Carpet beetles are elusive and can be destructive in several ways if left unchecked. Knowing what they do, how they live, and where they go is valuable information. Eradicating them isn’t a complex process, they’re just sometimes hard to find and figure out.
Carpet beetles hide in carpets and soft furnishings like your couch and bed. They prefer to stay in the seams of any fluffy, thick fiber or holes and slits in the material. If you find carpet beetles in your home, contact a pest control company for an inspection.
Hopefully you DON’T have carpet beetles but if you do, there’s a few things you can do to help streamline the situation. So, let’s learn a bit together on where carpet beetles go and live during the day so you can better spot them in the future!
Carpet Beetles Can Be Found In Bed Fibers During The Day
Carpet beetles can hide in dark, comfortable places during the day. They want to be in places they can’t be found easily. They sense movement, so they know you’re there at night and are less active.
No, it doesn’t mean they move out! You just won’t notice them.
Where Do I Look For Carpet Beetles In My Bed?
You can look for carpet beetles in the bed by looking in the seams, blankets, and fluffy bedclothes. This includes the pillows and shams.
Start by stripping the bed down to the mattress. Place your bedclothes in something you can close or put them in the utility room away from other pieces of laundry. This helps to keep the carpet beetles from migrating further, causing an infestation you may not have already.
Yes, you can see carpet beetles in a specific area of the house, but may not yet have an infestation, so it’s important to keep them contained.
Next, inspect the mattress. If your mattress has seams, work your fingers around them by gently prying back the piping and start looking for them. Don’t be surprised if other little bugs, like bedbugs, are there instead.
For some specific details, take a look at our guide on how to determine if you have carpet beetles in your bed!
Inspect Other Bed Clothes For Carpet Beetles
Your pillow shams are decorative pillowcases. We typically wash them the least and have fancy, fluffy, and embroidered decorations. This is a great place for carpet beetles to hide.
Do you typically throw them off the bed at night? Maybe on a chair? Then be sure you inspect that piece of furniture too.
Next are the sheets and blankets. Sheets would only have carpet beetles if they have some sort of decoration or fancy piping or stitching on them.
Finally, check your blankets for carpet beetles. Shake them out, outside, and see if you can shake them up a bit. If there’s carpet beetles inside, you’ll most likely see them fling out!
Inspect Holes and Slits In Beds and Furniture
Your furniture provides a hideout for carpet beetles and any small bug. Mattresses will get small holes from wear. Depending on the ornateness of the item, the buttonholes and piping are prime real estate for the carpet beetle.
Make sure you pry those areas back for inspection as I instructed with the mattress. If your mattress is a gel mattress and does not have seams, it may still have these other aforementioned ornaments as well as texturing. They do this to make the mattress cover look good.
Read on to find out what a carpet beetle looks like and use this reference for this and all other hiding places going forward.
If you don’t yet have carpet beetles and want to prevent them, take a peak at our guide on the scents that carpet beetles hate in order to help keep them away in the future.
How Do You Identify Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles have a round, oval shape. Leaning more towards oval. They have bands of scales horizontally. The upper portion of the body is yellow, and the lower is brown with black stripes. They may remind you of yellow jacket colors.
The wings have a white band and a red stripe in the center portion. The max length for an adult is 1 to 4 millimeters, and they have two antennae and six legs.
What Are Signs Of Carpet Beetles In My Home?
If you have active carpet beetles in your home, you’ll most typically find:
- Leftover carpet beetles
- Damaged clothes, especially wool
- Carpet beetle larvae exoskin
- Thin areas on rugs (where they’ve snacked on the fabric)
This means there are carpet beetles in the house and the first thing you need to do is call a professional exterminator.
In this case, you need a professional to identify the carpet beetle, how they are getting in and what you have that they are looking for.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles
You can get rid of carpet beetles by laundering linens, bedding, and vacuuming your couches and chairs along with calling a professional pest controller.
You’ll have to understand keeping control of a carpet beetle infestation is a very challenging thing to do for several reasons. Carpet beetles breed fast, they hide well, and even if you follow this advice, it could prove challenging for folks with a busy schedule.
In fact, depending on the stage of infestation you are in, efforts may prove inadequate without a professional.
So, vacuum your carpets, furniture, and drapes. Then, launder your clothes if you think they’ve got carpet beetles. The vacuuming will help pick up any larvae that may be tough to see.
Use A Carpet Beetle Repellent
There are herbal remedies, sprays, and, of course, boric acid. You would use this to dry up the carpet beetles and their eggs.
It works well for other common bugs you may find, such as fleas. Any bug with a hard exoskeleton, which may be difficult to get rid of in the first place.
If you’d like to use a commercial carpet beetle repellent, take a peak at our guide on the best carpet beetle sprays for more information!
If you don’t want to read the whole guide, Wondercide makes a great natural product that repels and eliminates a wide variety of pests including carpet beetles.
How Long Will Carpet Beetle Eggs Live?
Carpet beetle eggs can lay dormant for 4-6 months. The time will vary in regards to hatching and infestation, depending on what you use to control them and how often.
Hormone-based repellents are the most effective. They block the ability of the carpet beetles to mature into adulthood. Be aware of what’s in these hormone based repellents, keeping in mind what you’re putting in your home.
How Carpet Beetles Enter Your Home (And What To Do Once They’re Inside)
Carpet beetles come in from the outside in the yard where they breed. They aren’t particularly bothered by getting into your home.
However, they are attracted to light and natural materials, so anyplace they hitch a ride in or are attracted to will be a point of entry. Carpet beetles won’t fight to get back outside once they’re comfortable and have what they need.
The most popular entry points for carpet beetles are doors and windows. Any unsealed points leading into the home, like air vents or plumbing entry points, or the areas around pipes can also allow for easy entry.
Carpet beetles can also hitch a ride on plants and flowers you bring into the house even from a store or nursery. If you live in an apartment and there are plants and trees around in the lobby or hallway, they can come in that way too.
The best thing to do in these circumstances is to contact a professional for an inspection. You can also try to remove any materials that may have carpet beetles and see if that helps! Speaking of which…
Use The Freezer To Eliminate Carpet Beetle Eggs
You can freeze fabrics after you’ve researched the effect of freezing on each particular fabric. Wrap drapes and bedding in a vacuum bag or regular plastic bag and pop them in the freezer for 48-72 hours.
Then, launder them so the leftovers can be washed away. You probably will not see them as they are so small, especially since carpet beetle eggs are virtually microscopic!
Well, That’s A Wrap!
That’s all there is to know about the basics of where to find them and the best ways to eliminate them.
- Carpet beetles are identified by an oval body, with black stripes over a yellow and brown body. They have wings under their hard shell. They have a white band with a red stripe down the middle
- The places they may enter the home are anywhere where light can emerge. The main entry points are windows and doors, any cracks, and any plumbing that is not sealed. Air vents, and being carried in on plants and flowers
- You can get rid of carpet beetle eggs by freezing fabrics for 48-72 hours
- Get your furniture steam cleaned
- Employ a professional pest control company if you have carpet beetles
Best of luck in your carpet beetle repelling journey!
Hillyer, L., & Blyth, V. (1992). Carpet beetle—A pilot study in detection and control. The conservator, 16(1), 65-77.
Baker, J. E. (1977). Substrate specificity in the control of digestive enzymes in larvae of the black carpet beetle. Journal of Insect Physiology, 23(6), 749-753.
Ahmed, A. R., Moy, R., Barr, A. R., & Price, Z. (1981). Carpet beetle dermatitis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 5(4), 428-432.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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