What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles can damage not only carpets but also clothes, curtains, upholstered furniture, books, leather items, and many more. This is why they should be eliminated ASAP. And now you may be looking for an answer to the question “what is the fastest way to get rid of carpet beetles?”

Five Fastest Ways To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles

Some home remedies for carpet beetles deliver results faster than the rest. By opting for them, you can go back to having a carpet beetle-free indoor living without much delay.

However, for them to be able to provide impressive results, it’s a must that they are carried out properly. Here’s my top five.

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Get Your Hands on Insecticides

You can easily get your hands on an insecticide for carpet beetles, which can yield results instantly, by taking a quick trip to the nearest hardware or home improvement store.

Go for something that says on the packaging that it’s intended for exterminating carpet beetles. However, there’s no need to panic if you cannot seem to find one.

For as long as the product says that it’s meant for beetles, you can rest assured that it can be used for killing carpet beetles.

Some of the most effective insecticides that provide the fastest to get rid of carpet beetles contain one or more of the following active ingredients:

  • Bifenthrin
  • Cyfluthrin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Deltamethrin
  • Imidacloprid
  • Lambda-cyhalothrin
  • Pyriproxyfen

Just a word of advice: Use an insecticide for carpet beetles with caution. This is true even if the maker says that it’s safe. Kids and pests most especially are at risk when they come into contact with the active ingredients.

It’s due to this why many prefer to deal with carpet beetles without the use of commercially available insecticides.

Use Natural Solution Such as Vinegar

If using an insecticide is not an option because you don’t want to put anyone at risk, there is an alternative that is 100% safe and natural, and can also kill carpet beetles upon contact. It’s none other than vinegar.

What makes this common culinary ingredient with a lot of household uses is that it’s highly acidic — it can exterminate carpet beetles instantly.

The characteristic smell of vinegar is also too much for carpet beetles to take. This is why it also doubles as a carpet beetle repellent.

So, in other words, it can drive away those creepy crawlers or keep them at bay. However, since the goal is to put the infestation to an end, vinegar is best used as an all-natural insecticide.

Using vinegar as a DIY remedy for carpet beetles is simple. All you have to do is mix equal parts of it and water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spray away.

Remember to give the bottle a good shake before using!

If you want a more powerful remedy that can instantly exterminate larvae carpet beetles and destroy carpet beetle eggs at once, too, use undiluted vinegar.

White vinegar and apple cider vinegar work equally well against carpet beetles. It is completely up to you which of the two you prefer to use.

Apply High Temperature With Steam Cleaner

Carpet beetles are bad at tolerating high temperatures. Needless to say, they don’t like it when it’s too hot. As a matter of fact, they breathe they last upon exposure to scorching hot temperatures.

This is why the use of a steam cleaner is one of the best home remedies for carpet beetles. It kills them as soon as the steam produced comes into contact with them.

Experts say that carpet beetles die at 120°F. Most of today’s high-quality steam cleaners can produce steam with temperatures ranging from 150°F to 300°F.

So, in other words, you don’t have to buy the most expensive steam cleaner in the market. Even if you opt for a pocket-friendly one, it is likely to be capable of producing steam hot enough to exterminate carpet beetles.

However, it is a good idea to invest in a high-quality steam cleaner. That’s because it has many other nifty household uses than just killing those pesky larvae carpet beetles.

By the way, if you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can simply wash your clothes, bed linens, rugs, drapes, and others in hot water. This should be done for not less than 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, this DIY remedy for carpet beetles does not apply to items that cannot fit in the washing machine. It’s also not suitable for clothes and others out of natural fabrics that are not meant to be washed in hot water.

Check my review of the best steam cleaners that work best against carpet beetles and bed bugs.

Eliminate Carpet Beetles With Boric Acid

When checking out home remedies for carpet beetles posted on the internet, it is very much likely that you will encounter boric acid a lot of times.

It doesn’t really come as a surprise since boric acid is extremely effective for dealing with a carpet beetle infestation through the DIY approach.

It works in two ways:

  • It poisons carpet beetles. Once boric acid is ingested, it can kill those pests from the inside out.
  • It damages the protective outer covering of carpet beetles. This causes them to die due to dehydration.

Either way, boric acid can kill bed bugs. But it doesn’t do so as quickly as the use of insecticide, vinegar, and a steam cleaner.

Boric acid does not yield instant results because carpet beetles will have to ingest it first. Also, it needs a while to do its job of poisoning carpet beetles within.

Sometimes, you may have to wait for several seconds, while other times you may have to wait for a few minutes.

It can take longer for boric acid to weave its magic externally. According to experts, it’s a good idea to leave boric acid in carpet beetle hotspots for two hours before removing it with a vacuum cleaner.

Aside from sprinkling boric acid, you may also spray it. All you have to do is dissolve a teaspoon of boric acid in two cups of hot water. Once cool, transfer to a spray bottle and spray directly on carpet beetles or in cracks, crevices, and other potential hiding places.

Repel With Essential Oils

The problem with boric acid is that, even though it is 100% natural, it can pose some risks. This is most especially true for little children and pets.

Fortunately, you may count on essential oils, too. Because they usually possess a powerful smell, unlike boric acid which is odor-free, kids and animals are likely to stay away from them.

Some essential oils can kill carpet beetles and destroy carpet beetle eggs on contact, while others may require repeated applications to yield results.

Some of the best essential oils for dealing with a carpet beetle infestation are:

  • Cedar oil
  • Neem oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Clove oil

Among all the essential oils that can be used for exterminating carpet beetles, two of fastest-acting ones are peppermint oil and clove oil. As a matter of fact, they can kill carpet beetles on contact.

You can use essential oils without diluting them beforehand. However, they will surely fill your home with their powerful smell. What’s more, they don’t come cheap. This is why diluting them before use is a good idea.

To dilute essential oils, add distilled water. Avoid diluting them excessively. Otherwise, they may no longer work.

Just Before You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

So, what’s the fastest way to get rid of carpet beetles? By spraying them with insecticide or vinegar. You can also kill them without much delay with the help of a steam cleaner, essential oils, and boric acid.

Washing in hot water or tumbling dry works, too, but you will have to do it for at least 30 minutes.

No matter the fast-acting home remedy for carpet beetles that you prefer to count on, always remember to carry it out properly. This is important if you want to see the expected results, thereby allowing you to put the infestation to an end without delay.

Related Questions

What are some slow-acting remedies for carpet beetles?

For a mild infestation that does not involve a lot of larvae carpet beetles and damage to your belongings, you may try using glue traps and baking soda.

Are carpet beetle eggs harder to deal with than larvae carpet beetles?

Carpet beetle eggs are difficult to spot because of their size and color. Also, they are protected by their shells that make boric acid ineffective.

Paul Langlois, Museum Collections: Coleoptera, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

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