CARPET BEETLE CONTROL


There are several species of carpet beetles found throughout the United States. The more common species include the varied carpet beetle, the common carpet beetle and the furniture carpet beetle. Others are the hide beetle and the odd beetle. These pests are more common than people realize. This is true because they usually don’t develop into large populations that are easy to find. You are likely to find one or two every now and then but since they live in hidden areas “out of sight”, they seem to be “out of mind”. Unfortunately, their populations will readily grow and will cause a lot of damage.

 

Related articles (other fabric damaging pests):          BLACK CARPET BEETLES          CIGARETTE BEETLES          CLOTHING MOTHS          FURNITURE BEETLES          SILVERFISH

Other information:      PEST ARTICLES

 

CARPET BEETLE BIOLOGY

Carpet beetles exist throughout the entire United States. They live outside feeding on many types of plants. During the summer months, when populations are most active, they will find their way into homes through windows and open doors. Carpet beetles can fly so it is easy for them to get inside. It is not known why they seem ready to get into our homes, but it is suspected there are certain scents or odors which lure them. Like the common house fly, carpet beetles seem to know when doors or windows are open. If they enter at this time, they are usually looking for a place to lay eggs. Adults which have fed during the summer months mate and females will spend their time laying eggs. All types of carpet beetles resemble lady bugs, but are smaller – about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of a lady bug. The coloration of carpet beetles vary. Like snow flakes, it is not likely you will find similar patterns on specimens unless they are gathered from the same home. Only then is it likely they were from the same crop. Their color may range from light to dark. You may find some with different colored spots on their wings. Some are solid in color. Although their look and coloration vary, a trained eye can properly identify them.

Once inside the home, female carpet beetle will look for a place to lay eggs. She will lay 50 to 100 eggs on surfaces that she feels will provide good food for the larva when they hatch. Larva are the stage which cause all the damage. They eat just about anything. Common food includes carpet, furniture, clothes, drapery, pet or human hair, antiques, and just about anything which is made of or has natural material in it. For example, most synthetic carpets have some natural content mixed in during the manufacturing process.

Carpet beetles have been observed living on such fabric although the natural materials added to the fiber was only 10%. This ability to find food will enable them to live on many items throughout the home. Most people will find pockets of adults or larva. This is common on the underside of furniture, along the baseboard where carpet meets molding, under area rugs, or in closets.

Carpet beetles only lay eggs once a year, although established populations in the home may do so twice. Adults live 2-4 years, so they are capable of laying several hundred eggs during their life span. Since they seem to attracted to light, there is no real pattern to how or where they may infest a home. You may find a pocket nesting in a piece of furniture and then another upstairs in your closet. These pockets could have been formed by different beetles coming into the home or an adult could have left the furniture downstairs and found it’s way into the closet. Because of this random behavior, it is necessary to treat all the carpeting to insure none are avoiding control methods. Many people will make the mistake of not treating certain areas or furniture. This is not recommended. Though you may have only found a few in one area of the home, it is likely others are elsewhere. Since they like to live deep in carpeting, it is hard to find every place they may be residing.

 

CARPET BEETLE INFESTATIONS

The most frustrating type of infestation is one which is thought to be in a closet. Most clothes which are found to have a hole or two chewed in them are immediately diagnosed as having been eaten by clothes moths. In fact, it is much more likely the insect causing the damage is a carpet beetle. Moth infestations are easy to identify because you will find adult moths flying around the clothing they are infesting. You will readily find adult moths, pupa casing or cocoons and larva in your clothes. They tend to stay where they are feeding. Carpet beetles are different. Once the larva feeds, they will generally move somewhere else to pupate. They won’t move far, but they usually won’t stay in the clothes either. This is important when treating.

 

CARPET BEETLE CONTROL

Controlling carpet beetle infestations can be difficult. This is true for several reasons. First, they are likely to be active in small areas but there are usually several such areas throughout the home. Second, they tend to be active in hidden areas. Unlike roaches, ants or flying pests, carpet beetles feed and nest out of sight. Though most pests learn to hide out of sight, they tend to feed where we are likely to see them. Carpet beetle infestations are more likely to be discovered because of the damage they do – not because large populations are being found. Third, the cycle of the carpet beetle enables them to have a built in defense mechanism against treatments. Although larva and adults are easily killed, eggs and pupa are not. When you treat, it is likely you will kill adults and larva which are active. However, eggs and pupa which hatch after the residual treatment has worn off can easily establish the population again. To stop this from happening, it is important to treat at least twice and in some cases as many as four times. Though every case may have specific keys to getting success, here are some guidelines for treating:

1) Be sure to treat all carpets. Though your main carpeting may be synthetic, it can likely feed carpet beetles.

