How To Keep Carpet Beetles Out Of Your Home

Keeping carpet beetles out of your home is all about prevention. An infestation often begins when they're brought in on freshly cut flowers since they love eating the pollen. You can avoid this by inspecting your bouquet before bringing it inside your house. Once the tiny beetles find their way inside, it can be hard to notice the infestation growing. Consistently cleaning your home is the best way to stop these bugs in their tracks, because if they can't find food or shelter, they won't want to stay. This means frequently vacuuming dust and debris, and cleaning food stains from your carpet. 

Damage from carpet beetles is sometimes confused with that of clothing moths since both like to eat natural fabrics. Carpet beetles aren't exclusive to carpets and rugs, so look for holes in your sweaters, blankets, pillows, upholstered items, and taxidermy mounts. Natural fabrics like silk, leather, wool, fur, and felt are all at risk. Spotting these bugs is not easy because they're so small; the adults only reach a fraction of an inch at their largest. Identify them by their oval-shaped bodies, which can be solid black or a mix of white, brown, orange, or yellow. You want to stop an infestation as soon as possible because female carpet beetles can lay up to 100 eggs if they find a space in your home with enough food.

Clean, clean, clean

Cleaning is key. Since carpet beetles love eating debris like lint and hair, make sure you're vacuuming regularly. Dust often accumulates under your baseboards, so use an attachment to reach all the tiny crevices throughout your home. Of course, you can't forget your carpets either since it's in the bug's name. They feast on natural fibers and are attracted to the food stains that often occur on rugs, but this can be prevented by cleaning up spills when they happen. When carpet beetles aren't brought in with a bouquet of flowers, they fly in by themselves. Along with stopping other bugs from coming in, window screens are a helpful solution for all windows.

Even with precautions in place, carpet beetles may still find their way into your home. Treating an infestation starts by washing the fabrics they love. Launder everything you can in hot water or get items dry-cleaned. This includes your clothing, blankets, curtains, and removable upholstery covers. Doing this will kill the beetles and their eggs. Then deep clean your carpets and area rugs. When you're done, immediately throw away the dust bag since it will have live carpet beetles in it, and you don't want them finding their way out of your vacuum.

Treat an infestation with insecticides

If you already have a carpet beetle infestation in your home, you'll need to treat it with an insecticide. You have different options, depending on whether you'd rather use a commercial or natural product. Potent insecticides that contain deltamethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin will work quickly and electively. However, you may want to hire a professional to use them in your home. Your next option is the mild insecticide boric acid. Spread the powder over the affected areas of your home and use a stiff brush to ensure it gets dispersed in an even layer. Let it sit for a few hours to kill all the carpet beetles. Then vacuum everything up. Make sure to never allow any children or pets in the room while you're using any of these insecticides.

Apple cider and white vinegar are also good at naturally eliminating carpet beetles. The pungent smell repels bugs, while the acidity kills any that come into contact with it. But don't use apple cider vinegar if you already have a fruit fly problem because the additional sweetness with attract them. In a spray bottle, dilute 1 part vinegar with 1 part water. You can also add essential oils like peppermint and clove to deter these pests even more. Then use the mixture to clean your home.