How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles Organically Without Any Chemicals


It’s a must to get rid of carpet beetles ASAP before they cause massive damage to your belongings, from clothes to upholstered furniture. However, it doesn’t mean that you should go for the use of powerful chemicals that can potentially endanger the health and safety of your loved ones.

When carrying out all-natural remedies for carpet beetles, it is of utmost importance that you do it correctly.

Consistency is also necessary to make sure that you will be able to wipe out carpet beetles and their eggs before they do more damage to your belongings and life, too.

Little Carpet Beetles Can Cause Big Problems

Carpet beetles are not like mosquitoes and kissing bugs that can spread diseases by means of their bites. The worst thing that they can do health-wise is leaving you with itchy skin.

Some people may also wind up with allergy-like symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes.

By the way, those marks are not really bite marks. Health experts refer to it as “carpet beetle dermatitis”. It’s an unfavorable reaction of the skin to the hair that covers the body of larvae carpet beetles.

In severe cases, carpet beetle dermatitis can cause breathing trouble, which calls for emergency treatment!

It’s because of carpet beetle dermatitis as well as the damage that baby carpet beetles can cause to your belongings why you should get them out of your life.

Yes, larvae carpet beetles are the ones that you should worry about the most. That’s because it can invade your home and ruin your belongings and possessions, too.

Adult carpet beetles, on the other hand, prefer to stay outdoors. It is outside where they can have all the pollen or nectar that they want, which is the main part of their diet.

Other than those youngsters, you should also destroy carpet beetle eggs.

Failure to do so will only introduce a new generation of larvae carpet beetles into your home in 10 to 20 days — female ones will eventually mature and lay their own eggs!

For as long as there are carpet beetle eggs that are left unharmed in their hiding places, it is unlikely for your carpet beetle problem to end anytime soon.

But worry not. Below you will come across some of the best ways to get rid of those creepy crawlers.

The Safety of Your Loved Ones Comes First

Since having larvae carpet beetles in your home can wreak havoc on your life in a couple of ways (leaving your skin red and itchy and damaging your belongings), no one can blame you for wanting to get rid of those natural fiber-nibbling pests without any delay.

The sooner that they are out of your life, the better!

It can be tempting to use commercially sold pesticides to get rid of larvae carpet beetles and the eggs.

Unfortunately, many of these products have toxic ingredients. Some of them may have unfavorable effects on the environment, such as DDT whose use was banned in many countries back in the 1970s.

Pesticides that you can easily get from hardware and home improvement stores may also affect the health negatively.

If there are kids and pets around, it’s not a good idea to use any of these products to solve a carpet beetle issue. Otherwise, you may end up facing a bigger problem.

Refrain from thinking that home remedies for carpet beetles that do not call for the use of commercially sold pesticides are 100% safe. There are some that may be just as risky as spraying your home with poisonous chemicals.

Case in point: boric acid, which is one of the most popular home remedies for carpet beetles.

Also known as hydrogen borate, boric acid can be found in many products. Some of them include:

  • Household cleaners
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Personal care products
  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides

It’s because of the insecticidal properties of boric acid why it is a well-known DIY remedy for carpet beetles and many other insects.

Some common examples include ants, cockroaches, termites, silverfish, and fleas. Boric acid is used by sprinkling it on trouble spots. Some insecticidal sprays contain it.

While effective against carpet beetles, the problem with boric acid is that it can be bad for the health!

Ingesting it in large quantities can cause poisoning. The same is true if it’s ingested in small quantities for an extended period. If there are kids and pets at home, using boric acid is a risky move.

Fortunately, when you look for ways on how to get rid of carpet beetles organically, you will be more than happy to learn that there are many alternatives to boric acid.

By going for any one of them (or a combination of two or more solutions), you can attempt to deal with a carpet beetle infestation on your own without unnecessary stress and anxiety.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles Organically Without Chemicals

The reason why you want to get rid of carpet beetles once and for all is for you to stop scratching all over like there’s no tomorrow and also to avoid being spotted wearing clothes with lots of holes in them.

However, there is no point in successfully eliminating all carpet beetles and the eggs, too, if you or someone at home is experiencing serious skin or respiratory irritation or digestive issues as a result of exposure to toxic pesticides.