2) Don’t ignore area rugs. These are readily infested since they are more likely to have more natural fibers. Be sure to turn the edges up and try to treat 2 feet in on the bottom side if not the entire bottom. Larva will feel right at home under area rugs and if you see some on top, there are probably more on the bottom.

3) Treat all fabric woven furniture. Be sure to turn pieces upside down and get the bottom. If the light fabric on the bottom is hanging low or is torn, spray inside the piece. Larva and adults will readily seek such places.

4) Don’t skimp on chemical applications. Because carpet beetles tend to be deep in carpeting, it is important to have the product penetrate. If you disperse the amount necessary to treat a given area over a larger area, it may not get down deep where it needs to be. This will make the whole treatment ineffective.

5) Understand: Since eggs and pupa are impervious to the chemical treatment, they will continue to live. After 30 days, they may hatch and live as if you never treated. This is why you must treat at least twice. Depending on the product used, you may need to treat once every month for 4-6 months. More about these options will detailed below.

6) Clothing where infestations have been discovered needs to be inspected. Though you can spend a lot of money laundering all your clothes, it is usually not needed. Take a vacuum to all your clothes for a quick and effective way to remove adults, larva, eggs or pupa. Be sure to throw away badly infested pieces.

7) Do a thorough vacuuming of the home before treating. This helps because it will remove some of the beetles as well as get them lifted up or moving where they are active. Your treatment will prove to be more effective if they are stirred up.

The above guidelines are general and apply to most situations. If you have a unique problem which may need some further preparation, be sure to call for suggestions.

 

CARPET BEETLE TREATMENTS

Now that you have vacuumed and allowed for access to furniture and closets, you are ready to treat. Treatment is done with one of our SPRAYERS. Be sure to use one which has a nozzle that sprays in a flat fan. This meansChapin Sprayer it comes out much like the way a paint brush applies paint – in a pattern which is uniform and constant. Nozzles which spray inconsistently will not allow the product to be uniformly distributed over surfaces. This will lead to areas not properly treated which will let the carpet beetles live.

Pump SprayerPump Sprayer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/good/pump-sprayers

 

Watch this short video to see what a “fan pattern” looks like.



CARPET BEETLE LIQUID SPRAY

There are several types of chemicals which that can be used for carpet beetles. For mild infestations, use PERMETHRIN. It has no odor, is easy to mix and will last 2-4 weeks.Permethrin 10 This product is the safest to use as it is used on pets and people for other insect control.

Permethrin 10Permethrin 10:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/permethrin-10

 

D-Fense SCAnother active that’s proven effective on carpet beetles is D-FENSE SC. This material which will last longer – about 4-6 weeks per treatment – and will knock the population down quicker. It uses Deltamethrin for an active which is odorless and effective for many common household pests. You will need to do 2-3 treatments a month with the Permethrin and monthly treatments with the D-Fense for most active infestations. But if you treat following this schedule for at least two months, you’ll break the cycle of the infestation and knock out the problem.

D-Fense SCD-fense SC: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/d-fense-sc.html

 

Now since there can be eggs throughout the infested area, it’s important to think “big” in coverage. This way you insure you get all stages and all that may be hiding somewhere. And since most eggs will hatch inside of two months, in theory the problem should be done in this amount of time. Unfortunately it’s sometimes not that easy.

This is true because carpet beetle eggs are able to live longer and because of this, it may be necessary to treat every month for 4-6 months to get complete control. Every case is different. In general, two treatments will resolve about 50% of the homes treated for carpet beetles. But for the other 50%, 4-6 treatments are needed. This is why some pest control companies will charge $500.00 to $1,000.00 to do a job! It is very likely they will have to come back to the home several times and since there is no way to know how long any one population of carpet beetles will need treatments, they must insure they’re properly covered for a worse case scenario.

 

CARPET BEETLE JUVENILE GROWTH REGULATOR

Nylar IGRNow to help alleviate this potential time span of the infestation, add some INSECT GROWTH REGULATOR to your tank mix when spraying either the Permethrin or D-Fense. Growth Regulators are basically a juvenile hormone which is labeled for many pests and when eggs and larvae are exposed to some in their environment, they’re not able to properly develop into adults.

