How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles: Prevention, Detection, and Eradication


How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles to Protect Your Textiles

Jun 14, 2023
If one day you see your beautiful carpet or your favorite piece of clothing has tiny holes on it, chances are there are carpet beetles in your house. That is when you must learn how to get rid of carpet beetles asap because the damage can be greater than it looks.

Carpet beetles can ruin the textiles in your house

Carpet beetles can ruin the textiles in your house

This kind of insect normally likes to feed on pollen. But when they can get inside your house, their main food source is fiber from your clothes, furniture, carpet, and other fabric-related things. Once the invasion starts, it can cause big trouble if you don’t know how to deal with these little insects.

That is why it is better to learn how to get rid of carpet beetles before the crisis happens so that you can prevent them from getting worse as soon as possible.

Here are the main topics you will get in this post:

  • All about carpet beetles: what they are, what they eat, and where they live.
  • How to get rid of carpet beetles naturally in six different ways.
  • How to prevent carpet beetles from entering your house.

There is a frequently asked questions corner at the end of the post if there is something you want to know about these little creatures.

Let’s begin!

What are carpet beetles?

The carpet beetle is a kind of insect that can be found outside, hiding in flowers since they like to eat pollen. Adult carpet beetles are actually harmless to your textile because they do not usually live in the house, so they do not have much chance of munching your fabric things and other stuff.

But their babies are the real thread here. When a carpet beetle gets into your house, it will produce an army of around 100 carpet beetle larvae that are starving when they are hatched. Those little monsters are sure going to feast on anything near them, and that could be your beautiful carpet or a favorite scarf.

There are four main types of carpet beetles that you may find in your home:

  • Varied carpet beetles
  • Common carpet beetles
  • Furniture carpet beetles
  • Black carpet beetles

These types of carpet beetles are similar to each other, and you don’t need to care much about them. Just beware that when you see them, it is time to inspect your house for carpet beetle larvae, the real trouble makers in this situation.

If you see hairy little worms on your clothes, your carpets, or anywhere else, the fat chance is they are carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle eggs are very tiny so they are harder to notice.

Carpet beetle larvae are tiny hairy worms that can do real damage to your house

Carpet beetle larvae are tiny hairy worms that can do real damage to your house  

What do carpet beetles eat?

The carpet beetles enjoy munching on natural textiles such as silk, linen, wool, and cotton. If you have clothes that are made with these materials, you should know how to get rid of carpet beetle to protect your outfits.

Moreover, these nasty insects enjoy human hair or pet hair clumps.  If you have pets in the household, chances are you will encounter carpet beetles sooner or later if you don’t have a plan to keep them away.

Another bad news is, the carpet beetles also feed on flour, pasta, corn milk, and even dry pet food. They also do not say no to dried flowers, and even dead animals or insects. So if you have a dead bird stuck somewhere in the house, it can also be the cause for carpet beetles drawing in your house.

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Where do carpet beetles live?

Normally, the carpet beetles live outside so we will not learn how to kill carpet beetles. Instead, we will try to inspect areas where carpet beetles usually come to lay eggs. The carpet beetles like dark areas and usually choose a place where the food supply is rich so that their descendants will not starve to death when they are hatched.

Besides carpets, you can find carpet beetle larvae in closets, dressers (where you store furs and wool clothing), pantries (where most of the dry food is), and behind baseboards (where it is near the carpets).

The carpet beetle larvae can also be hiding in the crevices of your fabric furniture like armchairs and sofas. Another place that these little horrible insects like to gather is near a place that usually has hair, pet fur, or dander. So don’t be surprised if you see the carpet beetle larva in your hair clumps in a dark corner.

How to get rid of carpet beetles

Even though the carpet beetles do not cause skin irritation, your textiles won't be safe the moment these little insects are still living in your house. You wouldn’t want your carpets, or your furniture, or your clothes to have tiny holes on them, would you? That is why you should learn how to get rid of carpet beetle larvae before the damage is done.

It is not tricky to kill carpet beetle larvae, so the most important part is finding their lair. First of all, check your carpets, clothes, mattress, and other textiles to see if there is any carpet beetle-like damage. If there are, you should remove all the clothes from the closet or dresser to inspect further.

Don’t forget to check out the pantries, as well as any dark corners where you suspect there are hair clumps or dead animals.

Finding carpet beetles’ hideouts is the first step in getting rid of these insects

Finding carpet beetles’ hideouts is the first step in getting rid of these insects

When you have found the source of this insect invasion, here is how to get rid of carpet beetles in 6 safety ways:

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is a carpet beetle treatment that is very easy to find around the house. It is okay to use either white or apple cider vinegar because they are both effective against carpet beetles. This method is also easy to do. Just pour the vinegar inside a spray bottle and mist your carpets, furniture, and clothes.

If there is a carpet beetle infestation sign in your dressers or your closets, remove all the clothes and wash them with vinegar and water to kill carpet beetle larvae and eggs. You should also spray the storage space with vinegar and clean it carefully before putting the clothes back in.   

