Carpet Beetles and How to Kill Them

30 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Carpet beetles (Anthrenus verbasci) like moths are one of the more common pests found around the home. They feed on fabrics such as carpet, fluff, pet fur and pillows and can cause serious damage if left untreated. This also means that they have the potential to infest a variety of different items of furniture around the home, especially if you have pets and/or lots of natural fabrics such as throws and animal skins The larvae are small, round and brown and covered in a light reddish brown fur that have given rise to the nickname 'woolly bears'. Both the larvae and the beetle are relatively small and grow anywhere between one and four millimetres in length and so they can be very difficult to see. They also like to hide in dark places and so infestations are often not noticed until it's too late.

How to Treat Your Home

Having some basic carpet cleaners in the home and a good vacuum with an upholstery attachment is your first line of defence. As carpet beetles love to eat pollen, by reducing any microscopic debris on the floor you can dissuade them from nesting in your home. Vacuuming daily and using carpet shampoos every so often should do the trick, as will removing any plants with a high pollen distribution. If you do find that you've got an infestation somewhere then try to remove the fabric if possible and wash in hot soapy water, if this doesn't work then the fabric should be thrown away to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. You can also buy insecticide carpet cleaners that can be sprayed onto you carpet to spot clean trouble areas, however if you have a large property then a thorough carpet shampoo and steam clean may be needed.   

Homemade Carpet Cleaner

If you're happy to use chemical treatments yourself then sprinkle Borax powder onto your carpet. It's perfect for killing insects and it's a natural compound that's safe for use around the home. Just be careful as it does have the potential to bleach fabrics, so either be very careful or remove furniture from the room prior to treatment. There is no specified amount of time you should leave it on the carpet, just sprinkle it down and look out for any of the beetles, once you can see that they are dead then hoover them up and clean the vacuum cylinder well. You can even hire a steam cleaner to give the place the once over to remove any larvae or bugs that aren't picked up the first time round.