Nylar IGRNylar: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/igr/igr-nylar

 

So since the above adult formulations only last about a month or so, adding a growth regulator will definitely enhance your treatment and get you longer protection without doing a lot of extra work. Growth Regulator lasts 3 months and helps to stop the likelihood of re-infestations by controlling young carpet beetles before they can grow into reproducing adults. And since there are so many locations for eggs to hide, every tool you’re able to add to your arsenal can make the difference between success and failure.

 

CARPET BEETLE DUST

Deltamethrin DustUnfortunately, liquid sprays are not always well suited for all the areas carpet beetles may be active. Remember, eggs and adults will many times be up and under furniture, hiding below seat cushions out of sight. These sensitive areas are difficult to treat using a liquid. Better suited for the job is either a dust or aerosol. For the underside of furniture, nothing beats a light dusting with some DELTA DUST. This product is light and much like baby powder.

Deltamethrin DustDelta Dust: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/dust/deltamethrin-dust

 

CrusaderUse a CRUSADER to apply some up and into the spaces and voids where carpet beetle larvae love to forage. Dust treatments can last a long time, maybe 6 months or more, and really work well when used in certain locations.

CrusaderHand Duster: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/dusters/crusader

 

This type of treatment is ideal for getting coverage under baseboard molding, where carpets “tuck” under the wood. Carpet beetles love this location and regular liquid spray won’t get into the void adequately. But dusting with Delta Dust will get this area properly treated.

 

CARPET BEETLE AEROSOL SPRAY

Bedlam PlusNow if you have a small area to treat, like some furniture, area rug, hardwood or tiled floors, a closet or an automobile, go with BEDLAM PLUS. It’s practically odorless and has both an adulticide and an egg killer. It’s more costly to use compared to the liquid sprays but because it’s conveniently packed in one can, Bedlam is ideal for small jobs and for flooring where spraying a liquid is not cosmetically possible (like hardwood or tiled floors).

Bedlam PlusBedlam Plus: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/aerosol/bedlam-plus-17-oz.html

 

CARPET BEETLE TRAPS

Dermestid MonitorsOne more tool to employ are some traps/monitors. We have two kinds which can help monitor your problem and though neither are a “solve all”, they should be deployed with most carpet beetle control programs. The first is our DERMESTID MONITOR. These “half dollar” sized discs are full of a food lure carpet beetle larvae love to eat. These monitors will attract larvae from several feet away. Set them in sensitive areas where you didn’t spray and they can serve as an early warning system to missed areas that need treatment. Dermestid Monitors are NOT traps so any larvae you see foraging around, on or inside the discs need to be removed by hand. But since carpet beetle larvae are slow moving, caterpillar like creatures, they’re easy to control and restrain (and they don’t bite).

Dermestid MonitorsDermestid Monitor: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/pheromone-and-food/dermestid-monitors

 

Varied Carpet Beetle TrapFor adult beetles, we have two kinds of CARPET BEETLE TRAPS available: Hanging or Low Profile. The hanging style can be set out around windows or large open areas where adults have been seen flying. Low profile traps should be deployed on furniture, carpets, rugs and other locations that are flat. Keep in mind that unlike the Dermestid Monitors which will attract a wide range of larvae, the pheromone traps are specific to either VARIED CARPET BEETLE or BLACK CARPET BEETLE species. If you’re unsure which species you have, get a few of each but the black species is just that; mostly black. Varied and furniture carpet beetles will vary in color but not be close to the black carpet in look.

Varied Carpet Beetle TrapCarpet Beetle Traps: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/pheromone-and-food/varied-carpet-beetle-trap

Black Carpet Beetle TrapBlack Carpet Beetle Traps: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/pheromone-and-food/black-carpet-beetle-traps

 

These traps will remain active for 1-2 months and should be set throughout the home. Carpet beetles will usually get “in the mood” 2-4 times a year so in general, there will be one month per quarter where the adult beetles should be attracted to the traps you set out.

As stated above, it is important to use the proper amount of product for the area being treated. Be sure not to spread the chemical too thin. Although carpet beetles can be a tough and persistent pest, adulticides like Permethrin, and D-Fense can be used to kill existing beetle populations. Since eggs and pupae will be hatching in a month to three months following your first treatment, repeat the treatment to insure you have gotten complete control. And as suggested, adding Growth Regulator to the mix for added protection is strongly suggested.


