How to Get Rid of Dermestid Beetles

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How to Get Rid of Dermestid Beetles

How to Get Rid of Dermestid Beetles

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Supreme IT Insecticide
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Keith's Pro Tips

"As inconvenient as it may be, it is necessary to get rid of all those clothing items that are badly infested with Dermestid Beetles when conducting initial cleanup before applying pesticides. Heavily infested clothes are usually no longer suitable for use anyway."

Dermestid Beetle Control: How to Get Rid of Dermestid Beetles

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of Dermestid beetles from your property using the products and methods suggested by our experienced pest control specialists. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee you will be successful in eliminating Dermestid beetles.

There are many types of beetles that you may come across in your home and yard. Some may be relatively harmless and nothing more than a nuisance, but others can be very damaging, like the Dermestid Beetle. These types of beetles come from an insect family known for eating skin.

Dermestid Beetles are scavenger beetles and depending on the species they are known to eat dead insects, wool, stored grains, carpet, and the skin of dead animals. In fact, they are so good at eating away at flesh that they are used in taxidermy and bone preservation.

Encountering a Dermestid Beetle in your home such as in your pantry, closets or storage areas is a cause for concern and action should be taken because they do multiply in large numbers. If you are dealing with an infestation of Dermestid Beetles, follow our helpful DIY guide below to learn how you can eliminate this bothersome pest quickly using our advice and product recommendations.


Deremestid Beetle

Before you can proceed with treatment, you need to be sure that the pest you are dealing with is a Dermestid Beetle and not some other insect. Misidentification can lead to using the wrong treatment methods and products, which can end up being a large waste of time and money.

  • There are nearly 700 species of Dermestid beetles found around the world. In the US alone, there are around 120 species of them.
  • Adult Dermestid beetles are 2 to 5 millimeters long and oval-shaped.
  • They have dots and patterns of different colors on their body. Usually you will see a black, brown or yellow pattern on their exoskeleton.
  • The larvae of dermestid beetles are more notorious for damaging fabrics and have hair protrusions on end of their bodies.
  • Dermestid Beetle larvae are fuzzy-looking and are brownish to reddish colored. The larvae shed it's skin multiple times during their development and these left behind skins are one of the most obvious signs of an infestation present.

Use the description and image above to properly identify Dermestid Beetles on your property. If you are not entirely sure, contact us and we will have one of our pros assist you with correct identification.


Dermestid beetle on towel

Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with dermestid beetles, you can move on to inspection. During this phase, you will need to find out where the Dermestid Beetles are located and the places they are infesting. This will help you in determining where to focus your treatment application.

Where To Inspect

Dermestid beetles can damage any fabric or upholstered item. Nearly every household item is prone to their damage, including mattresses, traditional furniture fillings, and curtains. Carpets are the most vulnerable fabric product to get damaged by dermestid beetles due to resting on the floor. Carpets also cover a large area, making it easier for beetles to infest without getting noticed.

What To Look For 

You will need to look for the Dermestid Beetle themselves, signs of damage caused by them, or the beetle's left behind droppings. Dermestid Beetle droppings, or fecal pellets, are about the size of a grain of salt. But there will be a noticeable accumulation of the pellets where the beetles are infesting.

Shed skin will also be present in infested areas. If you find any of these on your carpets or furniture upholstery, then you should confirm the presence of Dermestid Beetles. Do this by inspecting for small chewed patches or if there are cocoons or tubes present then it is confirmed that the place is infested with these beetles.


Once you have confirmed Dermestid Beetle activity it's time to begin treatment. Remember that you must read all the product labels and follow the application instructions on these labels, and stay safe by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

For treating Dermestid Beetles, we recommend a combination of cleaning measures such as vacuuming to remove the beetles with professional insecticides. After a thorough vacuuming, applying Supreme IT to cracks and crevices inside the home as well as create a perimeter barrier outside of your home. We also recommend spraying an IGR such as Gentrol Aerosol indoors to put a stop to the life cycle and a new generation of Dermestid Beetles. 

Step 1 - Vacuum Your Home

Vacuuming indoors

If you have found a Deremestid Beetles indoors in your pantry or storage areas or even on your carpet, you must vacuum to get rid of the infestation. In your pantry, we recommend throwing out every dried food item that isn't in a tightly sealed glass or plastic container, old or new. 

Once items are thrown away and your pantry is cleaned out you should then thoroughly vacuum the pantry. The pantry shelves should be vacuumed from top to bottom as well as the pantry floor and the ceiling, if possible. Use a crevice attachment to ensure that there are no areas that are overlooked. Pay close attention to the edges of the shelves as well as the wall and floor areas.

Vacuum your carpets and upholstered furniture well and do so daily until you see no further adult pest activity.

Step 2 - Spray Supreme IT

Reclaim Perimater Treatment for Beetles

Supreme IT is a broad-spectrum insecticide that is labeled for treating beetles. It also has a long residual effect that continues to kill for up to 90 days after application.

To apply Supreme IT, simply mix water in a hand pump sprayer then add Supreme IT at a rate of 1 oz per gallon to cover 1,000 sq. ft. Shake well and pump your sprayer. Apply the product indoors around cracks and crevices such as your baseboards, corners, edges of carpeting and other areas where you have noticed or would suspect Dermestid Beetle activity.

Next, you should spray a perimeter treatment of Supreme around the outside of your home and structure to create a barrier that will keep Dermestid Beetles out. Spray around doors and windows, around the foundation going up 2 or 3 feet then spray any other possible points of entry.

Step 3 - Spray Gentrol Aerosol

Gentrol Aerosol

After spraying the Supreme IT, we recommend applying an IGR such as Gentrol Aerosol indoors to prevent the rebounding of the Dermestid Beetles infestation. Insect growth regulators disrupt the molting process of beetles which stops the larvae beetles to grow into adults. This mixture will simultaneously kill beetles and stop their reproduction.

Gentrol Aerosol should be applied at a rate of 16 ounces per 1,200 sq. ft. of surface area. Shake the can well and then hold the can 10 to 12 inches away from the surface area to be treated and spray using a sweeping motion over the surface for complete coverage.

To treat crack and crevices, attach the extension tube and apply to wall voids, storage areas, closets, around doors and windows and under appliances, furniture and beds where you suspect beetle activity.


Washing bed sheets to prevent Dermestid Beetles

After the Dermestid Beetles have been eliminated from your home, you will need to make sure they don't make a comeback. Here are some preventative measures we suggest to keep Dermestid infestations from happening again.

  • Clean your clothing regularly in the washer and dryer. Clothes that seem clean and unaffected might be hosting beetle eggs, therefore, it is necessary to wash them. Using hot water with detergent can help in getting rid of any traces of Dermestid Beetles on your unspoiled clothes.

  • Check your pantry regularly for pantry pests. Throw out old or unused dried foods and keep the foods you wish to keep sealed in air-tight containers.
  • Inspect your place for any wall gaps, cracks, or holes in the walls and vents if you find any, have them sealed or filled with caulk.

  • Lastly, spray a quarterly treatment of Supreme IT around your home and yard for continued beetle and insect control.

Key Takeaways

What are Dermestid Beetles?

  • Dermestid beetles are beetles known for eating skin and carpeting and commonly infest pantries and clothing.

How To Get Rid of Dermestid Beetles

  • We recommend a combination of vacuum cleaning and applying Supreme IT and Gentrol Aerosol to control infestations.

Preventing Dermestid Beetle Reinfestation

  • Seal points of entry around your home, reduce clutter and spray a quarterly treatment of Supreme IT to prevent Dermestid Beetles from reinfesting.
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