5 minutes with a pest control expert: how to prevent, spot and remove a carpet beetle infestation

Holes in your clothes could be a sign of a carpet beetle infestation

If you've noticed some holes in your clothes or furniture, it could be a sign of a pest infestation. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Could the holes in your sofa and clothes be caused by a carpet beetle?

We sit down with expert Daniel Neves from Inoculand Pest Control Services to find the culprit responsible for the damage in your home, and what you can do about it.

Q: What are carpet beetles?

A: They are tiny insects and a common household pest in the UK. They grow to between 2-4mm in size and are often likened to small caterpillars. The distinctive orange, yellow, white and black markings on their back make them easy to tell apart from other beetles.

Q: How do carpet beetles get into your home?

A: They may fly in through an open window or door, or enter the home via other routes. For example, a plant from outside, a piece of second-hand furniture, taxidermy animals or already contaminated fabrics.

Q: Are carpet beetles dangerous?

A: They can cause irritated skin, eyes and breathing, but otherwise pose little threat to your health. They can, however, wreak havoc on your home and belongings.

Adult carpet beetle and advice on how to prevent an infestation from Inoculand Pest Control

Carpet beetles have distinctive orange, yellow, white and black markings on their back. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Q: How can you spot a carpet beetle infestation?

A: The four most common signs of a carpet beetle problem are:  

  • Holes in your clothes, furniture and carpet.
  • Damage to book covers and photos.
  • Spotting shed skin in corners of your home, around skirting boards, windows and light fittings.
  • Finding an adult carpet beetle in dry foods such as pasta, biscuits and flour.

Q: How quickly does an infestation spread?

A: One carpet beetle can lay over 100 eggs, meaning an infestation can quickly become a large issue. As the adults can fly, it's easy for them to reach other areas of your home and even your car.

Q: What can you do to prevent an infestation?

A: There are a few things you can do to prevent a carpet beetle problem:  

  • Regularly hoover your carpet, rugs and underneath furniture.
  • Hot wash your bath mats, curtains, cushion covers and throws every few months.
  • Place all dry foods in closed containers or air-tight packaging.
  • Wipe the leaves of any outdoor plants before bringing them inside.
  • Clean vintage furniture and antiques before entering the house.
  • Seal cracks around your windows and doors, and install bug nets.

Q: How do you get rid of a carpet beetle infestation?

A: You can attempt to remove an infestation without the use of pesticides. You’ll need to vacuum the infected area straight away, dispose of the bag, and steam clean all fabrics and areas of the room. However, as the eggs are difficult to spot and can take up to a month to hatch, it can be difficult to remove an infestation yourself. In most cases, it’s best to contact a pest control expert.

Advice from an expert pest controller on how to prevent a carpet beetle infestation

Hoovering your carpets, rugs and beneath furniture regularly can help prevent a carpet beetle infestation. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We’ll assess the extent of the problem and recommend the most effective treatment to eliminate them. To fully remove carpet beetles, it’s vital to break their life cycle by killing both the adults and the eggs.

We use a fogging machine to generate an insecticide mist that reaches all nooks and crevices where the beetles may be hiding. This instantly kills the adults and larvae and remains active long after application to kill off the remaining eggs as they hatch. Two weeks later, we’ll carry out a follow-up procedure to make sure every carpet beetle is gone.

Q: How long does the treatment take and is it safe?

A: Each treatment takes less than a few hours to complete. We use only HSE-approved pesticides that are completely safe and will enable you to return to your home two hours after treatment is finished.

Q: Will I need to prepare my home for pest control treatment?

A: It's best to tidy your home before we arrive, however, we’d advise that you don’t hoover between visits as this can remove some of the pesticides and render the treatment less effective.

Q: How much does carpet beetle treatment cost?

A: Before arriving at the property, we can recommend which treatment will be best and provide a quote to help you decide what’s right for you.

We are experienced at handling all types of pest problems, including mice, rats, cockroaches, carpet beetles and bed bugs. We’re dedicated to providing the bespoke advice and treatment you need to make sure no uninvited house guests outstay their welcome.

For more tips on how to handle a pest problem, visit inoculandpestcontrol.co.uk.

Call 0203 405 5000 or email info@inoculandpestcontrol.co.uk.