Treating a Carpet Beetle infestation can be very expensive and in some cases require harsh chemicals to kill. And these chemicals are usually pesticides that can potentially be harmful to you, your family, and your pets.
But if your infestation is spotted early you can use natural and safe methods to eradicate them without having to use harsh and expensive pesticides.
Now, these are 7 Ways to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles that are natural and safe for you and your pets:
- Intensive Cleaning (Thoroughly vacuuming & cleaning especially with hot water or steam)
- Using Vinegar
- Sprinkling Diatomaceous earth at areas that are infested
- Placing Glue Traps at certain spots
- Using Cedar Oil
- Neem Oil
- Rubbing Alcohol
The first thing that you need to do is confirm that you have an infestation, to do so you can click here to check out my article 6 Signs That You Have a Carpet Beetle Infestation. But if you have already confirmed that you have an infestation you can continue reading.
1- Intensive Cleaning to Kill Carpet Beetles
Once you have confirmed that you have a carpet beetle infestation the first step that you need to do is start on a consistent daily cleaning regiment.
Your daily cleaning should include both vacuuming and cleaning of any material that you suspect has been infested.
Important Note – Carpet Beetle infestations are caused by carpet beetle larvae. Since the adult beetles only feed on the pollen of plants but their larvae will feed on almost any natural materials like certain organic fibers found in your carpet and rugs.
So this means when you are exterminating an infestation you are killing the larvae not the adult.
How to Properly Vacuum to Kill Carpet Beetles
- Firstly you should try to vacuum your house thoroughly at least twice a day
- Ensure that you vacuum all of your carpet, curtain, furniture, and any cracks and crevices in which carpet beetle larvae can hide.
- Finally, each time you are finished vacuuming you need to seal and dispose of the vacuum bag in an outside garbage to prevent any carpet beetle larvae from escaping back into your home.
Advantages of Vacuuming For Carpet Beetles
- Directly sucks up and removes carpet beetle larvae
- Removes any hair or fur, all of which carpet beetle larvae feed on. This can help to starve them out and deter adult carpet beetles from laying more eggs since they only lay eggs where there is ample food.
- Doesn’t require the use of any harsh chemicals.
Disadvantages of Vacuuming For Carpet Beetles
1- Vacuuming is limited to only removing the carpet beetle larvae that they can actually suck up. Which is dependent on how thorough you are and how powerful your vacuum is.
You see carpet beetle larvae are notorious for hiding in hard to reach areas. So if you are not thorough enough there is a good chance that you might miss spots and leave behind larvae.
2- Additionally, for some extra thick carpet and fabric, the carpet beetle larvae have been known to burrow extra deep and your vacuum might not be powerful enough to get to them.
3- Vacuuming is very labor-intensive and for it to be effective you will need to do it at least twice a day and if you have a heavy infestation even more.
Pro Tip: if you can afford it I highly recommend buying a Roomba.
These little robotic vacuum will save your time and energy by working the entire day vacuuming up your carpet and floors. Keeping your home nice and clean whilst at the same time getting rid of carpet beetle larvae.
You can click here to see the price of a Roomba on Amazon. This is a premium model that has a more powerful suction. Just ensure that you empty it every day.
How to Steam Clean To Kill Carpet Beetles
Steam Cleaners are even more effective at killing carpet beetle larvae than a vacuum.
This is because carpet beetle larvae can’t survive above 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius. And steam cleaners go well beyond that temperature so they instantly kill the larvae unlike vacuum cleaners which mostly focus on removing them.
Now most steam cleaners are built to clean your carpet, but some come with attachments that allow you to steam your curtains and even your furniture.
Just ensure that your carpet, curtains and furniture can handle steam cleaning.
So if you have a steam cleaner you just need to use it at least once a day for 1-2 weeks which is a testimony of how effective it is.
Now if you don’t have one and you are interested in investing in one, you can click here to see the price for the Wagner Steam Cleaner on Amazon. It is a very powerful yet budget friendly steam cleaner.
How to Properly Wash & Clean-Up to Kill Carpet Beetles
All infested and damaged materials that can be washed such as any fabric, curtains, and clothes should be washed thoroughly with detergent and hot water.
Plus if the fabric can handle it you should use a dryer as well. You see dryers use high temperature to dry your clothes which will instantly kill any larvae.
Freeze Infested Materials
Now if the fabric can’t handle high temperature, alternatively you can place the item into a plastic bag and freeze it in your freezer for 3-4 days.
You see Carpet Beetle larvae can handle the extreme cold.
Disposing of Materials that may have been infested.
Some materials that have been infested such heavily damaged clothing, other fabrics, and poorly stored dry food (rice, flour and pet food are commonly targeted) should be discarded if they have been infested.
2- Use Vinegar as an Alternative to Pesticides
Vinegar is a great DIY alternative to pesticides for killing carpet beetles. They can kill the larvae upon direct contact and its high scent acts as a deterrence for adult carpet beetles.
You see vinegar’s main active ingredient is acetic acid which works by disrupting the nervous system of the carpet beetle larvae.
How to Use Vinegar to Kill Carpet Beetles
What You Need:
- Vinegar (Either Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar can work)
- A Spray Bottle
- The first thing you need to do is test out any material or surface that you plan to clean and spray with the vinegar. This is to ensure that vinegar won’t cause any damages.
- If the vinegar leaves any blemishes or marks do not use the vinegar solution on that surface.
- Once you have conducted your tests you will need to mix a solution comprising of 70% vinegar and 30% percent water.
- Next, using your spray bottle, spray the solution on any surfaces that you suspect has been infested.
- Areas such as your carpet, furniture, shelves, vents and window sills.
- You will need to leave the vinegar to soak into the material.
- Do not wipe back with water and detergent, this will remove the vinegar scent.
