How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles Permanently: A Step by Step Guide

If you have a carpet beetle infestation, don’t panic.

These little pests are destructive and annoying, but they are relatively easy to get rid of.

If you take the advice on this page and follow all of the steps, you will soon be on your way to answering that all important question: how to get rid of carpet beetles permanently?

What are Carpet Beetles?

How To Get Rid Of Beetles

Carpet beetles are small pests that cause damage by eating your carpets, clothing, upholstery and just about anything that they come into contact with.

Carpet beetles feed on organic materials such as animal and human hair, plants, and any materials made from animals such as wool, silk, leather, and fur.

Adult carpet beetles do not cause damage by feeding, this is done when they are in the larval stage.  Larvae prefer to feed in quiet, dark places which make it harder to spot them. This guide will show you how to get rid of carpet beetle larvae and will solve your infestation problem.

Types of Carpet Beetles

There are 3 main types of carpet beetles:

  • Varied Carpet Beetle
  • Furniture Carpet Beetle
  • Black Carpet Beetle

Varied and furniture carpet beetles are smaller than black carpet beetles. Black carpet beetles are the most common and widespread and are also the most destructive.

Do Carpet Beetles Fly?

Carpet beetles can fly.

This makes it very easy for them to enter your house through an open window or door.

They are attracted to colorful flowers and plants that may be around your house, this brings them close so that they can easily enter your home.

How Do I know if I have Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are destructive little creatures.

You will know if you have carpet beetles because your clothing and other fabrics will have holes in them. Carpet beetles tend to eat large areas of fabric which create large holes and makes them easier to spot, unlike other pests such as moths that eat smaller, more spread out holes.

Fecal pellets and shed skins from the larvae are also sure signs that you have a carpet beetle infestation.

Step 1: Identify the Source

The most likely places for carpet beetles to be are in closets, insulation, walls, drawers, attics and other hidden away places.

This is because the carpet beetle likes to feed in dark, secluded places and does not like to be disturbed. Couches, carpets, rugs and large pieces of furniture are also ideal places for the insects to feed.

If there is a large concentration of the pests in one area of your home, along with a high number of shed skins and fecal pellets, this is a good indication that you have found the source of the infestation and can now set about getting rid of the destructive pests.

Step 2: Remove the Carpet Beetles

Once you have verified that you have an infestation of carpet beetles and have identified the source, the next step is to remove them from your home. There are a number of ways to do this, which are outlined below.

Please note that if you follow the first two steps properly you will not usually need to use a chemical treatment to get rid of carpet beetles.

Vacuum Every Carpet

Back Of The Rug

The first and most important stage of pest removal is to vacuum every surface in your home.

This removes the beetles completely and also removes the larvae and eggs. Pay special attention to the area that you believe is the source of the infestation, but don’t neglect the rest of the surfaces.

Any upholstered furniture should also be vacuumed, along with any fabric surfaces that cannot be washed in a washing machine. Doing so may damage the washing machine, as well as the fabric surfaces.

Find out which vacuum is best for cleaning a small apartment.

You should vacuum every day.

You should really try to vacuum several times a day as this will ensure that you get all the little creatures that keep appearing. As they prefer to feed in quiet, dark places this means it can be hard to reach them all, so vacuum as much as possible.

A vacuum that enables you to get into every small and hidden area of your house is recommended.

This Shark ION Rocket Vacuum is lightweight, flexible, and comes with attachments that allow you to clean tight spaces.

It even has headlights so you can see all of the dark areas in your home, where carpet beetles are most likely to be.

Wash all Fabrics

All fabrics that have not been stored in airtight containers should be washed in hot, soapy water. This includes clothes, bedding, towels, throws and any other fabrics that can fit into your washing machine.

For items that cannot fit into a washing machine, such as carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture, a steam cleaner can be used or you can hire a professional to do it for you.

Carpet Beetle Treatments

Borax Acid For Cleaning

If you followed the above steps, after about a week you should hopefully be rid of your carpet beetle infestation.

However, if you can still see the signs of the unwanted pests then you may need to use a specialized treatment to get rid of them permanently.

Boric acid, or Borax, is a recommended treatment as it kills almost any insect while being completely harmless to humans.

You simply spread it all around the affected area and then vacuum it up after a short time.

As Boric acid can cause bleaching, you have to be careful that you don’t bleach your fabrics. It is recommended that you leave the powder on your carpet for no more than two hours.

If you have dark fabrics and don’t want to risk the bleaching effect that can be caused by Boric acid, you can use a more traditional chemical insecticide. Try to choose one that specifically mentions carpet beetles, however, anything with chlorpyrifos, bendiocarb, or allethrin will be the most effective.

As with all chemicals, always take the necessary precautions when applying insecticide to an infested area. Don’t use it in a small confined space, open windows where possible and wear gloves and safety glasses.

Step 3: Preventing Carpet Beetles

Once you manage to rid your home of carpet beetles, you definitely don’t want the pesky insects to return.

Luckily there are a few things you can do that will decrease the chance of an infestation reoccurring.

