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Ask the Orkin Man

How to get rid of carpet beetles?

Question: How does one get carpet beetles and how does one get rid of them?

ANSWER: There are several carpet beetle species that can occur in houses. They are part of the Dermestid family of beetles. In general, these beetles are scavengers feeding on on dry animal or plant material. One of the most common of these is the furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes). This is a small beetle (a little larger than the head of a pin) that is somewhat oval in shape and has a mixture of black and gray patches. It is characterized by moving very slowly and rolling over as if dead when touched. The larvae of these beetles have brown bands and long ”hairs” at the end of their bodies. The adults are most often seen on walls moving very slowly. They are active in summer and relatively inactive in the winter.

Carpet beetles are a common household pest.  They can feed on a wide variety of things, from wool, leather and other animal products to noodles and flour, meal and other stored food and plant products. This feeding habit also makes them difficult to control. They can be found in almost any part of a house.

The best control strategy is to do a thorough vacuuming of the suspected infested sites. Then do a thorough cleaning, which includes looking for all the material that could be infested. In the kitchen, discard any infested food. In the bedroom, dry clean infested woolen garments and store carefully.

Make sure doors close snugly and have weather stripping. Check window screens to be sure they fit properly. Since some adult carpet beetles eat pollen and nectar, it might help to inspect any flowers that you bring into the house.

For help in control of these insects call your local Orkin Branch office. A highly trained Orkin Pest Specialist will come to your home and conduct a thorough inspection and assess the extent of the infestation. Your Orkin Pest Specialist will develop a customized, scientifically proven treatment plan that best fits your situation.

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