How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Ken Davis

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

If you’ve seen small bugs crawling around your home that resemble ladybugs, they might be carpet beetles. Then you might need to ask yourself, ‟How do I get rid of carpet beetles?” Or before learning how to kill carpet beetles, you might need to know more about them. Carpet beetles resemble ladybugs, but there are some distinct differences between the two.

These pests belong to a family of beetles known as the demisted beetles. They are commonly found in homes, warehouses and museums. More than just a nuisance, carpet beetles can be destructive. They can cause damage to fabrics, furs, stored foods and of course, carpets. There are three primary species you are likely to encounter. You should get to know each species and, most importantly, how to get rid of carpet beetles in your home.

Types of carpet beetles

The three most common species of carpet beetles are the varied carpet beetle, the furniture carpet beetle and the black carpet beetle. These insects have the same type of life cycle, which includes four stages: egg, larval, pupal and adult. In most cases the larval – or worm-like stage – is the most damaging, which is why learning how to get rid of carpet beetle larvae is so important. The following information describes each beetle in more detail:

Varied carpet beetles

  • This beetle is approximately one-tenth of an inch long and black in color. It has an irregular pattern of brown or white on top of its body and the wings have yellow scales that wear off as the beetle grows older. The larvae feed on wool carpets, wool fabrics, animal hides, feathers, hair, dried flowers and cattails.

Furniture carpet beetles

  • The furniture carpet beetle is somewhat larger and more rounded than the varied carpet beetle. Its wings have orange to dark-yellow colored scales on them. If the scales are worn off, the wings appear to be solid black, while their underside is white. These beetles will infest the same type of materials as the varied carpet beetle.

Black carpet beetles

  • Adults range in size from one-eighth to three-sixteenths of an inch long. The body is dark-brown to shiny-black in color with brown legs. This beetle typically infests stored food products, such as dried dog food, but readily infests wool, animal hides and dried flowers as well.

How to treat carpet beetles - find the source

Attempting to kill carpet beetles can try your patience because of their ability to find food sources for their larvae in areas that are hard to inspect or gain access to. To get rid of carpet beetles, you must find and eliminate their food sources. [links to: /pest-control/beetles/behavior/diet/] Here are a few tips:

Clean regularly and be sure to remove any accumulations of hair, dander and lint.

Remove bird, rodent and wasps nests.

Have your chimney professionally cleaned each year.

Protect fabrics by laundering washable items in hot water. Dry cleaning items is even more effective as this process will kill all life stages of the beetle.

Routinely inspect items such as stored woolen garments, furs and mounted fur game trophies. If you find an infestation, have the item professionally cleaned.

Storing items in a cedar chest or cedar-lined closet is a form of carpet beetle treatment, but the cedar oil will lose its effectiveness over time. For valuable items such as furs, consider having them stored in a facility designed to protect these types of materials.

If you’ve been dealing with a carpet beetle infestation and carpet beetle removal seems nearly impossible, maybe it’s time to call for help. Call the pest management professionals at Terminix® today – they are always ready to provide assistance.