Every carpet beetle infestation is somewhat unique. Unique in terms of how it happened, the severity of the problem and the scale of the measures needed to deal with it. But the one thing that can be said about every carpet beetle infestation is that it’s a pretty unpleasant scenario to face!
On one hand, carpet beetles have the potential to be annoying, destructive and the kind of nuisance you really don’t need in your life. On the other, they can also be surprisingly easy to get rid of – permanently. It’s simply a case of avoiding the single most common mistake made by those discovering carpet beetle infestations at home…panicking.
Approach things proactively, rather than falling into a blind panic, and trust us – you’ll be rid of them in no time!
What are Carpet Beetles
The truth is, you don’t need to know a great deal about the science or biology of carpet beetles to be able to deal with them successfully. All you need to know is that they are tiny little pests, which if left unaddressed could do serious damage to your upholstery, clothing, carpets and whatever else crosses their path. Even more disturbingly, their appetite for organic materials means they’re also happy to chow-down on things like human hair and animal fur.
They aren’t going to eat you alive, but still – not the kinds of house guests you want around the place! It’s during the larval stage that carpet beetles cause the most damage. Which is fortunate, given the way in which this is also the stage when they are most difficult to see. Larvae tend to spend their time feeding in well-hidden and discreet areas, meaning that by the time you’ve spotted the problem, it could already be pretty advanced.
And just to make things that little bit worse, the answer is yes – carpet beetles can fly. Which in turn means they have every opportunity to enter your home through open doors, windows or attached to anything you bring indoors at any time. That’s precisely why millions of homes all over the world experience carpet beetle infestations, all throughout the year.
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How Do I Know if I have Carpet Beetles
Of course, before reading reviews online and waging war on your enemy, you need to first identify if you definitely have carpet beetles. Of course, it goes without saying that the most obvious warning sign is a sudden and inexplicable break-out of holes in your clothing, carpets, upholstery and other fabrics. You may also come across tiny bits of shed skin and fecal pellets, which could confirm you have a problem you need to deal with.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles
Once again, approach the problem proactively and it should be relatively easy to get rid of your unwanted guests, once and for all. A preferable approach to making things up as you go along, until you find something that works.
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So if you’d like to get things done the proper way, here are the three simple steps you’ll need to follow:
Step 1: Identify the Source
Once you have identified the presence of carpet beetles, you need to find out where they are most heavily concentrated. In the vast majority of instances, you will find them in hidden away and secluded places, such as attics, cupboards and drawers, closets and so on. The more secluded, safe and dark the area is, the more likely they are to set up home.
Which is why it is also common to find them down the backs of couches and chairs, or under items of furniture that are rarely moved and so on. When you’ve found the source, you can move on to the removal part of the process.
Step 2: Eliminate the Carpet Beetles
Next up, there are multiple steps involved in the elimination process. While it is sometimes stated that sufficient vacuuming and/or washing of fabrics can render more intensive treatment unnecessary, it is advisable to carry out all steps in the process – just to make sure you have dealt with the problem fully.
Which looks a little like this?
Before doing anything else, you are going to need to vacuum like you’ve never vacuumed before! This is the single most important step in the process, given that it is the step that will physically remove the vast majority of beetles, larvae and eggs.
It’s of critical importance to ensure that you get into every corner you possibly can, while giving every inch of your upholstery the best possible vacuuming. Go over the whole area several times and focus on the kinds of areas that may not have been vacuumed quite as intensively before. And of course, do all of the above with a high-quality vacuum that actually works!
Wash All Fabrics
The next step is to give every piece of furniture and fabric item in general that can be washed a thorough and intensive clean. Use hot soapy water – just make sure that the cleaning products you use are suitable for the upholstery and fabrics in question.
If possible, throw as many items you can into the washing machine and wash them on a relatively hot setting. If you have access to a steam cleaner, this can be a great way of cleaning upholstery and fabrics in a manner that’s safe, simple and highly-effective against carpet beetles. Alternatively, you could have the experts come in and clean your fabrics/furniture on your behalf.
As already mentioned, the two steps above can technically get rid of the problem once and for all. However, if you really want to ‘go nuclear’ and ensure the job is done flawlessly, there are plenty of specialist treatments you can pick up.
Most of which take the form of insecticide sprays and other chemical treatments, which for obvious reasons must be handled with care. Nevertheless, they most certainly get the job done when combined with the above-mentioned steps!
Step 3: Preventing Carpet Beetle Infestation
Once you’ve dealt with the problem and are satisfied with the results, the time comes to ensure the same doesn’t happen again. On the plus side, preventing carpet beetle infestation in the first place is actually quite easy. Again, it’s simply a case of being proactive and following a few expert guidelines, such as:
Carpet beetles are somewhat on the selective side and will only ever set up home where there is a ready supply of organic material. Feathers, fur, leather, wood, cotton and so on – all the kinds of things that keep them sustained and happy. Which means that if you make the switch to predominantly synthetic materials, you are far less likely to fall foul of an infestation.
Even if carpet beetles do find their way into your home, it takes them a fair amount of time to begin multiplying, spreading and causing you a problem. Which in turn means that you usually have a decent amount of time to deal with them using nothing.
The more often and intensively you clean your home, the more likely you are to avoid carpet beetles permanently. Particularly by focusing more on the kinds of areas in which carpet beetles are most likely to set up home.
Doors and Windows
If you do not have high-quality bug-screens installed on your windows and doors, you might want to think about keeping them closed to keep carpet beetles at bay. If this isn’t an option – or at least isn’t the preferred option – think about installing high-quality screens for peace of mind!
Carpet Beetles in Cars
Make no mistake about it – carpet beetles are just as happy in cars and other vehicles as they are in the average home. Once again, the more extensive the use of natural materials and fibers, the more likely carpet beetles are to hitch an unauthorised ride.
If you do suspect you have carpet beetles in your car, getting rid of them can be far easier than eliminating them from your home. Given the smaller space and all, it is simply a case of following these easy steps:
- Vacuum every part of your car’s interior as intensively and comprehensively as possible
- After thoroughly vacuuming your carpets, give them a good wash with hot water and a high-quality carpet cleaning solution
- Get into all those cracks and difficult to reach places, being sure to remove every last hair and all traces of anything organic
- Use a high-quality organic insecticide as specified by the manufacturer, to prevent the problem reoccurring
- Always remember that the cleaner and tidier you keep your car, the less likely you are to encounter problems like these
Which is pretty much where it comes to an end as far as eliminating carpet beetles from your life is concerned. As always, the worst thing you can do is simply assume that this is the kind of problem you will never encounter.
By being proactive and keeping an eye out for the signs of infestation, you stand a much better chance of being able to deal with it before it becomes more severe and problematic.