- Finally I recommend that you do a general moping with a vinegar and water solution but remember to test your floor to see if the vinegar will affect it.
Vinegar can also be used to wash any clothing or fabric that has been infested. Just soak your fabric in a water-vinegar solution. You can stick with a 70% vinegar and 30% water.
Pros of Using Vinegar
1- Completely Safe for Both People and Pets – Vinegar is harmless and won’t affect you, your family or pets in any way.
2- Doesn’t Need Direct Contact – Now the great thing about using vinegar is that even if you don’t get to spray the vinegar directly on the larvae some of the vinegar fumes will still affect the larvae that didn’t get hit directly.
3- Repels as well as Kill Carpet Beetles – Vinegar not only kills the larvae the scent of vinegar deters adult beetles.
4- Very Affordable – Vinegar is much cheaper than most pesticides.
Cons Of Using Vinegar
1- Very Smelly – Once you use vinegar to clean and spray out infested areas, those areas will have a very strong vinegar scent.
2- Not as Effective as Pesticides – Vinegar works best when an infestation is its early stages and it should be used in conjunction with vacuuming. This is because Vinegar isn’t as potent as commercially bought pesticides.
3- Sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth To Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
Diatomaceous Earth is one of the most effective yet natural and safe pesticides that you can use to exterminate carpet beetles.
It works by breaking down the outer waxy layer of the carpet beetle larvae. Now this outer layer is responsible for water retention so once it is damaged the larvae will become fatally dehydrated and thus killing it. Citation.
Diatomaceous earth is a very popular pesticide especially if you are trying to avoid harsh chemicals. You see diatomaceous earth is completely harmless to us and wont affect you, your family or your pets.
It is so safe that food-grade diatomaceous earth is consumed as a dietary supplement to help cleanse your digestive tract. Citation.
How to Use Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous Earth comes in the form of a very fine sand-like material that needs to be sprinkled or dusted on infested areas. Citation.
It is advisable that you use a duster so that you can spread the earth more evenly over a wider area.
Pros of Diatomaceous Earth
- It is a natural, safe, and effective way to kill carpet beetles.
- Diatomaceous Earth has no scent, so it won’t have your house smelling different in comparison to vinegar and other strong pesticides
- Kills multiple different kinds of pests such as cockroaches, fleas, ticks, and bed bugs.
Cons of Diatomaceous Earth
The main drawback with Diatomaceous Earth is that it needs to make contact with the larvae to actually kill them.
Thankfully the powder works either when you sprinkle the powder directly on the larvae or when the larvae crawl over the powder.
So even if you don’t directly get to sprinkle the powder on the larvae there is a good chance that they might crawl over it and die.
Where to Get Diatomaceous Earth
You can click here to see the price for a bag of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth on Amazon
And don’t forget to buy a duster, click here to see the price for one on Amazon.
4- Using Glue Traps to Kill Carpet Beetles
Using glue traps that are specially made for carpet beetles is a safe and great way to help you to treat a carpet beetle infestation.
Now I have an entire article on Carpet Beetle Traps, you can click here to read how they work and when you should use them.
5- Cedarwood Oil To Treat Carpet Beetle Infestation
Cedarwood Oil is a great and natural pesticide that can kill both adult carpet beetles and their larvae and eggs. Cedarwood oil works by suffocating any adult carpet beetles and dissolving their eggs and larvae.
It is also very easy to use just make a mixture with cedar oil and water and either spray or wipe down areas that have been infested.
The mixture needs to be around 1% to 2% cedar oil to 98% water to be effective. Citation
Cedarwood oil is commonly used as an essential oil used for skin care since it has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Plus it is known to be very useful in Aromatherapy. Citation.
Now the drawback with Cedarwood oil is that it has low toxicity when ingested. And it is especially dangerous when ingested by cats and dogs. Citation.
So only use cedarwood oil if you have no pets and you should always wear protective goggles when spraying to prevent the oil from going into your eyes.
You can click here to see the price for a bottle of Cedarwood oil on Amazon.
6- Neem Oil to Kill Carpet Beetles
Neem oil can work as a DIY Pesticides and repellent against Carpet Beetles. It kills carpet beetle larvae by reducing their eating habits and by disrupting their hormonal system. Citation.
Neem oil is also super easy to use just mix the oil with water and you can either wipe or spray any surfaces or areas that have been infested. Ensure that you leave the oil and water solution to soak into the surface.
You can mix 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce of Neem oil to 1 gallon of water. Citation.
Neem Oil is usually used for skincare to help treat dry and wrinkly skin and it is very useful to help heal wounds and scars.
The main drawback with Neem oil even though it is safe to apply on your skin it is toxic if ingested and it has a high and pungent scent. It is so powerful that most doctors don’t recommend Neem Oil for kids. Citation.
Plus if you have pets you need to be careful that the animal doesn’t ingest the oil and water mixture.
So if you plan to use Neem Oil you should ensure your kids and pets keep their distance.
You can click here to see the price for a bottle of Neem Oil on Amazon.
7- Using Rubbing Alcohol to Kill Carpet Beetles
Our final DIY method to kill carpet beetles is to apply or spray rubbing alcohol directly onto them.
Rubbing alcohol kills them by dissolving their outer layer and works as a desiccant to dry them out.
Now the main problem with using alcohol is that for it to work the alcohol needs to directly come into contact with the carpet beetle larvae. And because alcohol evaporates really fast it won’t stay on the surface long enough for the larvae to come into contact with it.
But if you spot some larvae it will do a great job at killing them or if you are willing to soak any clothing or fabric with alcohol it will do the job.
Also it’s advisable that you use rubbing alcohol with a high concentration, the higher the better.
Citation and References
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles – WikiHow
The insecticidal effect of diatomaceous earth PUBMed
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