Carpet beetles are not commonly spoken about, but it’s highly likely you have these critters in your home. They can be very hard to spot, though they are most commonly known to hide in cracks and crevices in floorboards, carpets, furniture, clothing, and other textiles. Whether or not they’re causing serious damage to carpeted flooring, measures need to be put in place to eliminate them before they become a problem.
Thankfully, it’s not essential to call for professional help. In most cases, these pests can be removed naturally using cleaning appliances and household ingredients that already exist in kitchen cupboards.
Timothy Best, Terminx technical manager, explained that it is “very common” for homes to be invaded by carpet beetles.
He said: “A carpet beetle is just a common name, and often a misnomer, in my opinion.
“These insects belong to the family Dermestidae, which also includes other pests such as the larder beetle.
“Carpet beetles can appear in any home regardless of floor covering. Homes with hardwood, or say tile, are just as susceptible to this pest as homes with carpets.
“So, regardless of floor covering, carpet beetles are very common in many homes.”
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With that in mind, just because they are common doesn’t mean it’s normal to have lots of carpet beetles in your home.
Timothy noted that the issue can be resolved by vacuuming.
He said: “The best approach to managing these pests is to keep a tidy home.
“Regular and thorough vacuuming of floors (regardless of covering), carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture will ensure that homeowners are removing potential food sources.”
Once you’ve done the floors, vacuum all the furniture and even the curtains.
Jordan Foster, pest expert at Fantastic Pest Control, urges to “vacuum every part of your upholstered furniture (sofas, armchairs, etc) that cannot be machine washed, making sure to use the appropriate attachments to reach the hard-to-reach areas.”
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In order to completely remove these pests Jerry Miller of Miller Pests & Termite, recommends vacuuming “daily for at least a week.”
According to the British Pest Control Association, “it is the larvae from eggs that do the damage”.
They said: “They feed on feathers, fur, hair, or wool and tend to wander along the pipes from roofs into airing cupboards – which house the clothes and blankets which constitute the food.”
Many people will solve the problem with vacuuming, however, if the carpet beetle infestation is more serious, homeowners will need to take more drastic measures to get rid of them.
Jordan recommends using boric acid for its sheer lethal effectiveness.
He said: “Very few insects can survive contact with boric acid.
“You can sprinkle boric acid liberally on your carpet and vacuum it up after two or three hours to kill beetles, larvae, and eggs.”
For this method, add one tbsp of boric acid to two cups of hot water to a spray bottle and stir until the powder fully dissolves.
Then spritz the curtains, upholstery, skirting boards, and dark nooks where carpet beetle larvae choose to hang out.
The trouble with boric acid is it’s strong stuff, so you’ll want to keep pets and kids well out of reach of the treated area for several hours after application.
Those who have got large numbers of these insects, they likely will need more food than your carpet can provide.
So, chances are they’ve already made their way into furniture and inside closets.
Therefore, Jordan advises that all fabrics be washed in hot soapy water.
He said: “All machine-washable fabrics should be soaked in hot, soapy water, including clothing, towels, bedding, cushion covers, and curtains.
“These items should be machine washed on the highest temperature setting with a good laundry detergent.”
If you can see larvae in jumpers, and if there already are holes – sadly, you’ll just have to toss this item of clothing, and any others that have been munched on.
It’s better to sacrifice them than having even more items ruined.