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Carpet Beetle ControlHow To Control Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are a fairly common pest that you may encounter in your home. Many of us may have discovered them indoors but only a few people truly know what these miniature insects are actually capable of.

Often confused as being “some type of ladybug” because of their similar resemblance in shape and occasional spotted body, Carpet beetles are small dome-shaped insects ranging from an 1/8th of an inch to ¼ of an inch long and with a big appetite for fabric and furniture. While carpet beetles primarily consume elements from fabrics and carpeting (hence the name) they are also a known pest around the kitchen, getting into food products.

Recently we’ve been seeing an upward trend of this bug appearing in homes and businesses and so we wanted to dedicate a page to this insect to inform people about this bug and how to best control the carpet beetle.

Shop our top expert recommended products for carpet beetle control below and scroll further down the page to see what the experts say about getting rid of carpet beetles using our simple to follow 4 step process.

How To Get Rid of Carpet Beetles: Solutions 4 Step Process

Step 1: Identification - Before you bust out the chemicals, it's important to first confirm that the pest you are having a problem with is actually the carpet beetle and not some other insect. Proper ID is essential because there are some insecticides out there specifically labeled to treat and control carpet beetles while other products which are not labeled for carpet beetle control will not work against controlling the infestation.

Carpet beetles are small dome-shaped insects ranging from a 1/8th of an inch to ¼ of an inch long and with a big appetite for fabric and furniture. Carpet beetles are often confused as a ladybug due to their similar resemblance in shape and occasionally spotted body. In it's most destructive larval stage, the carpet beetle is about 5 mm long, oval, and covered with brown hair.


If you are having trouble identifying your pest as a carpet beetle, don't fret. Simply take a closeup picture of the pest and send it to us at identification@solutionsstores.com. We will have one of our expert entomologists respond back to you with a proper ID of the plant. On top of that, we will offer you tips and product recommendations to control the hairy little bug.


Step 2: Inspection - Once you have identified and are certain that the pest you've encountered is a carpet beetle, it is time to inspect to see where the carpet beetles are hiding out and to gauge just how severe of an infestation you have on your hands. As their name suggests, carpet beetles like carpet so start your inspection there. Carpet beetles are attracted to natural fibers such as wool, cotton, silk, pet fur and human hair. 

Carpet beetles also like dark secluded areas where they can do their thing undisturbed so make sure to check closets, attics, basements and other storage spaces that are not entered into much. Aside from these areas, they are also a known pest around the kitchen, getting into food products. Once you have pinpointed where they have been active (more details on inspection below) you can proceed with control.


Step 3: Control - Our top recommended products to control carpet beetles include Pyrid Aerosol to kill carpet beetles directly and Reclaim IT insecticide mixed with an insect growth regulator to serve as a barrier treatment to keep carpet beetles from coming indoors and to prevent carpet beetle eggs from hatching. For hard to reach areas, use a dust such as Alpine Dust or D-Fense dust with the help of a handheld duster. For pests that are tucked away inside the carpeting, we recommend vacuuming or steam treating your carpet to suck up or kill the lingering carpet beetles.


Step 4: Prevention -  Preventing carpet beetles involves a mixture of sanitation (cleanup, decluttering indoors and outdoors) as well as exclusion (sealing up cracks and crevices to reduce points of entry). We recommend using Black Out Pest Control Foam to seal up any little gaps and holes around your home so carpet beetles will find it more difficult to come inside.


carpet beetle closeupLearn More About Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles belong to the family of beetles known as dermestids. Despite their name, carpet beetles are not naturally born and raise up out of carpets but in fact are naturally outdoor bugs who make their way indoors in some form or fashion. These pests are commonly found in warehouses, homes, museums, and other locations where suitable food exists.


There are four main species of Carpet beetles. These include the Black Carpet Beetles and the varied, common and furniture carpet beetles. An adult Black Carpet Beetle is black in color and oblong shaped and ranges in size from 1/8" up to 3/16" in length.  The other three are about the same size but differentiate themselves with a variety of different colored wings. Carpet beetles go through a complete metamorphosis.

What makes carpet beetles a particularly problematic pest in households is their usual ability to consume and digest keratin, the chief protein component of skin and hair. This affinity for keratin affords them the ability to target and eat clothing, carpeting and upholstery. They have been reported to be a significant pest in homes, storage facilities, museums, and clothing stores. They can also be hazardous to some humans with asthma as their ability to discard molt skins from the larval stage can trigger asthmatic symptoms.


Additional Facts About the Carpet Beetle

Carpet beetles are found in every region of the United States. They are primarily spotted outdoors feeding upon various types of plants. Summer time is the prime season when carpet beetle populations are most active and often the way they get into homes is via open windows or doors cracked open. The carpet beetles flying ability helps to make it easy for them to find ways indoors, particularly by the allure of scents and odors that attract them from within.