Buy Synthetic Materials

One of the easiest ways to prevent carpet beetles from invading your home is to fill it with synthetic products.

This means no wool, leather, fur, feathers or any other organic materials. As carpet beetles exclusively eat organic products, this is the best way to prevent carpet beetles.

Regularly Clean your Home

How To Clean Hardwood

It seems obvious, but regular vacuuming and steam cleaning the fabrics in your home is an essential step in the prevention of carpet beetles and any other similar pest for that matter.

Human and animal hair and skin are the perfect meal for a hungry carpet beetle and if you remove it from your environment, they will be forced to look elsewhere for their next meal.

Close Doors and Windows

Open doors and windows are a free ticket into your home for carpet beetles and other pests.

Try to keep them closed as much as possible. If keeping your doors and windows closed is not an option, for example, if you live in a warm climate, install window and door screens and regularly inspect them for any signs of damage.

Do you Need Professional Help?

If you have followed all the steps above and you still have a carpet beetle infestation, it may be time to call in an expert.

The carpet beetle can be a resilient beast, especially the eggs, and sometimes a pest control professional will be needed to finish the job.

Getting rid of carpet beetles permanently is a popular topic as a lot of people seem to have this problem, but the solution needn’t be hard to find. If you have followed the steps on this page you will hopefully be in a position to liberate your flooring and other fabric surfaces from the scurrying creepy-crawly that is the carpet beetle.

Your quest to do away with these destructive insects by whatever method necessary will be a short and painless one, and you will be able to go back to a carpet beetle free environment forever!

This post was last updated on January 18th, 2021 at 06:56 pm

  • Claudia Hamilton says:

    I ve found 13 carpet beetles in the past 3months i think they are more near the window and patio door i ve closed both they have 6 legs wings are 5 mm long with antennea ive cleaned. My whole house found 1 in the closet 8 in my bed 1 radiator 3 near the patio door thet were walking

  • Harry says:

    What do carpet beetles look like? I have found some little creatures running around my bedroom and I want to know if it is carpet beetles.

    • Sammy Dolan says:

      Hi Harry, You can take a look at the pictures in the article and they will give you a pretty good idea of what to look out for when identifying carpet beetles.

  • Gia Anderson says:

    They are annoying and the fact that they will keep getting in the house from outside makes it an ongoing problem that we’ll always have to deal with ? . I have 2 long hair cats and it is hard to keep the carpet clean. It seems like the past 8mos they’ve been around. I tried vinegar, to no avail. They sneak in when I come in the house or let the cats out onto the balcony to play. One landed on me today!!! Gross!!!! I never had carpet until this apartment and am regretting moving into one that has it. Wood floors are easier to maintain and I never had a problem. I tend to see more late at night by the lights and in the kitchen near light colored surfaces – that is why I’m not actually sure they are carpet beetles. These guys in my house love the lights. Maybe they are just annoying little brown beetles and not carpet beetles? Ugh! Whatever they are, they are annoying and ugly!

  • tammy says:

    does baby or talcum powder kill these carpet beetles

  • Shaniqua Blackwell says:

    Hi I know that I have carpet beetles so it started out as you stated seeing some from my bed on my sheets I just thought because I left my window open some big flew in but then I started seeing more in that same area the bed. I kept killing them but then I started to see them in areas near my dresser or walls so that woke me up to getting something done. But I think I’m too late because I saw one or two flying around. Today I used oxy carpet cleaner, baking soda and borax acid to clean my mattress, I washed my walls and vacuumed my carpet and left more borax acid to stay on for a few days to kill the rest. I also used a lot of moth balls because I read that helps.I don’t have a steamer do you think I should get professional help or keep cleaning this the same way. Or get a steamer because professional help is expensive.

    • Sammy Dolan says:

      Hi Shaniqua, It sounds like you are doing all the right things to get rid of these annoying little creatures! Perhaps the next step is a steamer, use it on your mattress and carpets. If that doesn’t work, then it may be time to call in the professionals.

  • Debra says:

    I’ve been seeing carpet beetle larvae for 3 months now. Mainly near the baseboards on carpets & also on my hardwood floors. I was told they could be in the wall voids. I vacuum thoroughly every other day & make sure hardwood is clean I’m lost on what else to do at this point.

  • Southern Belle says:

    i’ve never seen these until recently and i’m phobic when i comes to bug’s, suddenly i’ve seen like 4 then 5 tonight i had one on my makeup bag in the bathroom! i’ve been here 5 years or so and suddenly i’m finding them more and more in just in 48 hours i’ve found quite a few so Yes i’m panicked, nauseated, and itching like someone has lice or something. i’ve tried to identify these tiny tiny ballpoint pen tip size what looks like a black dot, …after taking a picture and enlarging it they are brown an white …and oMg they have legs like cilia …so what happens when you have small dog’s will the borax which i have, will that hurt them?

  • Southern Belle says:

    hi btw mine don’t look like that picture but yal don’t put the other pictures up you should seriously show more pics, thanks~

  • Stephanie Cofer says:

    Will washing my laundry with borax mule 20 deter carpet beetle larvae from eating clothes

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