Carpet Beetles: Unwelcomed Guests In Your Kitchen


Don’t be fooled by its name. Carpet beetles don’t just stop at devouring carpets. These pesky little things are most commonly found in the kitchen that’s hard to get rid of. So, I had to be creative to figure out ways to get rid of carpet beetles.

First, I need to mention that the best way of getting rid of these bugs is by getting in touch with an experienced pest specialist.

But even when you do so, they’ve ways of hiding right under your nose. Inside the walls, chimneys, heating ducts, and many other not-so-obvious places.

You needn’t have carpets at home, but these vicious little creatures have found genius hacks by making its way to the kitchen – it could either be hitching a ride on freshly cut flowers, flying in through the open windows (yes, they can fly, too!) or through pets.

Once they’ve made it home, these carpet beetles wreak havoc by laying eggs and settling in. It’s time to put an end to this.

The moment you realize there’s an infestation of carpet beetles in the kitchen, and you can’t get hold of a pest specialist, follow these tried-and-tested ways for how to get rid of carpet beetles in the kitchen, ASAP!

How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles In The Kitchen

Use Special DIY Solutions for Bugs In The Kitchen

Boric Acid

A literal poison on insect metabolism. Boric acid is not only dangerous to humans if consumed, but it’s equally life-threatening for the carpet beetles too.

Easily findable at the pharmacy stores, sprinkle the powder all over the kitchen cabinets, shelves, and the pantry. Another way of using boric acid is by converting it to a spray form.

To do this, add one tablespoon of boric acid to two cups of hot water, and keep stirring until the acid is dissolved thoroughly. Fill this formula into a spray bottle and spray it all over the kitchen and wherever it is needed.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural product found in agricultural-feed stores, and even online.

If you want something to quickly kill all the carpet beetles and its babies, this desiccant does it by dehydrating them.

Treat the kitchen the same way mentioned for boric acid. And while opting for diatomaceous earth, opt for the “food grade” one, which is safe for both humans and pets.

But make sure to wear a mask or a respirator while applying the diatomaceous earth, to keep you from inhaling all the dust particles.

Fog Spray

Well, they might not be chewing on your precious items anymore, but the carpet beetles, especially the female adults lay thousands of eggs, which will make you start the process all over again.

So, invest in a bug or insect spray and spray all over the adult beetles to completely eradicate them.

Use Essential Oils To Prevent Carpet Beetles

Eucalyptus Oil

One of the many things that the carpet beetles hate the most is the pungent smell of eucalyptus oil, as this form of smell is perceived as hazardous to them.

Use a few drops on a damp cloth and wipe away on the kitchen cabinets, shelves, and every other part in the kitchen.

You could also mop the floor by pouring a few drops of eucalyptus in a half bucket of water and cleaning the house thoroughly.

Clove Oil

What smells wonderful to us humans smell hazardous to the carpet beetles.

And just like how eucalyptus oil works on these creatures, clove oil has the same effect. So apply them the same way as you’d do eucalyptus.

Cedar Oil

By applying cedar oil, you benefit from dehydrating and suffocating the adult beetles, and also dissolving the eggs and larvae.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a powerful oil that helps with killing bugs, insects, and other pests at any stage of their life. The oil does so by penetrating their bodies and targeting the bodily functions and hormones by damaging them.

Thoroughly Clean The Kitchen

First, identify where beetles are coming from

Although the adult carpet beetles along with their larvae infest your home, the most damage done to the fabric and wood is done by the larvae.

To identify the source of the infestation, you must inspect the area with signs of beetles and property damage.

To do so, check out the dark, secluded spaces like the pantry, kitchen shelves, cabinets, basements, wardrobes, rugs, and under the carpets.

Some of the signs include:

  • Brown, shell-like shaped skin that is shed from the larvae
  • Brown particles (feces), resembling the size of a grain of salt
  • Beetles that have reached adulthood are big, oval-shaped, and come in varieties of colors. They fly and mostly live in the outdoors, but will get in the house to lay eggs in the dark and secluded corners.
  • And unlike adult beetles, larvae are elongated and come with tufts of hair. The varieties of larvae can be smooth and shiny, and come in colors such as striped, white, brown, or red.

Vacuum the entire place

The quickest way to cleanse carpet beetles and larvae is by vacuuming the entire place thoroughly.

  • Steam clean carpets if necessary by hiring a specialist, and follow vacuuming once a day a week to keep them at bay.
  • Make sure to also clean and vacuum the fabric-covered region and the upholstered furniture as they can’t be thrown into the washing machine.

Toss Away The Infected Fabrics

If you find clothing fabrics that have been enjoyed by the carpet beetles, throw them away immediately. And throw them into a trashcan outside.

Storing or washing the infested items makes it more difficult to put an end to the infestation.

Wash The Dishcloths In Hot Water

Even if the clothing fabric isn’t infected, wash it. Machine wash all your blankets, towels, linens, and other fabrics by using a detergent and a hot cycle.

Larvae, eggs, and carpet beetles are very resilient creatures, and the best way to kill them is by using hot, detergent water. And the clothes that can’t be washed, give it out for dry-cleaning.

How To Fend Off Carpet Beetle Future Infestation?

  1. The best way to keep them at bay is by purchasing sticky flypaper strips and hanging it by the window to get a hold of them.

    And if you face problems with repeated infestations, then hang the sticky pheromone fly traps in the closets and on the windowsills to stop the carpet beetles from entering before they lay their babies all over the place.
  2. Vacuum every day and wash clothing materials and other rugs and fabrics frequently.

    And when you spill food or drinks, clean them immediately (because who doesn’t like free food?). The same goes for the sweat and food stains as it can attract carpet beetles.
  3. Look for outdoor sources, such as holes in the doors or the screen to make sure carpet beetles don’t revisit.

    And clean out cobwebs, bird nests, honeycomb, rodents, etc, where carpet beetles can easily hide in.
  4. When it comes to flowers and plants, examine them carefully by checking signs for larvae or carpet beetles.
  5. Opt for synthetic items instead of organic, as carpet beetles just love to chew on organic items.

    So when it comes to furniture, opt for nylon, acrylic, polyester, and acetate. And for fabrics used for rugs and carpets, go for triexta, olefin, polyester, and nylon.
  6. When you’re not using off-season clothes, store them in a container or sealed plastic bags.

    And when you want to use them and want to keep things fresh, air it out under the sun, and brush them yearly once to check for infestation.

    Even after all this you still find an infestation, dry clean or wash the products before storing them in sealed containers.
  7. Call in a pro carpet beetle exterminator if all else fails.

Photo credit: ©canva.com/lokibaho

Wyatt Welch

Hi, I am Wyatt, and I live in North Carolina. I've been working as a Pest Control Technician and now I am enjoying my retirement. This blog is a perfect outlet for me to share my knowledge in the field and I'd be happy to help if you have any questions.

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