How do You Get Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles are tiny pests belonging to the dermestid family of beetles other species in this grouping are pantry beetles and larder beetles to name a couple.
When outdoors some species of carpet beetle do great work pollinating flowers as they feed on the pollen and nectar however once they get indoors their larvae can cause huge amounts of damage.
The beetle larvae cause so much damage because they are always ravenously hungry and feed on natural fibres and materials such as wool, silk leather, hair etc. So you can easily end up with carpets, rugs, clothing, books and so on with fairly big holes in them if you are unfortunate enough to end up with an infestation!
So, the big question is – How do you get carpet beetles?
A carpet beetle infestation can begin in your home in a number of ways;
1. Carpet beetles fly, meaning they can easily get in through open windows and doors if they are not covered with insect screens. This is most likely to happen on warm sunny days because adult carpet beetles love the warmth and are attracted to light (which is why you will often discover adult beetles at windows.)
2. Like other bugs carpet beetles are good at hitching rides. Therefore there is a possibility that adults or larvae will enter your home on wool, leather or goods made from other natural fibres which have been perhaps stored in a warehouse or other storage facility.
3. Check carefully any garments or items you purchase from second hand stores or stores selling imported goods from abroad.
4. If you live in an apartment block it is possible for carpet beetles to migrate into your apartment from other apartments.
5. As I said earlier in this article certain species of carpet beetle feed on the nectar and pollen of flowers, so before bringing cut flowers inside be sure to check them carefully – carpet beetles can sometimes be easily be mistaken for ladybirds because of their rounded bodies and antennae!
6. If you have old nests in or close to your property belonging to birds, bees, wasps etc. carpet beetles will often use these to lay eggs because the debris left behind like feathers, beeswax or dead insects will serve as larval food. This means that you could end up with a very big infestation in your eves, attic or inside the walls of your home.
So as you have probably gathered when it comes to preventing an infestation of carpet beetles, good housekeeping is vital;
Here are a few things you can do to prevent a carpet beetle infestation;-
1. Thorough vacuuming on a regular basis will ensure the removal of lint, hair, dead skin particles etc. all of which are ideal for larvae to feed on. Extra care should be taken with carpets and rugs especially the parts close to baseboards, inside closets, upholstered chairs etc. cracks and crevices in the floor, ducting and so on. This will also eradicate carpet beetles at every stage of development – be sure to empty your vacuum cleaner immediately into plastic bags and seal them tight!
2. Stored clothes and materials particularly stored woollens and products made from natural fibres (synthetic materials will be left untouched) must be properly laundered or dry cleaned before putting them in a closet for storage. Carpet beetles are attracted more to items which have food or sweat stains on them.
3. Place all CLEAN items you wish to store in insect proof sealed plastic container. Please note that cedar chips which tend to be used as a popular insect repellent will have no effect on carpet beetles. Best to use either mothballs (these have a strong smell which is difficult to remove from garments etc.) or no-pest strips.
4. You could merely hang a no-pest strip inside a closet with stored woollens and perhaps furs provided the closet is used only for this purpose. The strip will be effective for up to four months and one strip will protect an area of around 1,000 square feet.
5. It is unwise to keep bits and pieces of old wool or fabrics etc. lying around your home.
Should you discover an infestation in your home you could employ the services of a professional carpet beetle removal company, or if after you have thoroughly searched your home and the problem is small in number and confined to only a small area you may be able to kill these pests yourself.
It may be as simple as placing a couple of items in your freezer for two days and using an insecticide spray on shelving etc. Remember to clean everything properly before spraying and before you treat any carpets or rugs try a little on an out of sight part of the carpet first.
The use of diamomaceaous earth or boric acid in powder form sprinkled around cracks and crevices will kill adults and young at the larval stage also.
For large pieces of upholstered furniture such as sofas and chairs your only option may be professional fumigation.