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2. Vacuum and/or steam cleaning

Another easy and safe method to get rid of carpet beetles is to use a vacuum cleaner or a steam cleaner. You can combine this process with your cleaning routine for maximum effectiveness. The more regular you deep clean, the less chance you have carpet beetles in your house.

For the vacuum cleaner, you should use the appropriate attachment to really get into crevices, nooks, and cranes. Pay extra attention to the upholsteries and under furniture. Also, don’t forget the hard-to-reach corner where hair and fur usually accumulate. Take this chance to vacuum your food cabinets as well.

If you are using a steam cleaner, then you don’t have to be extra careful because the heat alone can kill carpet beetles and their eggs in only one go. But the problem is, you still have to clean the mess up afterward. So it is best to use the steam cleaner first, then vacuum everything up.

Steam cleaning is an effective way to kill carpet beetles

Steam cleaning is an effective way to kill carpet beetles

3. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a desiccant that kills carpet beetle larvae by dehydrating them. You can buy diatomaceous earth from agricultural-feed stores or find them in online retailers. To make it safe for you and your pets, remember to select the “food grade” diatomaceous earth.

To use diatomaceous earth for killing carpet beetle larvae, sprinkle this powder on your carpet lightly, then use a brush or a broom to distribute it evenly on the surface. You should wear a mask during this process to prevent inhaling fine dust particles. Use a vacuum to collect the residue afterward or wash your carpet if it is possible.

4. Fog

If you see a carpet beetle flying around the house, chances are this is a female carpet beetle that is looking for a perfect place to lay eggs. To stop this uninvited guest, you can use a flying insect fogger to eradicate adult carpet beetles for good. Then, you should have a flying insect spray at all times to eliminate all the newcomers and strays.

5. Insecticide

When dealing with an ongoing carpet beetle larvae infestation, you should look for at least one of these ingredients in an insecticide: deltamethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin. While using these chemicals is how to kill carpet beetles, they may create stains on your carpet. So make sure you test the insecticide in a hidden corner first.

The insecticide is a heavy chemical mixture so you should follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions tightly. It is best to wear a mask or a respirator when you work with the insecticide. Keep your family member and pet out of the working zone to ensure safety for them.

6. Boric Acid

Boric acid is a carpet beetle treatment that is more friendly than insecticide because it is only hazardous to humans when inhaling too much or ingesting it. Therefore, you should wear a respirator or at least a mask while using boric acid. You can buy boric acid in powder form in the laundry aisle of supermarkets or pharmacies.

You can either use boric acid directly by sprinkling it on your carpet to poison the carpet beetle larvae metabolism, or you can create a spray mixture. To make the mixture, add 2 tablespoons of boric acid into a spray bottle, then pour 2 cups of hot water in and stir it well.

When the powder is completely dissolved, use it to mist the upholstery, curtain, and carpet. You should also spray this mixture into nooks and cranes, or in dark corners and baseboards where it is hard to fit a cleaning tool in.            

How to prevent carpet beetles?

Now that you know the safe way to kill carpet beetle larvae, how do you get rid of carpet beetles for good? Here are a few things you can do to prevent these insects from invading your house:

  • Place sticky flypaper strips near windows to catch wandering carpet beetles.
  • Use sticky pheromone-type traps in your closets and window sills so the carpet beetles cannot lay eggs.
  • Clean your soiled clothes as soon as possible before they start attracting the carpet beetles.
  • Keep dry pet food, flour, pasta, and similar food in air-tight containers to cut off the carpet beetles’ food source.
  • Be on the lookout for dead animals and insects in your house.
  • Have a regular cleaning schedule for your pantries, closet, upholstery, carpet, and other textile-related things.
  • Deep clean hard-to-reach areas, nooks and cranes more often.
  • Avoid accumulations of fur and hair in dark corners and under furniture.
  • Make sure the flowers from outside have no sign of carpet beetles before bringing them inside.

Using sticky flypaper strips can help you prevent carpet beetles from sneaking into your house

Using sticky flypaper strips can help you prevent carpet beetles from sneaking into your house 

Final words

It is not hard to get rid of carpet beetles in your house. So don’t let these little monsters ruin your favorite clothes and furniture. Keep an eye on any sign of a carpet beetle invasion to prevent damage so you can keep all the textiles in your home safe and sound.


  • 01. Does Lysol kill carpet beetles?
  • The simple answer is no. Since Lyson does not contain any ingredients that can poison the carpet beetles, this spray does not affect these insects.

  • 02. Why do I have carpet beetles come into the house?
  • There are many ways that a carpet beetle can enter your house. Most of the time they are attracted by soiled clothes, food residues, or dead insects in your house because these things are their favorite food. They can also cling to the fresh flower you got from the garden and get inside your house since they eat pollen as well.

  • 03. Does vinegar kill carpet beetles?
  • When you spray vinegar mixed with hot water or use 100% pure vinegar on carpet beetles, you can kill them instantly. That is why vinegar is the cheapest method to deal with this type of insect.

  • 04. How do I kill carpet beetles on my dog?
  • The carpet beetles can cling to your dog when they play outside or when your house has already had these insects. The best way to get rid of carpet beetles on your dog is to remove them from your house first. Then naturally, there will be no carpet beetles on your dog anymore.

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