Best Carpet Beetle Spray

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Carpet beetles are a common pest that many people encounter in their home.

Adult carpet beetles live outdoors and feed primarily on plant material and pollen. Carpet beetles are cold-blooded creatures, and they need to keep warm to survive and breed. That’s one reason why they come into your home. Also, the beetle larvae feed on dry protein, so these pests like to lay their eggs on furnishings made from natural materials that contain animal proteins. So, your carpets, rugs, leather furniture, and anything adorned with feathers, fur, or leather trim could be a target.

When the larvae hatch, they munch their way through their ready-made meal, leaving behind a trail of holes and wreaking havoc on your interior décor.

In this guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about the pesky carpet beetle, including how to be sure that your home does not become infested.

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What are carpet beetles?

There are numerous species of carpet beetles, all of which belong to the Dermestidae family. The species you’ll find most commonly invading your home include the black carpet beetle (Attagenus unicolor), the furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes), and the varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci). All three of these species are found throughout the United States, Canada, and right across Europe.

Carpet beetles thrive in a variety of environments, but they prefer low-humidity areas, which are best for their developing eggs. That’s why your carpets are such a favorite nesting and feeding medium.

Best Carpet Beetle Sprays

One very effective way of killing carpet beetle larvae is by using a carpet beetle spray or home-treatment. Here are five of the very best carpet beetle sprays and treatments that are currently on the market.

HARRIS Boric Acid Roach and Silverfish Killer Powder

HARRIS Boric Acid Roach and Silverfish Killer Powder w/Lure, 16oz
  • Long Lasting - Continues to kill roaches, palmetto bugs, water bugs and silverfish for weeks after application as long as it's kept dry
  • Fast Acting - Insects coming into contact with the powder will die within 72 hours after initial contact
  • Easy Application - The puffer bottle with extended straw makes application quick and simple for difficult to reach areas

Last update on 2020-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Harris Boric Acid Killer Powder is effective in killing many species of insect pests, including carpet beetles. The boric acid crystals get between the joints of the insect’s exoskeleton, abrading the cuticle and dehydrating the insect, eventually causing death.

What we like:

  • Very effective, and contains no highly-toxic chemicals.
  • Cheaper than many other comparable carpet beetle killing products.

What we don’t like:

  • Can be messy to apply.
  • The dust is very easy to inhale, which could make the product unsuitable for people with asthma or other breathing problems.

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer

Ortho 0220910 Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter2 with Comfort Wand Bonus Size, 1.1 GAL
  • Up to 12 month protection (against ants, roaches and spiders indoors on nonporous surfaces)
  • Kills all common listed household bugs (refer to product label for complete list of insects)
  • Non staining, odor free and dries fast

Last update on 2020-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This pesticide spray is one of the highest-rated carpet beetle sprays on Amazon. You can use the product both indoors and outdoors, and it works on over 130 species of insect pests.

What we like:

  • Acts as a repellent, dissuading adult carpet beetles from choosing your home as a nesting site in the future!
  • Lasts for up to 12 months inside and for three months outside.

What we don’t like:

  • Contains bifenthrin, a chemical derived from cyanide. That makes it highly toxic to aquatic creatures and also to your pets.

Harris Home Insect Killer

Harris Home Insect Killer, Liquid Gallon Spray with Odorless and Non Staining Residual Formula - Kills Ants, Roaches, Spiders, Kudzu Bugs, Stink Bugs, Fleas, Mosquitos, Scorpions, Flies and Silverfish
  • Great Value - 1 Gallon allows for repeated applications to effectively eliminate bugs
  • Extended Trigger Sprayer - Use included extended trigger sprayer to treat where bugs are hiding
  • Long Residual - Continues to kill german roaches, ants, and asian lady beetles for weeks after application

Last update on 2020-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amazon’s Choice award winner, Harris Home Insect Killer, works on numerous species of insect pests, including carpet beetles, in and around your home.

What we like:

  • Comes in one gallon, ready-to-use containers with an extended trigger sprayer, making application easy.
  • Continues to kill insects for weeks after application.
  • Leaves no sticky residue or unpleasant odor.

