Finding holes in carpets, clothes and general upholstery in and around the home is the number one sign of carpet beetles. Although the name suggests they live within carpets, they will also feast upon all sorts of fabric, clothing, furs, and stuffed specimens – the damage is done by the larvae as opposed to the adults – as they are not fussy or scared when it comes to variety. For those who have these pests in their carpet, or suspect they have carpet beetles, the next step is knowing how to get rid of them.
Jordan Foster, pest control expert at Fantastic Pest Control has shared a few easy-to-follow ways to make a home “beetle-free in no time”.
Locate the source
Before households can remove any pest they first need to find out where they are most active and where they live.
As carpet beetles are not very adventurous they tend to live in dark places close to their chosen food source such as beneath or inside furniture, in cabinets that store dry food and at the edge of carpets.
Jordan instructed that if households look for “damaged areas” they will find carpet beetles nearby.
READ MORE: ‘Strong’ scented gardens plants ‘effective’ for deterring rats
Get the vacuum out
Once the source or sources have been located, of a “carpet beetle infestation” the first thing to do is vacuum the area thoroughly, following this, vacuum the rest of the home.
Next, vacuum every part of your upholstered furniture (sofas, armchairs, etc) that cannot be machine washed, “be sure to use the appropriate attachments to vacuum in the hard-to-reach places”, urged the expert.
He added: “You will need to vacuum your home meticulously at least once a day until the infestation is removed.”
Use boric acid powder
Many people will solve their problem with steps one and two. However, if the carpet beetle infestation is more serious, households will need to take more drastic measures to get rid of them.
Jordan recommends boric acid for its sheer lethal effectiveness. He said: “Boric acid is to insects is like holy water to vampires.
“There are very few insects that do not die upon contact with boric acid, thankfully carpet beetles are susceptible to this insect-apocalypse-causing product.
“Sprinkle boric acid liberally on your carpet and vacuum it up after two hours, this will kill the beetles, larvae, and eggs.”
However households should be aware that boric acid might cause unwanted effects on pets, so it is best to keep them away from the cleaned area for a few hours or so.
READ MORE: Gardeners share how to make ‘magic homemade spray’ to remove weeds
Get rid of infested clothing
For those who have found evidence of extensive carpet beetle damage on one or more pieces of clothing, it is best to throw them away.
The expert said: “Although you may be tempted to keep such items there may be carpet beetles or their eggs hidden within the fabric, disregarding this possibility is likely to prolong the infestation.”
Every piece of machine-washable fabric should be washed in hot, soapy water, this includes clothing, towels, bedding, cushion covers, and curtains.
Jordan instructed: “Machine wash these items on the highest temperature setting and laundry detergent.
“To be sure that your carpets are no longer harbouring these destructive beetles, it is advisable to either shampoo your carpets with hot water or use a steam cleaner.”
Remove infested food
Households should get rid of all food that shows signs of beetle activity or that they suspect are beetle targets.
Replace natural linens with synthetic sheets
For those who want to go “fully radical”, Jordan suggested substituting all natural fibre textiles with synthetic ones. He explained: “The natural materials contain keratin, which is a tasty protein for all insects that dine on clothes, carpet beetles included.
“Keratin is abundant in hair, so it comes with no wonder that items made from wool or leather are easy prey. Cutting the carpet mites from the food source can force them to leave forever.”