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Comments on CARPET BEETLE CONTROL Leave a Comment

July 22, 2012

Jeanne Myers @ 6:11 pm #

What categorizes an infestation? I had 2 new blouses in bags between my closet and my dresser. A turtleneck was purchased on clearance and was out of season. I kept forgetting to put it in storage. The other blouse was the wrong size, needing to be exchanged. It had been there for maybe 2 weeks. When I was deep cleaning, I found a beetle on the turtleneck with one larva. I later saw something that looked like a fiber on the other blouse but when I went to remove it, I swear that it jumped. I assume that, too, was a larva. I have since cleaned the floor of my closet. I found 2 things that could be a molting and one dead beetle. I have moved everything that was on shelves or the floor into the trash or the hot 105 Kansas heat to be cleaned before returning to the treated closet (shoes and blankets). We are treating the carpets today. I assume, from reading this article, that there are more in our home. We are deep cleaning everything this week. We are steaming and treating the carpets. But I am not sure what classifies an infestation.
Thank you, Jeanne

July 23, 2012
September 9, 2012

Elizabeth Smith @ 9:27 pm #

Hi! We appear to have a large carpet beetle infestation (varied)? We originally thought we had clothes moths infestation when we would see random small moths fly out of our closet and saw silken casings like lint on our clothes and when rubbed off noticed holes. After doing a lot of research we realize we have carpet beetles too and a lot. They are now in the larvae phase and all over the house! We originally found the larvae in the carpet under our bed where are cats primarily stay. After cleaning, we have found them in clothes drawers, on books, on socks, on clothes hanging in closets, on shelves. All over my daughters stuffed animals in all rooms of the house. Crawling on wooden toys, in the broom closet, upstairs on towels in guest closet, on guest bed and carpet, under wool and silk rug in living room, under all of the couches as well as between cushions upstairs and downstairs….everywhere. I thought the larvae was clothes moths since we had seen moths, but they are are tiny and fatter… We have seen many, some brown and hairy, some small and cream, some lighter brown. Are all these varied carpet beetle larvae in different stages or could we have other kinds as well? The reason I’m sure that we have the varied ones is I remember in early spring I saw the adult beetles on the window sills and my daughter loved catching them and playing with them thinking they were tiny lady bugs and harmless. I had no idea they would ever lead to this disaster as I have never heard of carpet beetles before. Please give us some advice. Have read your page and it seems we need everything for this infestation!! I am totally overwhelmed!! Half of our house is wood floor and other half carpet. We have a 3 year old and 2 indoor cats. We need something safe for them and are willing to do whatever it takes! Thank you so much! -Liz

September 10, 2012
October 3, 2012

jes @ 1:07 pm #

Hi,
Does the permethrin kill larvae or just adults? Is it deltamethrin or something else? Thanks!

October 15, 2012

Mag @ 12:18 am #

We moved to a new House 4 years ago. I remember seeing some little bugs once in a while but because I was most of the time out of home, I didn’t pay a lot of attention. I thought they were lady bugs! … Now I’m a stay home mom and I noticed a lot of bugs (now I know is larvae!) mainly in our carpet, everywhere. We live in a town home and they are in all levels of the house. I see them close to the walls, hiding close to the base of furniture, in the wood floor and inside our kitchen cabinets and sometimes walls. I feel so frustrated! My baby is starting to crawl but I don’t want her to move anywhere! Every time I see one of these I want to cry! We had our carpet professionally washed and they still appear. We bought a Dyson vacuum and they are still everywhere. I noticed that they haven’t been in our clothes. I have found several of them in the stairs lately. I’m so stressed about them that I developed the knack to see them :(

I’m thinking even in changing the carpet for the whole house (would this help?)… Please give me some advise of what can I do. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to get ripped off if I hire and exterminator ( I’m in Seattle).

Mag

October 31, 2012

Marie Blackman @ 8:17 am #

Hi,
My carpet beetle problem started in September. Since then I had to throw away my living room set because it was a nest of larvae inside each sofa. I cleaned my house thoroughly, I threw away clothes and bags where the beetles were present. So instead of me seeing lots of beetles at one time like I use to, I may see one or two around the house now. It’s so frustrating!! I did as much as I can. Why are they still present in my home? Where else can these annoying bugs be hiding out? I would have to do the job myself because hiring a exterminator can be costly.

December 10, 2012

Ginny @ 1:37 pm #

I’m worried about the spray on my upholstered furniture and antique oriental rugs. Does it stain? Will they have discoloration or a strange smell? How long until we can sit on the furniture again?