What we don’t like:

  • Some users found that the sprayer stopped working after just one use, so they had to decant the product into a separately purchased plastic spray bottle

Tempo Ultra SC 240 ML (8.12 oz) Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide

Tempo Ultra SC 240 ML (8.12 oz) Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide ~ Spiders Bedbugs Roaches Silverfish etc..
  • Tempo Ultra SC has no odor and is non- staining and long lasting
  • 1- 8 oz. bottle of Tempo Ultra SC makes an average of 30 gallons
  • Cannot be shipped to CT or NY

Last update on 2020-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tempo Ultra Multi-use Pest Control Insecticide is a very powerful and effective insect killer that works on over 100 species of insect pests, including ticks and carpet beetles.

What we like:

  • Works powerfully and effectively in- and outdoors
  • Lasts for up to three months
  • Odorless and doesn’t leave any marks or residue on surfaces

What we don’t like:

  • The product is toxic to pet, so it needs to be used with caution if you have them.
  • You need to dilute this concentrated treatment in water before use, making it a hassle to prepare and it doesn’t come with a sprayer. On the plus side, the product does go much further than the prepared equivalent per volume.

Pro-Pest Pantry Moth Traps

Pro-Pest Pantry Moth Traps - 6 Ready to Use Pre-Baited Traps - 3 Packs of 2 Traps
  • PRE-BAITED - ProPest Pheromone Pantry Pest Traps lure moths by using special moth pheromones, or sex lures, that excite male moths. These traps attract and kill male moths, disrupting mating.
  • CONVENIENT - Ready-to-Use, and safe around your family and your pets. The Pro-Pest traps will last for up to 60 Days.
  • FIGHTS AGAINST FOUR MOTH TYPES - The traps are designed to capture pantry moths including Indian Meal Moths, Mediterranean Flour Moths, Almond Moths, Raisin Moths and Cigarette Beetles.

Last update on 2020-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These traps are designed to catch carpet beetles, moths, and other crawling insects. The traps contain pheromones infused in sticky glue. Male beetles are attracted by the pheromones and become trapped in the glue when they crawl into the trap.

What we like:

  • Very effective and allow you to monitor the presence of carpet beetles in your home
  • Don’t contain any highly toxic pesticide and are safe for use if you have pets

What we don’t like:

  • If you already have a carpet beetle infestation, this product won’t get rid of the problem immediately. However, this is an excellent supplementary preventative measure.

How to recognize carpet beetles

Most carpet beetles are oval, between 2mm and 5mm in length, and dark brown to black. They have short, clubbed antennae and mouthparts designed for chewing. Varied and furniture carpet beetles have colored scales specific to the species.

The carpet beetle larvae are generally elongated and appear hairy, which earns them the nickname, “woolly bears.”

You’ll usually notice adult carpet beetles during the summer months, outside in your backyard where they feed on various types of plants. Summertime is the prime season for carpet beetle invasion, and the pests often find a way into people’s homes via open windows or through doors cracked open on fine days. 

Carpet beetle life cycle

As we’ve mentioned, adult carpet beetles live outdoors where they feed primarily on plant material and pollen. After mating, female carpet beetles lay their eggs on or close to food sources for the larvae such as rugs, carpets, wool, furs, leather, and other material that contains dry animal protein.

Female carpet beetles lay between 50 and 100 eggs each time they lay. Typically, carpet beetle eggs hatch after about two weeks. The larvae then live between two and six months before reaching pupation, depending on the species. Varied carpet beetle larvae can take up to two years to pupate; during this time, the little critters are busily munching on your home furnishings!

After pupation, which lasts for about two weeks for all species, the beetles emerge as flying adults. Adult carpet beetles live for roughly two months.

How to recognize a carpet beetle infestation

If you have a carpet beetle infestation, you’ll notice the following signs:

  • Adult beetles on your windowsills.
  • Holes in your carpets, fabric, etc, usually spread over a single, large area.
  • The larvae molt periodically. The shed skins may cause allergic reactions or dermatitis in people who are sensitive to them.

If you have an insect trap such as this one we’ve featured in our Buyers’ Guide, you’ll notice adult beetles trapped in the glue. That can be the first sign that you have a potential infestation problem and you’ll know that it’s time to take action.

Check under furniture, in carpet seams, between baseboards and carpeting, under rugs, or in closets for signs of carpet beetle larvae activity.

