Dealing with Carpet Beetles

You have probably had the frustration of reaching into your closet or your drawer for a favorite piece of clothing - a sweater, a housecoat, a pair of comfy pants - and found to your dismay that it has been reduced to a piece of clothing that seeks to emulate Swiss cheese. There could be two culprits here, either the carpet beetle or the clothes moth, and your positive identification will likely be visual.

Lt’s face it, even if they didn’t do too much damage to your clothes, it can mean the difference that gets a nice sweater downgraded from party apparel to wear around the house casual. It’s a pain, but there are a few ways to get rid of the damage these pests create in your home.

* Insecticides. Remember, we are advocating a least toxic approach to pest control here. In the case of clothes beetles, you are not going to need to take an insecticide to your whole house. Instead, find out where these bugs are concentrated in the most numbers and spray for them there. You need to get rid of the larvae as well as the adults, so make sure to re-apply within two weeks if you can still see the brown grubs worming about.
* Finding the concentrations. Of course you will need to find those spots where the beetles are congregating before trying any kind of solution. Check areas where some of their favorite food sources are, that you would not normally see. Of particular note are the insides of pet food bags as well as underneath area rugs (especially large area rugs). Also check the linens, etc., that you may have stored in your closets.
* Keep it tidy! Vacuuming is much more than just a mundane chore to get rid of visible mess on the surface. We have seen how vacuuming is effective as a solution to a flea infestation in another article, and the same is true of the clothes beetle. Vacuuming regularly, particularly in areas that you don’t normally hit, will help keep the population down.
* Prevention. As with so many pests, prevention can be much more than elimination. Clothes need to be put away washed, and you need to avoid brining infested items of clothing or material into your house. You should also keep your windows closed so that the adult beetles can’t get into the house (clothes beetles also occur outside, where they are not a problem at all and are even beneficial).

Prevention is by far the best way to deal with clothes beetles. It’s easy to spot material that has been subjected to the ravishes of this pest, and to keep it out of your home. If the beetle does gain a leghold in your house, patience and persistence will be requied to deal with the problem.

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