January 3, 2013

Michal @ 7:17 pm #

Please help. I just moved in to a co-op and I have carpet beetles under my stairs. My stairs are carpet. They’re on every step that means they’re everywhere. How do I get rid of them? Please help!!

January 15, 2013

jean @ 9:15 pm #

DESPERATE 4 help/understanding/relating to a nightmare my imagination cannot fathom! “INFESTED” doesn’t give enough credit 2 what is going on in my home. Carpet beetle larvae everywhere! I truly mean “everywhere”. I have contracted with a reputable extermination company. I feel I shouldn’t be finding at least 7+ larvae alive a day.

Nobody understands what I am going through and was even disbelieving until recently because my house looks clean and nobody see’s bugs running across my floor. I am disheartened and need someone to ask questions that understands carpet beetles. I am only now really finding the extent of problem. I am horrified with the # of cast skins I find everyday. I have spent thousands already and I don’t know where to turn. Please advise!

January 16, 2013
February 13, 2013

marianne @ 8:54 pm #

I am planning on having my house tented for drywood termites soon. I am sure after reading the above article that I also have carpet beetles. I have not seen evidence of them but have had a lot of my cotton clothes ruined with small clothes. It disheartens me to read they thrive where there are pets —I have 4 dogs and 5 cats!!

Anyway, can you tell me if the gas they use in tenting (Vikane) also kills carpet beetles?

Thanks

Marianne

March 30, 2013

Jo @ 3:27 pm #

I saw three beetles crawling on my favorite old blanket and immediately threw it away. For the past month, I would see one or two in my room, as that is the ONLY room that has carpeting, but have spotted three or four in roundabout places. How do I treat this, considering the rest of my place has hardwood floors or tile?

Thanks!

April 20, 2013

Edit @ 3:20 pm #

I found larva about 20-30 larva in my car. The pest control companies that I contacted told me that they do not treat cars. Any suggestions?

Michel @ 9:55 pm #

I think I just discovered carpet beetles in my closet. I have been in the house for three years and kept a laundry bag of clothes that needed alterations in the closet for the last three years. It was right below my hanging clothes. I am about to move, so I was pulling the bag out to see what I could keep. The top two items were brand new and seemed fine with no damage but the third piece was a sweater that was completely eaten away. I looked more closely a the bag and could see casings throughout. I rushed to get a trash bag, wrap it up and put it outside. I also spayed a couple shots of lysol into the closet and on the bag before I handled it and put it into the trash bag. Did this help? I have not, in 3 years, seen any damage to my hanging cloths. But I want to know how to handle the closet to keep this thing from spreading.

I can’t even say that I have seen any adults in the house while I have been here. Before I pull anything out I want to know the best course of action. Should I be worried about my hanging clothes?

April 21, 2013
May 5, 2013

derek @ 12:02 am #

@Tech Support:

So if I understand correctly, you are suggesting spraying and treating the area before laundering or dry cleaning the clothes in the closet? If at all?

Thanks,
Derek

May 9, 2013

Jayne @ 8:36 pm #

I know I have a carpet beetle infestation as I have seen casings, larvae, and now beetles near windows and doors as well as small holes in some of our clothes. We rent our home so I don’t have too many options (knowing my landlord she’ll say it’s my fault and I must take care of it). We are planning on moving in a few months and I was wondering how I can make sure I don’t pack this beetle and move it with us. What would you recommend? Thanks, Jayne

May 10, 2013

Julianne @ 10:00 am #

Hi. We recently discovered carpet beetle larva in our closet. We just moved from an apartment that was infested with them and I was hoping we wouldn’t bring the problem to our new home. Unfortunately, it appears we did. Having dealt with this issue for the past couple of years (my landlord never took the appropriate measures to deal with the problem), I am sick over the fact they’re here. I thought I did all that I could to prevent any from “hitching a ride”. I’ve only seen the two larva, but knowing the nature of this pest, I’m assuming there are more somewhere. Needless to say, I’m frustrated and do not want to deal with this anymore. Obviously, I want to deal with the situation in the most effective and speedy way possible so it doesn’t reach the severity it did at our apartment. However, I need to do so in a safe way as I have 3 very young children. Are there any products I should not use because of the kids? Thank you for you advice.

