Carpet beetles are common household pests that will attack not only carpets but any product made from or containing wool, fur, silk, feathers or other animal fibres. Adult carpet beetles are about 1/8-inch long, oval-shaped and, most commonly, black. Other species may be white, yellow, brown or orange. The larvae are about 1/4-inch long and covered with short, bristly hairs. They'll typically feed in dark, isolated areas like closets, attics, the edges of carpets, boxes of clothes and underneath upholstery. A good way to control carpet beetles is by vacuuming regularly and thoroughly. However, you still may need to use products such as insecticides to kill beetles.
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Boric acid is the active ingredient in many insecticides. It can be found in a number of pest-control products at most home-improvement stores. It typically comes in a plastic squeeze bottle and is directly applied in a thin layer to the areas where carpet beetles live in your home. It works by attaching to the beetles' bodies and killing them after they ingest it. It is of low toxicity and not typically harmful to humans or pets, but it is best to keep clear of it to avoid any potential problems.
There are other pesticide ingredients besides boric acid that work to kill carpet beetles. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture says insecticides containing chlorpyrifos, permethrin, bendiocarb and allethrin are effective against carpet beetles. However, these insecticides are more toxic than ones containing boric acid and should be used in areas that don't come into direct contact with people, such as underneath carpets, rugs and furniture.
When storing clothing and other fabrics, pack them in tight-fitting boxes with mothballs. Also clothes can be treated directly with mothproofing solutions by a dry cleaner to aide in protection and prevention.
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