Worldwide, carpet beetles are one of the most common household pests. Compared to mosquitoes, they are quite big, they are non-venomous and they don’t often bite.
But even without their bites, carpet beetles can still contaminate your food and make you very sick. For that reason, carpet beetles are not among the kind of insects you want to keep around. And that’s why many people look for ways to get rid of them.
To help out, we’ve compiled some of the best natural means you can use to get rid of carpet beetles. Find your way between the lines splatted over this article and find the one that best suits you.
Are Carpet Beetles Destructive?
One thing to note about carpet beetles is that the adults and the larvae have different habits. For instance, they both feed on different kinds of food.
As for the adult carpet beetles, materials like plant nectars, pollen grains, and household cereals like flour, rice, and wheat form the major part of their food. So, in gardens and on ornamental flowers, the adults tend to be more destructive than the larvae.
On the other hand, carpet beetle larvae tend to feed more on fabric materials like wool, cotton, leather, fur, and even feathers. As such, they cause more damage indoors than in gardens.
Worse still, carpet beetle larvae can survive for weeks without food. This, thus, makes them even more destructive than the adults.
Because anytime there’s food scarcity, the baby carpet beetles can easily remain dormant in your house and spring back up when they sense food. For this reason, they are very difficult to detect and eliminate.
Are Carpet Beetles Found Only on Carpets?
You see, the name “carpet” attached to the beetles may make you think that carpet beetles are found only on carpets. But that would be wrong because they are known by other names as well.
Some of these names include larder beetles, leather beetles, hide beetles, skin beetles, and khapra beetles.
So, your first step when battling carpet beetles would be to locate their hiding spots. Some of these places include:
- Dark areas around pantries, kitchen cabinets, and baseboards.
- Wardrobes filled with clothes
- Gaps between furniture items like sofa, armchairs and the like.
- Bathrooms and many more.
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What Substances Get Rid of Carpet Beetles Naturally?
- Diatomaceous Earth.
For decades now, food-grade diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective natural pesticides out there. It works by breaking down the exoskeleton of the pest due to the abrasive nature of its tiny particles.
As such, the affected pests begin to lose oil and fats from their skins. Like that, they begin to dry up from the inside out, and eventually, they die.
So, like other pests, carpet beetles also die from eventual dehydration when they come in contact with diatomaceous earth. But to use it, you must sprinkle the dust at a strategic location where the beetle will receive a direct blow.
Although, it might take a few weeks before all the affected carpet beetles will die after coming in contact with diatomaceous earth. But once they are dead, it’s forever because the dust will continue to repel them, thus preventing the carpet beetles from coming back.
- Essential Oils.
Yes, it is true that oftentimes, essential oils can only act as pest repellents. But sometimes, some essential oils would not only repel the targeted pest; they will also kill the pests.
As for carpet beetles, the following essential oils will come in handy:
- Cedarwood oil.
This essential oil contains a pungent woody scent that can kill carpet beetles trapped within tight gaps with suffocation. So, it is a good choice when looking to kill carpet beetles around cabinets and crevices in furniture.
- Cinnamon Oil.
This essential oil should not be used alone. Instead, you need to mix it with a carrier oil like jojoba oil. Because oftentimes when cinnamon oil comes in contact with your bare skin, it can cause rashes.
- Clove Essential oil.
This one contains an active insecticidal compound called Eugenol. It is this Eugenol that kills the carpet beetles. However, to use clove essential oil as a carpet beetle killer, you need to apply it directly to the beetles.
Other essential oils like peppermint oil, Neem oil, and castor oil only serve as carpet beetle repellent. Although some of them like peppermint oil can interrupt the normal functioning of the pheromones and neurotransmitters in these insects. When that happens, the beetle might get lost and starvation may set in.
Can You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles on Your Own with Home-made Remedies?
