How to Deter Black Beetle Bugs in a House

Updated April 17, 2017

Black beetles, also called black carpet beetles, lay eggs in warm environments. Their larvae will survive about 640 days indoors and adults will live for several months. There is ample opportunity for them to feed and sustain themselves inside a home. Articles made of leather, wool and silk will attract them. They also feed on plants, hair, feathers, dead insects and meat. Infestation prevention is best achieved by removing or properly storing sources of food.

Vacuum the attic and basement thoroughly. Dead insects or mice may be a source of food. Store leather items, animal furs, wool and silk clothing in airtight containers or plastic bags. Put cedar chips in containers or plastic bags with stored items for added protection. Discard any items that already have been infested or treat them with cold storage or heat.

Vacuum, sweep and mop all floors in the remainder of the house to remove spilt food, hair, lint, dust and dead insects. A clean house must be maintained to deter beetles.

Remove all food from the cupboards and pantry. Vacuum all of the pantry and cupboard shelves and the pantry floor. Wipe the shelves with a white vinegar and water solution. Mop the pantry floor with the same solution. Check all packaged foods for infestation. Discard them if necessary. Secure all packaged foods in airtight food containers before putting them away.

Check under and along the edges of carpet, lint traps and the ventilation system.

Vacuum thoroughly to remove dust and lint that beetles can feed upon.

Remove everything from all the closets in the house. Check for infestation. Discard or treat any items that have been infested. Vacuum the closet thoroughly. Place all contents of the closet, which attract beetles, into airtight containers or sealed plastic bags. Put some cedar chips in with the items before sealing it.

Wash and dry all pet bedding.


Bag, seal and place small items in a chest freezer for 48 hours to kill larvae or adult beetles. Heat, over 48.9 degrees C, will also kill larvae and adults. Remove infestation by taking clothes to a dry cleaner. Repair screens on all of your windows and screen doors. Seal any openings in the house, basement, garage and attic where beetles may enter the home.


Using mothballs to further protect clothing from beetle infestation is an effective deterrent, but they are highly toxic.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Air-tight storage containers for other items
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Soap and water
  • Vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Plastic bags
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Air-tight food storage containers of different sizes
  • Cedar chips
  • Freezer
  • Moth balls (optional)
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About the Author

Doreen Fiorillo has been writing feature and content articles online and in print since 2002. She has been published in Arizona Boating and Watercraft, as well as the "Las Vegas Bugle." Fiorillo is a former mental-health therapist who holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Norwich University.