May 30, 2013

Sally @ 12:53 pm #

Hi there,

We have all wooden floors except for some area carpets. I found carpet beetles/larvae on a woolen area carpet and some larvae in clothes in boxes on the floor all in the kids room and also some larvae in the connecting room in some of my woolen clothes 2 weeks ago (no damage was yet done). 2-3 days later I decided to throw away the carpet. After careful cleaning (clothes/fabrics/toys through hot washes and in plastic bags) and vacuuming I haven’t seen any since Sunday (4 days ago).

My question is whether or not I need to seriously worry about areas where I didn’t see them? I didn’t see a beetle or larvae on the two area carpets in the lounge room or in the hallway. (I only found a few adults by the window in the lounge room). I have been vacuuming these carpets regardless. Do I still need to treat them?

And the second question is how long do I need to go without seeing a larvae to take a deep breath out and know that the problem is behind me?

Your informed opinion would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you.

Sally

June 8, 2013

Mel @ 2:21 pm #

Thank you for the extremely informative article. I plan to purchase the products you recommended and begin treating my home immediately. We’re now going on a SIX YEAR carpet beetle struggle that seems to disappear and then return in cars and homes that were not previously infested. We’ve never treated with pesticides, but I’m now at the breaking point where I can’t deal with another infestation.

You were very clear about the treatment plan so I don’t have any questions about that. However, I do have a couple of burning questions that I really hope you can answer out of the kindness of your heart. It’s necessary for me to go through the history of our problem step by step, so please bear with me.

It started in 2009 when we lived in Ohio and the floors of my husband’s car became heavily infested with carpet beetles. He always left the windows down and had spilled coffee and food on the floors more than once. He also isn’t the cleanest person, so he didn’t vacuum his car very frequently. To top it all off, it rained in the car once or twice when he left the window down, so there were definitely things growing in that carpet to attract nesting beetles and feed them.

I started noticing them in the house after a few months. They were only in the kitchen on the windows though–I never saw them anywhere else. At the end of the summer 2009 we got rid of that car and moved to Washington, D.C.

We didn’t see the beetles again until the Spring of 2010, when I started noticing tons of larvae in MY car. While not as disgusting as my husband’s car, we do have three children, so there were frequently crumbs and other debris on the floor. I vacuumed every week. Every time I would think I had vacuumed all of the larvae, more would appear by the end of the week. By the end of the summer I started seeing multiple adults.

They completely disappeared from the car in the fall and winter and then returned in the Spring of 2011. Although I never saw them in our house, this cycle continued for another year–disappearing in the winter and then returning in the Spring of 2012, when they became completely out of control. Larvae were in the trunk, under the seats, everywhere, adult beetles were flying around while I was driving. I only got relief when I vacuumed once a week, and they always returned by the end of the week. My mother tried to persuade me to spray the car but I didn’t want to use pesticides in my car because I had just had a new baby and was thinking of getting rid of the car anyway and purchasing another one.

In Summer of 2012 when the beetles became absolutely unbearable, the car actually died. We got a new car and we moved that summer to a new place. We were so paranoid about taking the beetles with us that we threw out most of the items that were in the old car and quarantined, washed and inspected any clothes or items that we retrieved and saved from the trunk of the car.

We thought they were finally gone. We didn’t see any beetles or larvae in the new house or new car from the Summer of 2012 to the Spring of 2013. I was still walking on eggshells though–every time I saw a black speck anywhere or something flying I freaked out–but it was always a false alarm.

It is now June 2013, and two weeks ago, a saw an adult black carpet beetle at the bottom of a cup in our living room. About a week later, I was playing on the floor with my baby, I moved one of his toys and saw another adult black carpet beetle crawling near our area rug. A few days later, I upstairs in my daughter’s room and saw two carpet beetles crawling near her window/bed. One was brown/black striped, the other was totally black. This week, I saw a brown and black carpet beetle in my bathroom, and then a larvae near my son’s window. Today, I found about 5 or 6 larvae in the unused jaccuzzi bathtub and bathroom window in my bedroom. I am devastated, but I now know that it’s time to take action with pesticides.

So these are my questions:

1. What are the chances that we had a new infestation each time? Is this the same population of carpet beetles from Ohio–is it really possible that we brought the carpet beetles with us from Ohio to DC, and when we moved twice and changed cars? Do they hibernate and then reappear in the spring or summer? Also, why am I now seeing two different species of carpet beetles?

2. Up until now, we only saw the brown/black striped beetle and black larvae, but now we’re seeing adult black colored beetles as well. Does this mean that another species came in from outside, or is it possible for them to evolve?

