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How to kill dermestid beetles

Updated February 21, 2019

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

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

  6. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

Amanda Knaebel

Amanda Knaebel is a self-professed gadget geek and loves all things tech, both new and old. Amanda has been working as a freelance writer for over 10 years on topics including technology, health, fitness, nutrition, gardening and many more. She has also worked with Fortune 50 tech and financial companies, both in technical support and content production.

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