Sigh. Carpet beetles. I think my husband and I attract every hard to kill bug on the planet…a few years ago when we lived in a NYC apartment we had bedbugs and that was a horrible experience and the other day I discovered carpet beetles have been eating my husband’s wool clothes (suits, sweaters, etc.)
I sent the wool rug that was under our bed out for cleaning last Tuesday, but unfortunately we keep seeing carpet beetles – about one a day – on our walls, floors, etc. I thought exclusively in the master bedroom but my husband found one today on the stairwell. Not sure why these “all of the sudden” creeped up on us – we have had no beetles or bugs until about two months ago (I didn’t know what they were) and then we figured it out once we found the holes in the clothes.
I bought some pheromone traps to try to get rid of the adults, but I have a few other questions.
With regard to the larvae, how do I find them? Aren’t they microscopic? the carpet beetles are small enough, but it is hard for me to figure out where the infestation was (I am assuming it was the wool rug) and I feel like I am “thoroughly inspecting” clothes but not sure what I am looking for or how I can tell if there are larvae there. I have resorted to washing everything and am about to send his full compliment of wool suits and sweaters out to the dry cleaner….
Do I need to be worried about my box spring and mattress? Haven’t seen any on the bed but could they be living inside the box spring or something? Do I just throw it out? What about my wood furniture?
I have two small children and am trying to do everything possible before resorting to spraying but if I have to spray, what do I get? And do I spray clothes with it or just the floor, carpets, etc.?
This is just very overwhelming and I am trying to get a handle on what the habits are of these bugs so I can figure out how to attack them (literally) and develop a plan of action.
Thanks for your help.
First, as explained in our CARPET BEETLE CONTROL ARTICLE, the traps aren’t going to solve any significant problem. Do they help? Yes. But mostly as a way to monitor and learn where they are active. Given the information you’ve included, I’m sure the entire apartment needs to be treated. I’d focus my attention on the carpet and furniture. And though you’ve been hesitant to treat, I just don’t think there is any other option here given the extent of the activity you’ve noted and the damage being done.
The good news is the treatment should be both easy to do and safe for everyone. I’d tackle the problem when everyone leaves for the day and I’d start with the MULTI-PURPOSE INSECT KILLER. We haven’t added this to our article yet but it’s a light aerosol that’s ideal for such situations. It’s even labeled for use on mattresses and other furniture so I’m sure if you did a thorough job of using it throughout the apartment, you’d get good results. The key here is to forget trying to isolate one main area or source of the problem. Instead you should try using the “shotgun” approach. By blanketing the carpet and treating all the furniture carpet beetles can utilize (especially up underneath the bottom and under the cushions), you’ll successfully have in place a defense that will shut down any level of infestation.
To learn how to safely use the product, watch this video which explains in great detail how to safely handle, use and store our aerosol products. It covers most everything and as you’ll learn, if you use some common sense and do the treatment when everyone is gone letting it dry for an hour or so, there is really so little product left behind that the risk to any people or pets is non existent.
Here are direct links to the information and products I mentioned and as always, if you have further questions you only need to give us a call toll free at 1-800-877-7290.