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How to get rid of carpet beetles

Mark Lucas by Mark Lucas

No one likes the thought of pests in their home. So if you’re worried you might have carpet beetles, take a look at this guide to help you remove them.

Before attempting any kind of cleaning, you should consult your carpet care guide. Different materials and carpet types react in different ways so it’s important to check the following methods are appropriate and won’t damage your flooring.

What are carpet beetles and the signs of an infestation?
Carpet beetles (also known as woolly bears) are tiny insects of around 2-4mm. They can be various colours, including brown, grey and cream. Up close, they look like a tiny ladybird, while the larvae are hairier and about 4mm long.

When it comes to carpets, carpet beetles prefer wool or natural fibres. However, as they are also attracted to fabric, fur, feathers, flowers and dog food to name a few, even synthetic carpet owners should be wary.

One of the first signs of an infestation is pellets or shed larvae skins. Carpet beetles love dark spaces, so lookout for damage, usually round holes of balding carpet in shady corners.

Getting rid of carpet beetles

  • The first thing to do is to find where they are coming from. Sometimes it can be as simple as an open window, but sometimes it’s a discarded birds’ nest in the loft, for example. If the source can be removed, do so carefully and never remove an active nest.

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  • Vacuum the carpet thoroughly, as well as anything upholstered that can’t be washed. Do this daily for at least a week and empty your vacuum cleaner after each go.
  • Throw away anything eaten – they are likely to be harbouring pests, so even if you think you might be able to repair an item of clothing, it’s probably best to get rid.
  • For bad infestations, steam clean your carpet, or hire a professional company to help.
  • Spray insecticide designed for carpet beetles. Always wear gloves, open windows and doors, follow the instructions carefully and wash your hands thoroughly after use.
  • Set beetle traps in crevices where you think the infestation may be coming from. To safeguard your home even further, add a barrier treatment around the edge of the house outside.

Safeguarding against carpet beetles

  • Carpet beetles like flowers, so check any bouquet for insects before bringing it into the house. Particularly check the petals and leaves.
  • Regular carpet cleaning, including dark corners where beetles prefer to reside, is a good way to combat pests.

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  • Once your infestation has been removed, you might find the carpet damage is so bad that you’d prefer a new carpet. Your local Hillarys carpet specialist will be able to help you choose a replacement that will work for your home.