How to kill dermestid beetles

Written by jill lee
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How to kill dermestid beetles
Washing clothes and bedding in hot water can help control dermestid beetles. (washing machine image by andrey polichenko from

Dermestid beetles often make their homes indoors when they come in through cracks and crevices or if they are brought in on plants. Though the adults feed on pollen and nectar, the larvae can cause damage to fabrics, carpet and food. The beetles can reproduce quickly, laying their eggs on fabrics, rugs, carpets, hair, and dead insects and animals, which the larvae feed on for periods ranging from about two months to nearly two years depending on the specific type of beetle. Killing the beetles can be difficult because they can spread throughout a building quickly.

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Things you need

  • Sticky traps
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Dusting cloth
  • Vacuum
  • Insecticide

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  1. 1

    Lay out sticky traps in areas where you notice adult beetles or larvae. Place traps near cracks and windowsills where beetles may come in. Some traps contain pheromones that attract dermestid beetles.

  2. 2

    Sweep up any dirt and debris and dust beetle-infested areas thoroughly to eliminate feeding sources. Vacuum carpeted areas and dispose of the canister contents or vacuum bag immediately. Eggs and larvae can live inside the vacuum and may cause a reinfestation if you do not dispose of the vacuum's contents.

  3. 3

    Wash clothing, bedding and any other washable fabrics in hot water to kill eggs, larvae and adult beetles.

  4. 4

    Spray highly infested areas with insecticide specified for use against dermestid or carpet beetles. Do not spray clothing or bedding. Test small areas of fabric, rugs and carpet before fully applying insecticide to make sure the product will not stain or discolour the fabric.

  5. 5

    Take large items, such as mattresses, to a professional pest control service to fumigate them if they are infested with dermestid beetles.

Tips and warnings

  • Install weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent dermestid beetles from entering your home or business in the first place.
  • Store fabrics in airtight containers to prevent beetle and other insect infestations.

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