When it comes to dealing with carpet beetles, going 100% natural is the way to go!

Fortunately, there are many safe and effective home remedies for carpet beetles around. This means that running out of something to try should be the least of your worries.

Are you on the hunt for tips on how to get rid of carpet beetles organically, which can give you peace of mind knowing that none of the ones you love will be placed in peril?

Here are some home remedies for carpet beetles that are guaranteed to bring the problem to an end safely.

Apply Diatomaceous Earth For At Least 4 Hours

Although it may sound like it’s made inside a chemical laboratory, diatomaceous earth is completely natural. In fact, there is a food-grade version of it that can be taken by mouth.

It is known to offer all kinds of health and beauty benefits. Some of them are:

  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Improved heart health
  • Optimized digestive process
  • Reduced constipation risk
  • Accelerated hair growth
  • Improved skin and nail health

Needless to say, diatomaceous earth is safe for humans, including kids. It’s also harmless for animals, which is why the use of the product is a great piece of advice in terms of how to get rid of carpet beetles when you have pets.

As a matter of fact, some anti-flea and tick products contain diatomaceous earth.

Put simply, diatomaceous earth is composed of the remains of diatoms, which are single-celled organisms that live in lakes, rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water.

It kills larvae carpet beetles as well as many other insects by damaging their outer protective covering. As a result of that, bugs end up dehydrated and dead.

Most of the time, diatomaceous earth sold online and offline comes in a container with a fine tip, which is similar to a ketchup or mustard squeeze bottle.

The tapered tip helps make it trouble-free to apply diatomaceous earth where it matters, such as cracks and crevices.

You may also sprinkle diatomaceous earth on carpets and upholstered pieces of furniture, and then use the vacuum cleaner to remove it as well as the remains of dead carpet beetles.

According to experts, diatomaceous earth can kill bed bugs, fleas and other small insects in about four hours.

Unfortunately, the product is only good for killing larvae carpet beetles. It cannot destroy carpet beetle eggs. It’s because their shell is preventing diatomaceous earth from carrying out its dehydrating skills.

Just a word of caution: Even though diatomaceous earth is safe, you should avoid inhaling large amounts of it. Similarly, you should avoid getting some of it in your eyes or the eyes of your pets. Diatomaceous earth is abrasive. It can irritate and scratch the eyes.

Vacuum The Carpets

Carpet beetles are called as such because they are attracted to carpets, which provide larvae carpet beetles all the natural fibers that they can eat.

Fortunately, removing carpet beetles from the carpet is just as simple as removing dirt from it with the help of a vacuum cleaner, which is an effective home remedy for those hairy critters.

Other than larvae carpet beetles, vacuuming is also great for sucking the eggs out from their hiding places.

It’s not just the carpet that you should vacuum to bring the infestation to an end. It’s also a must that you vacuum all cracks, crevices, corners, and undersides to rid your home of carpet beetles.

The best vacuum cleaner for the job is the kind with a disposable dust bag.

That’s because it simplifies the task of placing dust and other sweepings into a garbage bag. Just see to it that you seal the garbage bag containing the dust bag very well, and leave it outside.

Experts say that larvae carpet beetles can survive even without feeding for several weeks. So, in other words, do not open the plastic bag containing the dust bag for a few months.

Do you live where carpet beetles are quite common? Then make sure that you vacuum regularly.

That’s because lint, pet hair, food crumbs, and dead insects are also larvae carpet beetle foods.

Yes, aside from clothes, carpets, bed sheets, and others out of natural fibers, young carpet beetles can eat other things, too. As a matter of fact, they can consume hair on your head and elsewhere on your body!

Regular vacuuming helps reduce the amount of food that larvae carpet beetles may consume. This helps make it easier for them to put under control.

In a nutshell, it is a good idea to keep your home as clean and clutter-free as possible. This won’t keep carpet beetles from striking.

However, it can prevent larvae carpet beetles from getting the nutrients they need to grow and develop, and later on lay eggs which can cause the number of carpet beetles in your home to boom.

Vacuuming, by the way, is best paired with the next tip on how to get rid of carpet beetles organically.

Use Steam Cleaners Producing 250 Degrees Heat

Earlier, we talked about the fact that carpet beetles, just like many other household pets, do not like being exposed to high temperatures. It’s because of this why steam cleaning works for ridding your home of carpet beetles.

