How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are a pest that feeds on animal products and natural fabrics (not synthetic fibers), frequently infesting clothing and carpets. There are a few different types of carpet beetles but getting rid of them is the same – just follow these easy steps!


Life cycle



Life Cycle

Similar for all varieties. Eggs hatch in approx. 2 weeks. Larvae prefer the dark and feed on fabrics (wool, carpet, fur); adults prefer sun and feed on pollen/nectar.

Varied Beetle


  • 1/10th of an inch long when fully grown,
  • black with brown/yellow/white patterning that can fade as they age.
  • Larvae are covered in dense hair and slightly longer than adults, with brown stripes.

Anthrenus verbasci” by Olaf Leillinger is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Anthrenus verbasci” by Olaf Leillinger is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Anthrenus verbasci – larva side” by André Karwath is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Furniture Beetles


  • Larger and rounder than varied,
  • Generally mottled white/orange/yellow scales with white undersides.
  • Larvae are white or red/brown as they mature.
Black Carpet Beetles

Black Carpet Beetles

  • Largest in size, up to 3/16 of an inch as adults and 5/16 of an inch as larvae.
  • Are shiny black/dark brown,
  • Larvae are shiny black/dark brown with stiff hairs.

Stegobium paniceum bl” by Siga is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Where Carpet Beetles Live

The larval stages of carpet beetles feed on animal products and natural fabrics (not synthetic fibers), and frequently infest clothing. Carpets and area rugs are also a prime location for carpet beetle infestations (hence their name!)

How Carpet Beetles Cause Harm

They cause damage very similar to moths, however as they feed they will leave skins and fecal pellets as obvious signs of infestation. Carpet beetles tend to damage a single, large area on items, making them easier to distinguish from the scattered bites common in moth infestations. Carpet beetles are known to infest the interior of furniture made of natural fibers, such as the inside of cushions stuffed with down or other natural fibers, making it harder in some cases to notice an infestation.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Follow this step-by-step approach to get carpet beetles out of your clothes, blankets, rugs, carpets, furniture, and other fabrics.

PestTreatment TempatureHow long before they die
Ants120°F5 mins
Bed Bugs115°F7 mins
Cockroaches130°F7 mins
Dust Mites140°F8 mins
Fleas140°F10 min
Termites125°F10 mins
Scabies122°F10 mins
Lice130°F30 mins
Carpet Beetles120°F30 mins
Moths120°F30 mins
PestTreatment TempatureHow long before they die
Carpet Beetles120°F30 mins
Step 1- Heat Treat


Step 1: Use heat to get rid of carpet beetles. Adult beetles, larvae and eggs are easily destroyed with the use of a ZappBug heating unit. Place the infested (or possibily infested) items into the unit, and once the temperature probe reads 120 degrees Fahrenheit just heat treat for an hour and a half.

  • Carpet Beetles die at 120 degrees in 30 minutes, but we recommend treating for an hour and a half to be sure all are dead.
  • Delicate clothing that can’t be washed can be treated in ZappBug units
  • Makes it easy to treat rugs and other house hold items
  • Our larger ZappBug Room allows you to heat treat larger furniture, such as couches and beds.
Step 2- Vacuum

Seal and bag all items to make sure that any infestation is contained – for more on the best methods for that see Step 2 in our Eight Step Approach. This is especially important for objects that may be harder to see carpet beetles, such as pillows that could be internally infested. Once items are quarantined cleaning your home thoroughly with a vacuum (and steaming where possible) is strongly recommended.

Step 3- Wash

Two baskets of dirty laundry in the washing room

Clear away food sources whenever possible – including badly infested (and damaged) items, as well as any debris like pet hair or dryer lint. Wash your what you can to help get rid of the debris.

Step 4 - Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth. This stuff is a great non-toxic, kid-and-pet friendly alternative to insecticides. Make sure to buy food or pet grade, then spread a layer of around infested areas and inside cracks and crevices. Make sure to proof your house against new beetles entering from outdoors, especially through doors and windows by spreading diatomaceous earth in those areas. Diatomaceous earth works by drying out bugs, causing their eventual death by dehydration. .

Step 5 - DDVP pest strips

DDVP pest strips can also kill carpet beetles. For more information on DDVP please see Step 3 of our Eight Step Approach for bed bugs, and apply the same principles to your fight against carpet beetles.

Heat treat to get rid of Carpet Beetles

Learn more about how heat treatment works by visiting our products page and viewing our treatment video. You will see how easy it is to use our ZappBug heating units, and why heat treatment is the best way to get rid of Carpet Beetles quickly and effectively.

Prevent Carpet Beetle Infestations

Carpet beetle infestations are easier to prevent than to control.

  • Heat treat any old clothing or furniture purchased at yard sales.
  • Keep your furniture and clothes clean
  • Vacuum frequently to remove accumulations of lint, pet and human hair, dirt, and other organic debris
  • Since carpet beetles like dark places, it helps to move your furniture around occasionally
  • Store clothing properly. Clothes you don’t wear often, especially wool winter clothing, should be stored in an airtight place.
    • Protect wool coats and sweaters with plastic bags.
    • Store winter clothing in plastic storage bags, plastic bins, or airtight metal containers.