your home with an insecticide spray and an insecticide dust labeled for carpet beetles. 

Some insecticides labeled for carpet beetle control also include an insect growth regulator, or IGR, to stop carpet beetle eggs from hatching and re-infesting your home. If the insecticide you are using does not including an IGR, you can add one to your treatment.

Spray the insecticide around carpets and rugs.  Read the product label to see if it can be broadcast sprayed across the entire carpet or if only spot treatments are recommended. Before spraying any product on your rugs or carpets, we recommend testing in an inconspicuous area first, and we recommend consulting with an expert for high-end oriental rugs. You also need to spray under furniture, around door and window frames, in shelving, in the corners of closets, and in cracks and crevices around your home.   

After the insecticide spray has dried, apply an insecticide dust into voids or crevices to help control carpet beetles in places that are hard to reach or where sprays cannot be applied. The dust should be applied every 6 months inside wall voids, under baseboards, and inside electrical outlets.

Glue board traps can be used to monitor your infestation.  Place the glue board traps in closets, pantries, and other dark areas to catch adult carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae.  In the weeks that follow your treatment, you should see less and less carpet beetles on the traps. If you continue to see activity after 21 days, retreat the area.

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