beetleCarpet beetles are common pests in many homes and they can cause damage just like termites. Carpet beetles are insect pests in warehouses, homes, museums, and other locations where suitable food exists. These carpet beetles cause serious damage to fabrics, carpets, furs, stored foods, and preserved specimens. Getting rid of carpet beetles can be a daunting task, since they have an ability to thrive in just about any living situation. Fortunately, you can remove and prevent the spread of carpet beetles with some common cleaning items.

 

CONTROL

Carpet beetles are among the most difficult indoor pests to control because of their ability to find food in obscure places and to disperse widely throughout a building. Successful control depends on integrating the use of sanitation and exclusion, and, where necessary, insecticides.

Do Away with The Source

Remove accumulations of lint, hair, dead insects, and other debris that serve as food for carpet beetles. Throw out badly infested items. Remove bird, rodent, bee and wasp nests, and old spider webs, which may harbor infestations. Examine cut flowers for adult beetles.

Regular and thorough cleaning of rugs, draperies, upholstered furniture, closets, and other locations where carpet beetles congregate is an important preventive and control technique. Frequent, thorough vacuuming is an effective way of removing food sources as well as carpet beetle eggs, larvae, and adults. After vacuuming infested areas, dispose of the bag promptly because it may contain eggs, larvae, or adult insects.

Protect fabrics by keeping them clean: food and perspiration stains on fabrics attract carpet beetles. Dry cleaning or thoroughly laundering items in hot water kills all stages of these insects. This is the most common method used to control fabric pests in clothing, blankets, and other washable articles.

Some furniture, mattresses, and pillows are stuffed with hair or feathers. When carpet beetles or clothes moths get into the stuffing, they cannot be controlled simply by spraying the outside surface of the item. The best way to eliminate them is to have the infested item treated with lethal gas in a fumigation vault. Proper fumigation gives quick, satisfactory control, and kills all stages of fabric pests. It does not prevent reinfestation, however.

Safeguarding Things in Storage

Make sure they are pest-free and clean. Place them in an airtight container, using paper to make a layer every few inches. On the layers you can place insecticide-impregnated resin strips that are labeled for control of carpet beetles on fabrics, or you can use moth balls, flakes, or crystals, which contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene (PDB). Do not place these materials in direct contact with plastic buttons, hangers, or garment bags as the plastic may soften and melt into the fabric. Also, be sure to keep these materials out of reach of children and pets; do not use them where unwrapped food is stored or allow them to come into contact with food or cooking utensils.

Generally, closets are not airtight and are opened too frequently to hold in vapors. However, seldom-used closets can be made into a suitable storage space by sealing cracks around the door with tape or fitting the door with weather stripping. Seal cracks in walls and ceilings with putty or plastic wood. A trunk, chest, box, or garment bag makes a good storage container. Seal any holes or cracks. If the lid does not fit tightly, seal it with tape or wrap the entire container in heavy paper and seal it with tape.

Alternative methods of controlling dermestid beetles are either to freeze an infested object by placing it in a freezer (enclosed in a plastic bag) for 2 weeks at temperatures below 18°F or heating it in an oven for at least 30 minutes to temperatures above 120°F. (Before using either of these methods, consider if the object will be damaged by cold or heat.)

Insecticides

Cleaning is always the best strategy; however, areas or articles that cannot be dry cleaned or laundered can be sprayed with an insecticide. Find a product that lists carpet beetles on its label and closely follow the directions. Apply insecticides as spot treatments and limit sprays to edges of floor coverings, under rugs and furniture, floors and walls of closets, shelving where susceptible fabrics are stored, cracks and crevices, and in other lint-accumulating areas. Be sure not to spray clothing and bedding.

On rugs and carpets, closely inspect areas beneath heavy furniture and along carpet edges for infestation. Spray both sides of infested carpet if at all possible. Apply a lighter spray to the upper surface so that the possibility of staining is reduced. If the rug pad contains animal hair or wool and has not been treated by the manufacturer, spray it also. It is preferable to wait until the rug has dried before putting any weight on it. If you are worried that expensive broadlooms or Oriental rugs may be damaged by sprays, employ an experienced pest control operator or carpet-cleaning firm.

Applying protective sprays to furs is not recommended. If you store furs at home throughout the summer, either protect them with moth crystals, flakes, or balls, or periodically shake and air them. Furs in commercial storage receive professional care and can be insured against damage.

Carpet Cleaner Auckland 09-489 5599