3. How do I keep them out of the new car? Should I do a preventative treatment of the carpets? I can deal with them in the house until I treat and get them under control, but I am really afraid of them migrating to the car on a piece of clothing or something. It was a nightmare to have them in my car for two years and I don’t want to go down that road again.

4. If I treat them and get rid of them completely–let’s say I don’t see any for the next 5 years–what are the chances of one coming into our house or car again if we’re careful with vacuuming and keeping the windows and doors closed?

I’m finally recognizing that I need to treat them with pesticide and I am looking forward to doing so with products purchased at your store. I hope it works and hope I can save someone else from the nightmare that we’ve experienced over the past 6 years. I’m looking forward to hearing from you Bugspray!!

Mel @ 11:02 pm #

Thank you!!!! This has been invaluable. I hope to be writing you back in six months with a success story. @Tech Support:

Mel @ 11:13 pm #

One more question. Are you recommending that I pre-treat the car before I even see any beetles in there? @Tech Support:

June 9, 2013
June 17, 2013

Annette @ 6:53 pm #

Are all the treatments you’ve stated above safe for humans and pets?

July 12, 2013

Vicky @ 9:13 pm #

Hi, if I wanted to treat an entire house with just the essentials at a good cost what should I buy and how much would they be?

July 13, 2013
July 18, 2013

Vicky @ 9:45 pm #

Thank you! Also. would larder beetle control be almost the exact same as carpet beetle control with the same products as well?

July 19, 2013

Tina @ 6:16 pm #

We have been finding carpet beetles around our windows for the last few months. We didn’t know what they were. We would find an occasional larva in a kitchen cabinet in empty dishes or in drawers. We thought they were weevils but thought it was strange that they were not in food or around food. Now we know they are carpet beetle larva. I have read multiple websites on how to treat for these little buggers and I am glad I came across your website since you answer questions.

The labels on the different pesticide concentrates say that the pesticides should not be sprayed on the entire surface of the carpets or on areas where people will be in contact on a regular or prolonged basis, just in the cracks and crevices and along baseboards. Your instructions say to spray the carpet, drapes, and upholstered furniture. I really want to get rid of these bugs. Is it safe to spray the pesticides on the entire surface area of the carpets and furniture? How about box springs and mattresses? I have wall to wall carpeting on our upper level and area rugs on our main level. I also have children and 1 outdoor dog.

My house is large and we have seven children who are all home for the summer. Plus we have to live life! Nearly impossible to have the entire house ready for 1 big clean/spray day. My plan is to move from room to room in my home within a 2-3 week period, cleaning, vacuuming, and spraying as I go. I plan on keeping a calendar of when each room was treated, so I can repeat each room within a month’s time of when it was originally treated. I will continue to treat over a 4-6 month period as you suggest. Is there anything wrong with this plan? Or am I just going to be chasing the bugs from room to room and wasting a lot of time because I don’t treat all at once? Thanks!

July 20, 2013
October 19, 2013

Tired @ 10:07 pm #

Hi,

How bad is my situation as it seems really bad to me? I do not see any adult beetles but find 2-4 larvae everyday on the baseboard. My daughter calls me the Bug Hunter as this is exactly what I do the minute I get into the house, pull out a flashlight and start inspecting all baseboards on all 3 floors. The basement is carpeted and I haven’t seen any in the carpet and the corners that I pull up but I am so tired of seeing the larvae everyday. I vacuum 3-4 times a week on hands and knees, all the baseboards. I have a toddler and a young baby so very hesitant to use chemicals – although I know the ones you listed are safe.

What would be my best course of action and how long does it take to get rid of them? I feel like I have no time for my family as I am constantly cleaning and vacuuming. It’s takes me at least 3 hours just to vacuum and being a working mom, I would like to spend time with my kids after a long day at work rather than chase these pests – trying to ensure my kids have a clean floor to play on. Thanks.

October 20, 2013
November 6, 2013

Lauren @ 10:10 pm #

Hi there,

I have some questions as I get ready to treat my home for carpet beetles. I see larvae daily but I can only recall once seeing an adult.

1. I have hardwood floors throughout the entire house, there are three area rugs (living room, dining room, and one of the three bedrooms) but no wall to wall carpeting including in the closets. I saw that in response to someone else asking about treating hardwood, you mentioned it doesn’t need much treatment. One of the bedrooms has newer hardwood that has crevices between the boards as part of the design. I’ve seen most of the larvae in this room in the crevices, several feet away from the wall (there is no area rug in this room, by the way). I’m wondering how to go about treating the floor? Since I’ve seen the larvae in the middle of the room, is it correct to assume that I need to treat the whole floor?

