Several species of carpet beetles are known pests inside the home. Although carpet beetles don't bite or sting, the larval stage can cause damage to fabrics, carpets, stored foods, furniture and other sources of natural fibers. Infestations should be taken care of as soon as they are noticed because just one adult female carpet beetle can lay between 30 and 100 eggs, which hatch in two weeks. The larvae feed for nine months and can cause significant household damage if not gotten rid of quickly.
Things You Will Need
- Hot water
- Laundry detergent
- Plastic zipper bags
Adult carpet beetles lay eggs on a food source such as carpet, pet hair or in stored foods. Larvae prefer dark, secluded places, and are often found in the lower traffic areas of the home. These areas are also the most often neglected during cleaning. The presence of larvae or their shedded skins means you have an infestation.
Eliminate the infestation. Rid your home of lint, pet hair, dust and other debris that carpet beetle larvae are known to feed on. Vacuum all rugs, carpets, and furniture to rid them of any larvae; remember to throw the vacuum bag out. Launder fabrics that are washable in hot water. Hot water kills all stages of carpet beetles (eggs, larvae, and adults). Throw out any badly infested items.
Monitor windows and entry ways into your home. Sticky traps can be placed along windowsills and doorways to trap adults that fly in to them. This method is useful in determining where the beetles are coming from and if your pest management techniques are working. Check traps one or two times per week until you are sure the infestation is gone.
Prevent re-infestation with good housekeeping. Vacuum frequently to prevent dust, lint, hair, and other larval food sources from accumulating in your apartment. Wash your drapes, bedding, and other fabrics often with hot water. Store out of season clothing in plastic zipper bags or other air-tight containers. Clean dead insects out of light fixtures.