You need to break the life cycle of the carpet beetles by killing not only every adult and larvae, but also destroying the pupae and eggs that are scattered around your property.
How to get rid of carpet beetles
Carpet beetle treatments often take place after a change of tenancy – i.e. when people have just moved in or out of a property. First, we survey the property and carry out a mandatory risk assessment. We will fully explain to you the work that we will carry out and any required follow-up procedure. For your safety, our technicians only use HSE-approved pesticides and you will be allowed to return to your property after just two hours.
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Carpet beetle treatment service
We start by spraying residual pesticides on the floors and walls. We then use a fogging machine (ULV) to generate a mist that will reach every corner of a room, anywhere carpet beetles may be hidden.
These pesticides will kill the adults and larvae straight away. They also have enhanced residual properties, meaning that the pesticides will remain active long after we’ve used them, so that when the eggs hatch, the pupae will also be infected.
Ideally, tenants will clean their property thoroughly the day before our initial visit. We also advise that you do not vacuum between our visits as this will remove some of the pesticides, making our treatment less effective.
Two weeks later, we will return to carry out the follow-up procedure. We ask that tenants repeat the same cleaning routine the day before, and once again refrain from vacuum cleaning for a further two weeks after our visit.
How to prevent a carpet beetle infestation
Strong cleaning routine
In most cases, keeping to a strict and thorough cleaning routine will prevent carpet beetles from becoming a problem for you. It’s important to regularly move your furniture around and clean rigorously underneath so as to disturb and kill any larvae that may be hidden in the thick carpet.
Also, having your carpets, rugs and curtains washed professionally will remove any stains and spills, making them a less attractive environment to carpet beetles and other pests.
Other preventive measures against carpet beetles
There are a number of precautions that should take. For a start, we recommend that you check any second-hand/vintage items you bring into your home for damage, insects skins or larvae.
If you purchase flowers, it’s important to inspect them too. Also, pay special attention to birds nesting nearby or inside your roof space, and regularly review the items you store in cupboards or your loft.
The use of insect monitors can also be useful. They will detect the presence of pests early and raise the alarm that you should call a pest control expert.
Getting rid of carpet beetles without pesticides
If you notice a particular area is affected, you need to investigate and clean it thoroughly. Once you’ve identified the source of the infestation, you need to remove it immediately. You should then vacuum the entire area and dispose of the bag afterwards. A steam cleaner will also be useful here.
It’s important to look beyond this particular area and clean the rest of the room, paying special attention to rugs, upholstery, closets and dark places. Carpet beetles won’t be confined to just one small area of your carpet.
That being said, it is unlikely that you will be able to completely deal with a carpet beetle infestation using home remedies and cleaning. In most cases, getting rid of carpet beetles will require the use of professional pesticides and methods.
How much does carpet beetle treatment cost?
Inoculand offers a guaranteed carpet beetle treatment service across London for £210+VAT for a one-bedroom flat. Larger properties are charged a further £49 per extra bedroom (i.e. £269+VAT for a two-bedroom flat).
We will carry out two visits over a two-week period.
Carpet beetles FAQs
Adult varied carpet beetles (Anthrenus verbasci) are mostly outdoor insects that feed on nectar and pollen. They are found in late spring or early summer. Carpet beetles are flying insects that like hiding in dark places. At night, they are attracted by bright lights and are thus drawn inside our homes, much like moths.
The carpet beetle has a similar shape to a ladybird with short antennae, but their thorax and wings are covered with white, pale yellow, brown and black scales. The various colours form an extended W pattern.
The adult carpet beetle is about 2-4 mm long and its larvae can reach 9 mm in length.
Carpet beetle larvae are very distinctive. They are commonly called “woolly bears” as they are very hairy with alternating stripes of light and dark brown. They tend to roll up when disturbed.
The complete life cycle takes about a year. The adult stage lasts for about six weeks during which they will mate. Females will then lay their eggs, preferring to do so indoors or inside a mice nest or birds’ nest.
They will lay approximately 100 eggs that will hatch after 1-4 weeks. So, initially, you will mostly have larvae inside your property and they will gradually move around the house into different rooms.
The life cycle of the carpet beetle is composed of four life stages that are eggs, larvae, pupae and adult. Eggs are deposited directly on their food source and normally hatch within a month. The larval stage can last for as long as five months during which time they will feed on natural fibres and other organic matter.
As the carpet beetle larvae grow, they will go through five moults before forming a cocoon. They will then undergo a complete metamorphosis and reach the adult stage after 1-2 weeks.
Adult carpet beetles mostly feed on pollen but the larvae tend to feed on wool, leather, feathers, hair and nails.
Indoors, carpet beetle larvae will eat woollen fibres from carpet, curtains and clothing throughout the winter months. The longer they go unnoticed, the more damage they will do to your belongings.
Biscuit beetles are another type of beetle that tend to cause problems in our homes. Infestations are mostly linked to our dry food storage and they will often infest packaging of flour, biscuits, cereals, spices and other dry foodstuffs. They are dark reddish/brown, very small (3mm long), and are often confused with Furniture beetles.
The Biscuit beetle can bore through paper packaging and even foil, and they’re notorious for spreading quickly.
Their eggs will hatch after two weeks and the resulting larvae will feed for about two months before pupating in cocoons, often inside the foodstuff itself. After a further two weeks, the adult Biscuit beetles will emerge ready to repeat the cycle.
The adult Biscuit beetle will create an exit hole, similar to a woodworm, and will leave the food source to find a mate. Adults can survive for 3-4 weeks without eating, and during that time they will mate and lay more eggs.
It is quite common to find Biscuit beetles on the window sill of a nearby room as they are trying to follow the light. The right course of action for dealing with Biscuit beetles is to trace them back to where they are originating from.
The first thing to do is to check the cupboards where you keep your dry food. You may see a few live or dead adults at the bottom or on the shelves of the units – this is a strong indication that one of the food packagings is infested.
Old food packaging is more likely to be infested and should be checked thoroughly. If you are unsure about whether a certain item is compromised, it’s best to either place it in a sealed container or dispose of it.
Once the dry food cupboards are emptied and cleaned, our technicians will then spray the hard surfaces thoroughly with specially designed residual insecticides.
Biscuit beetles sometimes come from nearby bird nests and they can then find their way into your home by crawling through tiny gaps or flying through the window.
However, they are more likely to be introduced with our shopping, especially from shops with very little shelf turn over.
The best thing to do is regularly turn over your dry food – don’t keep food in your cupboards for years and years. Routinely clear your shelves and check the expiration dates – throw away anything that is expired and it’s a hotspot for Biscuit beetles.
As you buy perishable food, check the integrity of the packaging. Alternatively, the best strategy is to keep your dry foodstuff in airtight containers.