Preventing carpet beetle infestation

Carpet beetles

Here are some helpful tips on how to prevent carpet beetles from invading your home:

  1. Check any plants or flowers that are bought into your home to make sure no adult carpet beetles are being carried in, hidden inside the blooms or foliage.
  2. Be sure to vacuum your home regularly to remove larvae food sources such as hair, dead insects, and other debris. Vacuuming can also help remove any beetles that are already hiding in the carpets.
  3. Check window and door screens and vents for damage. Replace any that are damaged, potentially removing an entry point for adult carpet beetles.
  4. Check vents, attics, and nests around and inside your buildings to make sure no dead animals or birds are lying there undiscovered, providing a potential nesting place for carpet beetle adults.
  5. Have your carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, stored fabrics, and drapes deep-cleaned regularly to remove any carpet beetle larvae or pupa that may be present.

One very common place for a carpet beetle invasion is your clothes closet. Look carefully through piles of seldom-worn garments, on the brims of hats, and under jacket collars for evidence of carpet beetle larvae presence.

Treating carpet beetle infestations

The best way to control carpet beetles is to use a good-quality, residual chemical pesticide such as those we’ve recommended.

These products continue working for several months after application, so they kill emerging adult beetles, larvae, and pupa. That means that a reinfestation is far more unlikely than if you use a one-off treatment that might leave some beetles still surviving, hidden deep down in your carpet fibers.

If you find evidence of carpet beetle activity in a localized area such as in your closet, you could use an aerosol spray product such as Pyrid Pyrethrin or EcoPCA ACU Contact Aerosol. These sprays contain natural ingredients and are safe to use in your home and around pets and children.

Another effective, natural product is Diatomaceous earth (DE). DE is powdery white dust that destroys the insect’s outer protective carapace, causing dehydration, suffocation, and ultimately death. DE is also non-toxic and safe to use and apply around the home. 

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we answer some commonly-asked questions about carpet beetles and how to get rid of them. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, shoot us an email, and we’ll do our best to answer your query.

Q: Do carpet beetles live in beds?

A: No, carpet beetles don’t live in beds. Bedbugs live in and around beds, attracted by the heat and carbon dioxide that the bed’s occupant gives off.

Q: Can carpet beetles harm people?

A: Carpet beetles don’t generally harm people. However, some people are allergic to the hairs or bristles that you’ll see on the bodies of carpet beetle larvae. Contact with the beetles can cause red, itchy bumps on the skin that can become infected if scratched.

Q: Do carpet beetles cause lasting damage to your rugs, carpets, and soft furnishings?

A: Yes, the beetle larvae will chew large holes in your rugs, carpets, and anything else made from animal derivatives.

Q: Can carpet beetles fly?

A: Yes. Adult carpet beetles can fly. That’s how they make their way into your home from outside where they feed on plant matter and pollen. The carpet beetles’ larvae cannot fly or jump. They move around a very small area by crawling, conserving as much precious energy as possible for eating in preparation for the pupal stage of their life cycle.

Q: What attracts carpet beetles to your home?

A: Carpet beetles are cold-blooded creatures. That means they need a source of warmth to survive. If the beetle’s blood becomes too cold, it will freeze and die. Consequently, carpet beetles are attracted to sources of warmth, which is why they’re drawn to homes where the sun is shining on an exterior wall or where heat is emanating from inside.

You may find adult carpet beetles underneath your porch, where there’s warm air coming from a dryer hose in your basement, or under a sunny patio. Carpet beetles will also enter your home via your chimney, following the heat retained in the brickwork.

Wrapping it up

Carpet beetles can cause irreparable damage to your carpets and other fabrics in your home.

Fortunately, you can treat an infestation by using one of the highly-effective products we’ve recommended in our Buyers’ Guide. We particularly like Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer, which is one of Amazon’s best-sellers. One application of the product lasts for up to 12 months, and the chemical components also act as a deterrent to adult beetles, helping to prevent a further infestation.

In the case of a serious or repeated carpet beetle invasion, you’re advised to contact a professional pest control company for help. A professional pest controller will have access to an industrial-grade insecticide that you won’t be able to buy over-the-counter, which will send this destructive insect menace packing for good.

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