Carpet beetles are the most dreaded insect pests among households. Carpet beetles are also known as fabric beetles because they usually infest wardrobes and feed on clothes. The name might be misleading, as carpet beetles don't limit themselves to carpets. In fact, carpet beetles can eat and damage anything that is made of organic matter or natural fiber. These pests enter your home through windows, doors and open cracks, and sometimes even by taking a ride on your clothes.
Carpet beetles are grouped and named according to their feeding habits, which are varied carpet beetles, black carpet beetles, furniture carpet beetles and common carpet beetles. These nocturnal insects prefer to hide in places such as storage containers, crevices of furniture and behind kitchen shelves. If you have pets in your home, then in all probability, your pet will be their first victim.
To identify carpet beetle infestation, check for the following:
- An adult carpet beetle is about 1/8 inch to 1-inch in length, oval in shape and has a black and shiny body.
- Check your clothes for small holes. If you find these, your wardrobe is infested with carpet beetles.
- If edges of your carpets have become porous are or jagged for no apparent reason, the beetles are munching on them.
- At times, carpet beetles lay their eggs in cereals and pet food. If you find fine egg-like things in food items, immediately discard them and get ready to fight a beetle infestation.
Here are 7 ways to prevent a carpet beetle invasion:
1. Seal Cracks and Crevices
The best way to prevent a carpet beetle attack is to seal all the cracks and crevices in your home. Furniture, kitchen shelves and cabinets, bathroom cabinets and attics are their favorite hideouts.
2. Vacuum the Infested Place
Once their hideout or nursery is identified, mark it and vacuum clean it regularly for 2 to 3 days. Vacuum clean the furniture, crevices in doors and windows and kitchen shelves.
3. Clean Pet’s Bed and Surroundings
Furry pets are the first choice of carpet beetles. They feed on the dead skin of your pets and use their body as their hiding place. If you spot any carpet beetles on your pet's bedding, clean and wash it in hot water to kill larvae or eggs. Don't forget to give your pet a shampoo bath.
4. Clean Your Cloths and Fabrics Regularly
You must regularly clean and wash cloths, fabrics, rugs and carpets in hot water or dry clean them. This is particularly applicable for cloths and fabrics which were not used for some time.
5. Use Naphthalene Balls
Naphthalene balls are excellent carpet beetle repellents. Place them in every corner of your wardrobe, attic and other places.
6. Keep Bird Nests away from Doors and Windows
Birds can easily transfer carpet beetles from one place to another. If any bird has made a nest very close to a door or window, transfer it somewhere else.
7. Use Insect Sprays
The last resort should be the use of insect spray. Spray your furniture, carpets and wardrobes with proper repellents to prevent carpet beetles from attacking them.