2. Should I treat the mattress? I’ve never seen any larvae or casings in the bed.

3. How should I treat the closets and the bureaus? I’ve seen larvae in both of these areas. Should I empty out all the clothing, wash/dry clean all the clothing, treat the closet/bureau, and then put all the clothing back? What products would you recommend for treating a closet and the insides of a bureau?

4. I think somewhere it was mentioned that after treating, one should not further clean (i.e. shampoo the carpets) because it would cancel out the treatment. What about treating a bathroom? I’ve seen multiple larvae in the bathroom roaming on the grout where the wall meets the floor. Does the humidity in a bathroom affect the treatment? Should I treat the bathroom more frequently?

Any and all advice you have to offer is welcome! Thank you!

November 7, 2013
November 8, 2013

Christie @ 12:53 am #

Hi. I have been reading all the posts as well as the information you have on here, so thank you for the information!! My question is in regards to a rental house that I do not yet live in, but had planned on living in. I found 1 or 2 larva on the walls of each of the rooms in the rental house. I had never seen anything like this before, so I googled it (after taking a picture for comparison before squishing it and discarding of it) and quickly realized it was in fact carpet beetles.

I then notified my pest control company who regularly sprays my home I live in now and they sprayed all the rooms, carpets, closets, kitchen cabinets and drawers, air vents and even some on the walls. The pest control man said the chemicals he used are what he uses for cases of fleas, bed bugs and carpet beetles. I have severe hesitations about moving into a place knowing it has a current infestation, and I don’t have one currently at my present location. Would you have hesitations about moving in? Also, what are the chances that I have carried some of these horrible pests from the rental house into my car or current home from just walking on the carpets there???

Thank you for your help!!!

April 29, 2014

Samantha @ 7:26 pm #

Hi,
I have read your article and most of the comments. My only question is what would you recommend for my home? My husband and I just bought a home in January of this year (2014). At the end of February we had to replace the dishwasher that came in the home and shortly after that we started seeing some little black beetles. Initially I thought nothing of it and assumed that using the heat after months of a vacant home caused some bug eggs to hatch, after killing a few of them (and other insects like spiders and what not) I decided to purchase some pesticide and spray the house (Ortho home defense). It worked great except for what I found out they are carpet beetles. When the home defense didn’t work I started doing some research and purchased a pesticide that said it killed carpet beetles. I deep cleaned my home then sprayed every door, window, baseboard, and carpeted area. I didn’t do enough research to know that it didn’t kill eggs. It is a treatment that keeps killing for up to 3 months after use so now I find some dead beetles along the floors however I mainly find adult beetles in my kitchen near the sink and window, all over the counter and window sill. I have a dog and a toddler so I have been hesitant on bombs, which I now know will do nothing to them anyways. After speaking with my neighbor who told me she has a problem as well that started about two years ago, then another neighbor told me the previous tenants (the only other owners of the home) were not very clean people and had a rodent problem in the past, and from my understanding carpet beetles like to live in nests and will live off rodents, perhaps this is where the problem started- not too sure. Either way, I think I am dealing with a bigger problem than even I initially thought. I am not seeing any larvae, that I know of, just adult carpet beetles. I have been vacuuming my home daily (some times twice a day or more), where the baseboards and carpet meet, in every crack and crevice I can fit my vacuum hose under. I have spoke with a few exterminators, some say the problems could be coming from attic or crawl space, others say impossible, should I check the crawl space and the attic? Which products should I use? How should I treat my home?
Thank you.

Samantha @ 7:28 pm #

I forgot to mention that we moved the new dishwasher out, found a good amount of beetles under the dishwasher so we sprayed under there and caulked a hole that was leading to the outside, and put the dishwasher back, now I am finding them under my sink again, dead however since I also sprayed under the sink.

April 30, 2014

Samantha @ 10:05 am #

Thank you for your response. I am most certain they are carpet beetles, the varied and the black. I took a picture when this all began and matched it with other pictures I found online and the varied carpet beetle was the only one I found to be a match, although we do have both black and varied that I am finding. Would I need to use the permethrin as well? How often should I treat, and since eggs can hatch shortly after the first treatment should I treat again within a week or two after the first treatment? @Tech Support:

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