Although harmless, carpet beetles or Anthrenus scrophulariae are a pest that can cause great damage to our belongings, such as carpets, leather fabrics, or furniture. Compared to other types of beetles, these are quite small (they usually do not exceed half a centimeter in size), have an oval shape, are covered by a hard shell that looks like scales, and comes in various colors (brown, yellow, and white). The larvae take two weeks to hatch, and from then on, they begin to cause damage.
It usually lives in flowers, but in times of drought, when there is little vegetation, they can move into the houses. When they are in a more rural environment, their diet is based on nectar and pollen from flowers, but when they arrive at our homes, they feed on wool, some animal skins, feathers, bristles, that is, any tissue of animal origin. For this reason, if we are going to bring flowers at home, it is also important to inspect them first.
Where do carpet beetles hide?
To be able to fight carpet beetles, you need to find where they hide first. Fighting only makes sense where they hide. Often some corners cannot be reached with a vacuum cleaner that is often overlooked during cleaning activities.
- Behind and under beds and upholstered furniture
- On carpets
- Places that are somewhat in the dark there (under the upholstered furniture or cupboards)
- In wardrobes and laundry baskets
- In bed boxes, chests, and boxes in which textiles are stored
- In the case of upholstered furniture in the cracks, between the upholstery
- In animal beds and resting places, even in bird cages
- In furs and skins
- Even in shoes, usually with fur
- In bags, especially in those that have not been used for a long time.
Types of Carpet Beetles
The three most common types of carpet beetles are varied carpet beetles, furniture beetles, and black carpet beetles.
Sometimes we can confuse them with bed bugs. These are larger, blackish-brown or reddish, live on mattresses, paint, furniture, and feed on blood, so they are not as harmless as beetles.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles in Your House Naturally
We can get rid of this pest without calling professionals, but for this, we will need to be patient and follow the following tips:
- Learn to recognize them, either by their shape and color or by the fecal pellets they give off and find the origin of the pest (where there is more concentration).
- Regularly clean carpets, fabric upholstery, furniture, bookshelves, etc., and removes the remains of hair, dead insects, spider webs, or any other element that can serve as food or as a nest to lay eggs.
- Although the most common is that they go to fabrics, we can also find them in darker places, such as ventilation ducts or baseboards.
- Wash fabrics in hot soapy water.
- Get rid of infested clothing items to prevent re-proliferation.
- Set glue traps. These act in adults to prevent them from laying eggs.
- Use special insecticides for carpet beetles. They are recommended, especially those that contain chlorpyrifos, bendiocarbos, and allethrin.
- Boric acid is also a good way to get rid of them very quickly, so you can sprinkle it on infested areas.
- Remember to wear gloves and wash your hands well after each application.
- You can store some clothes in plastic bags and expose the clothes to the sun since beetles are susceptible to sunlight.
- Lastly, apply liquid insecticides around the perimeter of the house and remove nearby nests.
How to Prevent carpet beetle infestation
You can do all sorts of things to prevent the beetles and their offspring. There is no such thing as 100% protection, but it will work if you know what to look for. Extreme cleanliness is a good start.
- Vacuum regularly and thoroughly, especially carpets and upholstered furniture.
- Mop floors regularly
- Regularly clean the pets’ beds, if possible, wash them in the washing machine.
- Wash seasonal clothing and seal it airtight before storage
- Let a lot of light in cupboards, because insects don’t like brightness.
- Spread the mothballs and cedarwood
- Flyscreens in front of windows and doors
- Set up pheromone traps outside the living room
- Open dark storage containers regularly, clean them, and leave the light on them
- Do not leave food standing around openly