Many of today’s steam cleaners can produce steam with temperatures ranging from 248°F to 392°F. This means that any of them can be used for DIY carpet beetle extermination.

As mentioned before, a temperature of at least 120°F is more than enough to kill larvae carpet beetles and destroy the eggs.

The best time to steam clean surfaces and furnishings is after vacuuming them thoroughly. It helps make sure that larvae carpet beetles and the eggs that the vacuum cleaner missed will be wiped out.

However, do take note that steam cleaning is not a complete guarantee that any remaining carpet beetles and carpet beetle eggs will be eradicated.

If you want steam cleaning to work to your utmost advantage, do it often and thoroughly each time.

When it comes to steam cleaning as an effective tip on how to get rid of carpet beetles without chemicals, you have a couple of options:

  • Invest in a steam cleaner. A high-quality one may not be cheap, but it’s completely yours.
  • Rent a steam cleaner. It’s a cheaper approach, but you will have to return the steam cleaner later.

Consider investing in a top-notch steam cleaner if your home is carpeted and carpet beetles are commonly encountered by the local residents. This will allow you to sanitize and disinfest carpets and furnishings to your heart’s content.

It’s perfectly fine to rent a steam cleaner, especially if you are on a tight budget.

However, you should know that renting one from a questionable company may cause the introduction of other pests in your home.

Some of them are bed bugs, which can easily hide and lay eggs in the ports and openings of a steam cleaner. If the unit that you are about to rent has just been used for bed bug extermination, be wary!

Wash Clothes With Hot Water For 90 Min

Carpet beetles, regardless of the life stage that they are in, cannot stand high temperatures very well. So, in other words, exposure to heat will kill larvae carpet beetles and destroy carpet beetle eggs.

This is why laundering infested items in hot water is one of the best DIY remedies for carpet beetles.

But don’t just wash sweatshirts, socks, bed sheets, pillowcases, rugs, and others that carpet beetles love to nibble on in hot water. Make sure that you launder them in water with a temperature of at least 120°F.

When the mercury rises to this level or higher, carpet beetles breathe their last.

It is a good idea to wash infested items in hot water for 30 minutes.

However, some experts say that you should do so for a total of 90 minutes. They add that this will make sure that every larvae carpet beetle and egg will die.

Washing items in hot water is a quick and cheap solution for carpet beetles. It’s also one of the trickiest. That’s because items containing natural fibers cannot be washed in hot water.

Well, you can launder them in hot water if you want. But it is likely for them to shrink.

Some of them may be washed in warm water alright, but that won’t do the trick. It will be just like giving larvae carpet beetles and the eggs a nice warm bath.

Luckily, laundering items in hot water is not the only DIY solution for carpet beetles.

Run Dryer for At Least 30 Minutes

If you really want to make sure that items washable in hot water will be free of larvae carpet beetles and carpet beetle eggs, it is a good idea to toss them in the dryer afterwards. They should stay there for at least 30 minutes, too.

You can think of this as an extra precautionary measure against carpet beetles.

It will deal with any larvae carpet beetle and egg that survived washing in hot water, although it is unlikely for some of them to have survived coming into contact with blistering hot water for not less than half an hour.

This is why you should make sure that the water you are washing your items in is at least 120°F.

In case the items you believe are infested are clean, it’s perfectly fine to toss them straight into the dryer without washing them in hot water beforehand.

Opt for the hottest setting possible for the items. For this, you may check out the label or visit the manufacturer’s website for directions.

Unfortunately, just like when washing clothes with natural fibers in hot water, you should also practice caution when it comes to drying them. Otherwise, they may come out of the tumble dryer smaller than usual.

It’s a good thing that a lot of items, including especially those that larvae carpet beetles love to munch on, that are out of a blend of natural and synthetic fibers can tolerate drying quite well.

It’s because of this reason why, when shopping, you should consider getting your hands on items that are partially or completely out of synthetic materials.

Consider Using Dry Clean Option

Some items that larvae carpet beetles find irresistible should never be laundered in hot water and tossed in the dryer, too.

A few examples of them include those that are out of silk, wool, suede, and some delicate kinds of cotton. It’s also a complete no-no to expose vintage fur to scorching hot water and air.

