How to get rid of Carpet Beetles

Often mistaken for bed bugs, carpet beetles are another nuisance in your home that causes a lot of damage. Unlike bed bugs that feed on human blood, carpet beetles will eat anything, and not just your carpets. Here’s how to get rid of carpet beetles and keep them out.

How to spot a carpet beetle

There are a few different species of carpet beetle in the UK that may invade your home.

Varied Carpet Beetle- this is the tiniest of the carpet beetles, at only 0.25cm. They have a slightly rounded shell and are often black/brown in colour with white flecks.

Furniture Carpet Beetle-these are slightly bigger beetles, measuring 0.3-0.5cm. They have a light brown rounded shell which is speckled with black and white markings.

Black carpet beetles- these are the largest species, measuring up to 1cm in length. Their bodies aren’t as rounded as their cousins and their shells are brown or black.

The varied and furniture carpet beetles love to eat natural fibres like wool (say bye bye to your wool carpets). The black carpet beetle likes to feast on dry foods like cereals and dry pet foods.

How do I know I have carpet beetles in my home?

The first thing you need to know when you want to get rid of carpet beetles is ‘do I actually have carpet beetles in my home?’ As we mentioned earlier, carpet beetles are often mistaken for bed bugs. So what are the signs that what you’re dealing with is a carpet beetle infestation?

· You see holes in carpets or rugs-especially if they are made from natural fibres.

· You’ll see damage to items made from animal products like fur and leather.

· You’ll notice damage on paper products like books and photos.

· Shed skins may be visible. As the larvae mature into adults, they shed their shells which are covered in bristly hair.

· You may see dry brown or black pellet shaped droppings.

If you see holes in carpets or damage to clothing, it can be tempting to think that clothes moths are the culprit rather than carpet beetles. However, the way to tell which pest is causing the problem is to look at the damage. Is it confined to one area? Carpet beetles are most likely to blame. Is there damage to a larger area? This is probably clothes moths at work.

How do carpet beetles get in?

Like most other pests, carpet beetles love homes for a few reasons. There’s a ready supply of food, there’s shelter from the elements, and there’s protection from predators.

Carpet beetles usually get in on infested items, through vents or cracks, or through open windows. Once inside your home, they infest items like wool clothing, rugs, and carpets, as well as dry pet and human food like pasta and flour.

How to get rid of carpet beetles

So you’ve seen the signs of a carpet beetle infestation. Now what?

Try to find out where they are hiding out

Carpet beetles won’t be too far from the damage you’ve seen. They love to hide out in dark places close to a food source, so check under or inside furniture, the edges of carpets, and cupboards where you store dry food.

Vacuum thoroughly

Once you’ve found where you think they’re living, vacuum the area then vacuum the rest of your home. That includes sofas and armchairs. Try to do this once per day.

Wash everything that is washable

This sounds drastic, but believe us, it’s not. Wash clothes, towels, bedding, cushion covers, and curtains on a hot wash. It’s also a good idea to shampoo your carpets with hot water or use a steam cleaner.

Get rid of infested food

If you’ve noticed signs of carpet beetle infestation in foods, get rid of it. Double bag it and put it in your outdoor bin.

How to stop carpet beetles from coming back

If you want to get rid of carpet beetles and stop them from coming back, prevention is better than cure. Follow these tips to keep carpet beetles out for good.

· Keep your home clean- removing hair, dust, and lint removes a food source.

· Store food in air-tight containers to keep carpet beetles out.

· Protect vulnerable clothing by keeping it in sealed plastic containers or in plastic covers.

· Inspect anything you want to bring into your home, especially plants and second hand furniture.

Got a problem with carpet beetles?

Contego’s expert technicians have the knowhow and products to get rid of these destructive pests for good. Reclaim your home and protect your possessions by calling in the professionals.

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