Carpet beetles vary when it comes to what color they are. It is very unlikely that any two carpet beetles will look exactly the same.

Some carpet beetles will be darker colored while others are lighter.  Some may be spotted while others are solid colored.  Although their look and coloration vary, a trained eye can properly identify them.


Once inside, female carpet beetles will begin searching for a place to lay eggs. Adults which have fed during the summer months mate and females will spend their time laying eggs. Carpet beetles of all types look similar in appearance to ladybugs but are smaller in size. The female carpet beetles will lay between 50 and 100 eggs on surfaces in areas believed to be ideal for the hatched larvae to have food.


Carpet beetle larvae are actually the most damaging stage in the life cycle. The larvae will devour practically anything they come in contact with. Common items they consume includes carpeting, furniture, clothing, drapery, pet or human hair, and just about anything made from natural materials.


Carpet beetles knack for locating food allows them to reside on various items found in the home. Often, people will discover small pockets of carpet beetles under furniture, in between carpeting and baseboards, under area rugs, or in closets. Carpet beetles have a habit of floating to different areas of the home if not controlled.


carpet beetle in hidingCarpet Beetle Inspection and Control Tips

Our experts here at Solutions Pest and Lawn want to help you and your family deal with these problem pests so we present to you the following tips and product recommendations below in order to eliminate this insect from your home or building.


1. Look for Signs of Carpet Beetle presence

While carpet beetle adults primarily like to feed on pollen and are of no consequence to homeowners, the bulk of their damage comes during the larvae stage. Carpet beetle larvae are responsible for causing damage to clothing, carpeting, and other home products which contain natural fibers. These bugs can be found usually by finding traces of their discarded molt skins in dark closets. Be observant as you look for them as they have also been found in the folds of clothing that have been stored away, on the brims of hats and in areas where dust accumulates.


2. How To Locate Carpet Beetles

Again the main offender of carpet beetles are when they are in the larvae stage. In the larvae stage, the slow-moving larvae can typically be found in dark, closed off areas inside of closets, underneath furniture and those narrow areas where carpeting meets the wall. Adult Carpet beetles, on the other hand, have wings and are capable of flight, and are typically attracted to light and windows. It is not uncommon to find that the source of a carpet beetle larvae infestation to be in a pile of old or neglected clothing in a basement attic. This makes it imports to be thorough during your inspection and search of carpet beetles.


3. Recommended products for Carpet Beetle control

To control carpet beetles, Solutions Pest and Lawn recommends using a residual, chemical pesticide such as Reclaim IT to manage infestations. This is a highly effective liquid insecticide and the active ingredient can continue to control bugs for several weeks. Another great option are aerosol sprays such as Pyrid Pyrethrin Aerosol and EcoPCO ACU Contact Aerosol can be an effective way to control Carpet beetles, as the active ingredient controls for several weeks.


These sprays contain natural ingredients and are safe to use in to home and around pets and children. Alternatively, using a product made from Diatomaceous earth is another natural solution for Carpet beetle infestations, like Alpine Dust Insecticide. DE is a powdery white dust which functions as an insecticide by destroying the insect’s outer protective shell, causing suffocation and dehydration, resulting in death.


This is also non-toxic and safe to use and apply around the home. Browse our carpet beetle products below and as always, feel free to email us or give us a call and one of our knowledgeable representatives to further assist you with your order or with any pest problems you have.

Common Nesting Areas of Carpet Beetlescarpet beetle on carpet

You may find a group of carpet beetles nestled in a piece of furniture in the living room and find another pocket of carpet beetles in a closet upstairs. These groupings, especially when there is a big infestation, may be formed either from multiple beetles finding a way inside the home or even a single female laying eggs in a secluded area which have all hatched. It is in these cases where when conducting control treatments to treat the entire home and not just spot treating certain areas.


Perhaps the area where carpet beetles are most commonly found which can aggravate homeowners is a closet. Usually, in such circumstances, carpet beetles would be munching on clothing and the holes they leave behind are often confused as being from a clothes moth.


The main difference between a moth feeding on clothing and a carpet beetle feed is that moth larvae often stay where they have been feeding as they transition from larvae into an adult. Carpet beetles, on the other hand, will move to a different area when pupating, away from the clothing itself. When you see no trace of a bug in your clothing, you can rest assured that the damage was the work of carpet beetles.


Additional Resources on Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetles | University of Kentucky Entomology


Carpet Beetle Management Guidelines--UC IPM


Carpet Beetles - National Pesticide Information Center - Oregon State

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