If you have belongings that have carpet beetles but cannot be washed in hot water and tumble dried, the smartest step that you can take is to bring them to the nearest dry cleaner.

Don’t feel too embarrassed to head to the dry cleaner. That’s because the staff members are used to having customers with carpet beetle-related problems.

Besides, there is no need to confess that the items are infested. It’s due to the fact that they will discover it themselves sooner or later.

All you have to do is drop the items off, pay, leave, and then come back when they’re ready!

What’s really nice about taking delicate items to the dry cleaner is that you can rest assured that they will be 100% free of larvae carpet beetles and carpet beetle eggs afterward.

However, taking your carpet beetle-infested items to the local dry cleaner doesn’t come free of charge. Most of the time, you won’t see a price list at the establishment or on its website.

That’s because the cost of dry cleaning can vary tremendously, depending on some factors. Some of them are:

  • Material. The more delicate the fabric, the more expensive it is to dry clean.
  • Embellishments. Beads, sequins, buttons, etc. — decorations can cause the cost to rise.
  • Stain. The more stained the item, the higher the price tag of dry cleaning.
  • Pet hair. Having a pet can make dry cleaning more expensive.

To get an idea of how much you will need to pay to rid your items of larvae carpet beetles and carpet beetle eggs, you will have to take them to the dry cleaner so that a more detailed price quote may be given to you.

Use Vinegar Mix To Repel Carpet Beetles

When looking for some effective home remedies for common household pests on the internet, you can classify the majority of them into a couple of groups. They can either be repellents or pesticides.

Just like what the name says, repellents are those that drive pests out of their hiding places. They also keep them off areas where you don’t want them.

So, in other words, repellents can ward off flying or crawling critters but not kill them. Pesticides, on the other hand, are those that can kill pests.

There is an all-natural remedy for carpet beetles that can serve as a repellent and pesticide, too. It’s none other than vinegar. Whether it’s white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, this DIY solution can deliver.

What makes vinegar an effective repellent is that its smell is something that larvae carpet beetles cannot stand.

Spraying vinegar in common hiding places and feeding areas can help save your belongings from winding up damaged.

It can also cause carpet beetles to flee, which can make it easier to take them out with a vacuum or steam cleaner.

Vinegar is also an all-natural pesticide. Upon contact, it can kill larvae carpet beetles because of its acidity. This is also the reason why vinegar is an excellent destroyer of carpet beetle eggs, too.

Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used for dealing with carpet beetles — both of them are very good at repelling and killing larvae carpet beetles and destroying the eggs.

Here are some of the things that differentiate the two types of vinegar from each other:

  • White vinegar. Obviously, it is white in color. It has 4% to 7% acetic acid, which is what gives vinegar its characteristic taste and smell. White vinegar is more commonly used for cooking purposes. It also makes for a wonderful household cleaner, thanks to its deodorizing and disinfecting properties.
  • Apple cider vinegar. The presence of what’s called “mother” (in unfiltered and unrefined variants) gives it a cloudy appearance. Apple cider vinegar has 5% to 6% acetic acid, which makes it pretty much similar to white vinegar acidity-wise. It is more commonly used for health and beauty purposes.

Prior to using vinegar as a carpet beetle repellent and insecticide, you should dilute it first. The recipe is three parts vinegar and seven parts water. You can apply it using a spray bottle or piece of cloth.

By the way, vinegar is not only great for eliminating carpet beetles from your life. You may also count on it to get relief from some of the symptoms of carpet beetle dermatitis.

All you have to do is dab a little of it on trouble spots. It will help reduce redness and itchiness. It can lower the risk of infection, too.

Sprinkle Baking Soda On the Carpet

When looking for DIY solutions for a number of household problems, from a stinky refrigerator to clogged drains, it seems like baking soda is on many lists. It’s also admired for its many beauty purposes.

Some of them include removing blackheads, whitening the teeth, and keeping the underarms and feet from smelling.

And now you may have the question “does baking soda kill carpet beetles?” on your mind.

Many swear by the effectiveness of baking soda as a natural insecticide for carpet beetles and other insects. Especially when mixed with water and applied using a spray bottle, it can deal with an infestation.

Baking soda works just like diatomaceous earth. It kills carpet beetles by dehydrating them.

