Carpet beetles are small, inconspicuous yet destructive insects. Before long, they are likely to turn our precious carpets, textiles and clothing into prime targets to satisfy their voracious appetites. We will detail through this article how to identify these pests and how to eradicate them from your home.
Description of carpet beetles or carpet beetles
Carpet beetles are small insects belonging to the Dermestidae family. They are often considered pests as they damage carpets, upholstery, clothing and textiles.
Carpet beetles are small insects, typically measuring 1 to 4 millimeters in length. Their shape is oval and their body is covered with colorful scales that can vary depending on the species, but are often brightly colored like black, white, brown and yellow. The larvae are smaller and elongated, with short hairs.
Carpet beetle larvae are the most damaging because they feed on animal protein found in materials such as carpets, cushions, clothing and upholstery. They can cause significant damage by nibbling and puncturing these materials.
Where in the house do carpet beetles live?
Contrary to their name, carpet beetles don’t just invade carpets. Of course, they are more likely to lodge in carpets, wall hangings, curtains and other textiles. They often hide near the edges of rugs or in the back of tapestries.
However, it is also found in the upholstery of furniture such as sofas, armchairs and chairs. Closets and wardrobes are also places where these insects can lodge due to the presence of clothing, textiles and furs, which are food sources.
Finally, mattresses, pillows, and bedding can also be places for carpet beetles to hide, especially if they contain materials like wool or silk. In short, as soon as there is the presence of textiles, you should surely expect to find them in the event of an infestation.
What are the signs of carpet beetles in a house?
There are many signs that can indicate a carpet beetle infestation in a home. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Damage to textiles and carpets: If you find your clothes, upholstery or upholstery wearing out in an early and unusual way, it is surely due to the attack of these insects which feed on it;
- The presence of exuviae: These insects go through moults as they grow. You might find exuviae (maggot skins) near areas where insects thrive, such as dark corners, closets, and storage spaces;
- Presence of eggs: Carpet beetle eggs are small and difficult to spot, but they can be found along carpet seams, in cracks and nooks, and on animal materials ;
- The Presence of Small Flying Insects: Adult carpet beetles are attracted to light and can be seen flying around windows. Their bright colors, often black, white, brown or yellow, can make them visible.
How to eliminate a carpet beetle infestation in a house?
There are several effective methods for eliminating a carpet beetle infestation in your home. We will detail some of them for you.
Heat treatment uses high temperatures to eliminate carpet beetles. This may be more difficult to achieve on a large scale, but it’s an effective option for items that cannot be frozen, such as upholstered furniture, rugs, mattresses, and curtains.
Place infested items in a location where they will be exposed to high temperature for an extended period of time. You can use a specially designed oven, dryer, mattress warmer or heat treatment device.
Make sure the temperature inside the device reaches at least 50 to 60 degrees Celsius. Maintain this temperature for several hours to ensure that all insects at all stages of development are killed. Monitor the process carefully to avoid the risk of fire or property damage.
We have mobile thermal units to treat your various goods by this method. Our devices are designed as heating radiators and raise considerable temperature in a room, killing larvae and eggs and adult beetles systematically.
Freezing is a non-toxic method of killing carpet beetles. It is particularly effective for heat-sensitive items, such as textiles, clothing and stuffed animals.
Place infested items in airtight plastic bags, making sure to seal them tightly to prevent insects from escaping. Place the bags in a freezer for at least a week. Temperatures below -18 degrees Celsius are usually sufficient to kill carpet beetles in all stages. After the freezing period, remove the items from the freezer and let them come to room temperature inside the bag to avoid condensation.
At Solution Cimex, we offer a pest extermination service by freezing using a cold room specially designed to reach temperatures below -25°C. At this point, all eggs and larvae of any insect die.
Some additional tips
If these two methods prove to be the most effective, here are some other practical tips that might be helpful:
- Start by thoroughly cleaning all affected areas. Vacuum carpets, textiles, upholstery, curtains and other potential areas of infestation. Immediately throw the vacuum bag outside the house to prevent insects from coming back inside;
- Identify potential entry points for carpet beetles, such as cracks, openings and gaps. Seal these areas carefully to keep insects out;
- Minimize food sources for carpet beetles by keeping your home clean and limiting debris, pet hair, and feathers;
- Some natural repellents, such as lavender, cedar, and mint essential oils, can help deter carpet beetles. Place sachets or cotton balls soaked in these oils in closets and high-risk areas.