Do Carpet Beetles die in the washing machine?
Carpet Beetles die in the washing machine when the infected fabrics are washed under certain conditions. Washing infected fabrics in the washing machine on a hot cycle with detergent will kill the carpet beetles on it.
You should understand that the carpet beetles on fabrics can be fully developed adult insects, larvae, or eggs, each with varying levels of protection.
The presence of an outer shell in some stages offers the carpet beetles some resistance to detergents, so the carpet beetles might not all die through washing alone.
It is very important to note that despite the protective layer of an outer shell, the Carpet beetle is not heat resistant in the washer dryer. The high heat of the dryer is important as that is what will kill the carpet beetles.
Carpet beetle infestation can be hard to deal with since your home is a bountiful source of food for these invaders that feed on the natural fibers of your fabrics and feathers too.
Regular practice of getting all your infected towels, blankets, pieces of clothing, and other fabrics you think are infected washed and dried on high heat over a 100°F, can kill the carpet beetles and control their spread.
While regularly washing your fabrics can kill the carpet beetles on them, it is not going to get rid of the beetles completely from your home.
Other things can be done to quickly get rid of a carpet beetle home infestation. But before you start killing bugs, knowing how they thrive is also important if you want to nip it at the source.
What Causes Carpet Beetle Infestation?
There is more than a single reason why you have carpet beetles in your home. Carpet beetles can live both indoors as well as outdoors, but due to the abundance of their diet of fabric and animal products inside the house, female carpet beetles prefer to lay their eggs indoors where there is enough meal pending when the eggs will hatch. An adult carpet beetle can fly inside through the door or other openings in the house. They are tiny beetles and so always have a lot of entrances inside the house. Bringing home infested items is another way of introducing carpet beetles into the house.
Having carpet beetle infestation can come as a surprise as they can go unnoticed for a long time, multiplying and causing damage to clothes, bedding, carpets, and furniture upholstery.
The presence of an adult carpet beetle is a sure sign of an early infestation. You may never know the number of carpet beetle eggs that are laying around already.
Adult beetles are attracted to lights, so look closely at light sources and windows where they are likely to gather.
The carpet beetle larvae, unlike the adults which feed on pollen, cause the most damage by feeding on natural fiber items such as silk, wool, feathers, and even leather.
Holes in such items can be a sign of carpet larvae infestation. Look out for empty skins as they shed their skin as they grow. Also, when attached to clothes, their bristly hairs can irritate the skin.
How do I Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
- Use of insecticides and Foggers
The best way to kill carpet beetles is by using insecticides and foggers. These kill the beetles instantly upon contact. Hence they are good if you are looking to clear a carpet beetle infestation in no time.
The pesticides also work to kill several species of pest insects in addition to carpet beetles. So they go a long way in clearing your home of pests.
However, caution should be exercised when making use of these insect killers.
Using an insect fogger requires you to turn off the electricity in your home to avoid electrical hazards.
While it is effective, it is also not the most convenient as it also requires you to leave your home for several hours.
Staying indoors while the fogger is in use can be harmful to health as you might inhale it. If you are going to use one, be sure to follow the precautions listed on the pesticide packaging.
Before using pesticide sprays or foggers, you might want to try other methods to get rid of carpet beetles if you are not looking to leave your home for that long.
- Use of Carpet Beetle Traps
Another effective way to get rid of carpet beetles is to make use of carpet beetle traps. These are better for killing carpet beetles than using sprays.
Carpet beetles are small in size and are good at staying out of sight, hiding in places where sprays cannot get to.
How effective a spray depends on if you can locate the carpet beetles and spray on them directly.
With carpet beetle traps, the traps are designed to attract the carpet beetles from their hiding place and kill them. The carpet beetle traps are mostly adhesive traps.
To attract the carpet beetles or insects, the traps are baited with scents that will attract the insects. A carpet beetle will eventually follow the scent and crawl into the trap, get stuck in it and die slowly.
They are easy to use as all you have to do is just place them at different locations in your home.
- Diatomaceous Earth
Natural solutions, such as diatomaceous earth, can be used to control a carpet beetle infestation, although the results won’t be instantaneous.
- Regular Washing of Fabrics
Regularly washing fabrics is a good start if you want to get rid of carpet beetles.
For items that cannot be cleaned in the washing machine, dry clean them by placing them directly in the dryer. The heat is not gentle on carpet beetles and kills them.
Adult carpet beetles have a hard carapace or outer shell to protect them from predators and exposure to the elements.
This also protects their body from being touched by vinegar when sprayed upon, hence Vinegar does not kill them.
They are more likely to survive a vinegar spray than other delicate insects such as butterflies.
While Vinegar might not be effective in killing adult carpet beetles because of their protective skin, carpet beetle larvae are not so lucky. The carpet beetle larvae have a soft exterior for an exoskeleton.
This cannot repel the effects of Vinegar on them. Hence vinegar can kill carpet beetle larvae.
Vinegar is good to use as a preventive measure rather than as a treatment. This is because, the two primary causes of an infestation, the adult carpet beetles and the eggs cannot be killed by using Vinegar.
And if these two are still lurking around in your house, a new carpet beetle brood may hatch and start the cycle again.
Carpet beetles do not like the smell of Vinegar, so it can be used to repel carpet beetles from your home. You should apply Vinegar from time to time after getting rid of a carpet beetle infestation.
This will keep them away from your home.
If you still have carpet beetle issues after all these, it is advised you contact a professional exterminator to help end the infestation.