You can use baking soda for dealing with carpet beetles in a couple of ways:

  • By sprinkling it. To get started, all you have to do is open a large box of baking soda and sprinkle away. Place generous amounts of it on carpets, upholstered furnishings, mattresses, rugs, and others. Wait for at least four hours to pass before removing baking soda with a vacuum cleaner.
  • By spraying it. For every 15 ounces of water, add a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of dish soap. Use a spray bottle to apply this homemade insecticide in hiding places as well as crawling larvae carpet beetles. Some people mix in essential oils, which we will talk about in a few.

Unfortunately, because baking soda works just like diatomaceous earth, it is effective against young carpet beetles only. It cannot destroy carpet beetle eggs.

Use Clove Oil Against Carpet Beetle Eggs

In the world of aromatherapy, essential oils have plenty of uses. Reducing stress, alleviating joint pain, relieving insomnia, and easing vomiting are just some of them.

When it comes to dealing with carpet beetles, there are essential oils that may come to the rescue.

Neem oil is one of the most popular of the bunch. According to experts, this oil, which is obtained from the seeds of the fruits of a tree native to India and some parts of Asia, can prevent carpet beetles from eating, growing, and mating.

Because of this, the number of carpet beetles in your home can be reduced slowly but surely.

If you tend to have severe skin reactions to larvae carpet beetles, you may apply lotion or oil containing neem before going to bed. It will discourage those young carpet beetles from crawling on you to eat your hair or your sleepwear, if it has natural fibers.

Another essential oil known to be helpful for people with a carpet beetle problem is peppermint oil. Larvae carpet beetles cannot stand its unmistakable smell. This is why it works great as a repellent.

Here’s what’s nice about peppermint oil: it can also kill those creepy crawlers as well as their eggs on contact.

Clove oil is just as effective in killing larvae carpet beetles and destroying carpet beetle eggs as peppermint oil and neem oil.

What’s wonderful about this essential oil is that you can also dab a little of it on red and itchy areas resulting from carpet beetle dermatitis.

While extremely effective, the use of certain essential oils can fill your home with an overpowering smell. Sometimes, they can stay around for several days.

The good news is that diluting your preferred essential oil with distilled water can help weaken the odor that they give off.

The bad news is that the more distilled water you use for diluting purposes, the weaker the essential oil of your choice gets. For best results, make sure that you do not dilute essential oils excessively.

Switch to Synthetics To Prevent Infestation

The main reason why larvae carpet beetles infest homes and adult ones do not is that there are lots of natural fibers indoors that those baby carpet beetles can feed on.

It’s because of this exactly why it is a good idea to limit the number of items in your home that contain natural fibers.

So, in other words, you should consider buying items that are out of synthetic materials. Larvae beetles will find them unpalatable, thereby causing them to lose their appetite and die of starvation.

Other than helping to discourage and deal with a carpet beetle infestation, there are a few other benefits associated with the use of items containing synthetic fibers. Some of them are:

  • They allow you to enjoy them for a long time as they are durable.
  • They help stretch your shopping budget because they are usually cheaper.
  • They tend to keep their shape and fend off wrinkles and creases.

It’s true that natural fibers are more comfortable and soft. They are also breathable and sweat-wicking, which makes them effective against overheating.

This does not mean, however, that synthetic fibers are less superior to natural fibers. For instance, most athletic or active wear options these days are out of them.

That’s because they help sweat to evaporate quickly. They can also withstand the demanding lifestyle of people who wear them.

And if your home is prone to harboring carpet beetles, synthetic fibers can change your life for the better!

Just Before You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles Naturally

No one can blame you for steering clear of commercially available insecticides. The thought of exposing yourself as well as your loved ones to their harmful ingredients can fill your mind with stressful and anxious thoughts.

At times, the complications of their use can be worse than the damage that larvae carpet beetles can do to your clothes, carpet, furniture and other belongings.

Fortunately, it is possible to deal with a carpet beetle infestation organically.

Some all-natural remedies for carpet beetles can kill larvae only, while others can destroy the eggs as well.

No matter the DIY solutions that you wish to go for, always remember one thing: you should do them correctly and consistently. If all else fails, consider getting in touch with the pros.

Photo credit: ©canva.com/snyferok

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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