Yes, you can get rid of carpet beetles yourself. In fact, there are several cheap and household substances that you can use to this effect. Let’s look at some of them below:
Most vinegar types can only repel carpet beetles. But there’s a way to upgrade the apple cider vinegar from an ordinary carpet beetle repellent to a beetle killer.
To do this, you will have to mix the cider vinegar with lukewarm water that’s about twice the amount of vinegar. Say two cups of vinegar in about 10 liters of water.
Afterward, you can then mix the cocktail with a carpet cleaner, bottle it up in a can and spray as needed.
The mixture will not only drain the skin cells of the adults and larvae; the scent from the vinegar will also keep them from coming back.
You should note that other vinegar can work just as fine as apple cider or white vinegar. But we recommended it because it doesn’t stain upholsteries.
- Rubbing Alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is also another good household substance that kills carpet beetles, especially the larvae. Because like diatomaceous earth, it dries the targeted larvae from the inside out.
However, to use rubbing alcohol as a beetle killer, you need to apply it directly to the beetles. Otherwise, all efforts will be futile.
Then again, you need to re-apply the alcohol from time to time because it doesn’t stick to surfaces for very long due to its high evaporating ability.
- Boric Acid.
To get boric acid, you might need to walk down to a store and request for borax – the powdery form of boric acid.
Once you have it, you can dilute it in water and spray it on infected areas like carpets, and other places.
However, you should know that boric acid is dangerous to both humans and pets when swallowed in large amounts.
So, oftentimes, it is not recommended for use around pets and kids. But it does help to kill carpet beetles which is why we featured it on this list. But as earlier said, using boric acid to kill carpet beetles is not pet-safe.
- Baking Soda.
Baking soda can kill carpet beetles in two ways. When sprinkled on the beetles’ skin, they die of dehydration as explained earlier.
But to hasten the beetles’ death, you find a way to mix baking soda with some cereals and flour.
The cereal will act as an attractant to draw the beetles closer. When consumed, the baking soda in the food bait will react with the acid in the beetle’s stomach.
When that happens, the targeted carpet beetles will die of gas blockage of their intestines and lungs.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles in Cars.
- Examine your car to locate the hiding spots of the carpet beetles. Oftentimes, you will see them in small enclosed regions in the car and under the rubber carpets.
- Use hot-steam to clean your entire car. This will kill off the adult beetles and their larvae.
- Vacuum the entire car and empty the trash bag.
- Spray the car with dilute vinegar to kill the surviving beetles and then vacuum again.
- Keep an air freshener made out of lavender or peppermint in your car. This will help repel future carpet beetles.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles in Bed or Mattress or Couch or Carpets.
- Vacuum the entire house. But pay more attention to beds, furniture, carpets, and rugs.
- Clean again with a steam cleaner. The hot steam will help to kill off the remaining beetles and eggs.
- Wash all clothes and beddings with lukewarm water and fragrant detergent. Afterward, try to sun-dry them.
- Sprinkle borax on beds, carpets, and furniture and leave the dust for about two hours. You can then vacuum the dust later.
FAQs on How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles.
- How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
Other natural methods like using diatomaceous earth can take up to weeks. Whereas, boiling water can kill off the carpet beetles (adult or larva) within minutes. So, the choice is all yours to make.
- How Do Exterminators Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
Most substances kill carpet beetles by scraping off their exoskeleton and dehydrating them. Good ones that act like this are diatomaceous earth and rubbing alcohol.
Others like boric acid kill carpet beetles by disrupting their metabolism. As such, they act as poison when ingested by the beetles.
Whereas, a few essential oils get rid of carpet beetles by messing with the beetles’ ability to locate food and communicate to other members. That way, the affected beetle will get lost and may later die of starvation.
Oftentimes, many people find it very hard to get rid of carpet beetles because they use less effective methods.
In this article, we highlighted several natural things like diatomaceous earth and homemade remedies like vinegar for getting rid of beetles.
Find your way to the sections and learn about the best methods for killing carpet beetles permanently and in a jiffy.