The carpet beetle is one of the most difficult indoor pests to control. Toxic Respond feeds on a variety of foods, especially high protein materials such as animal hides and wool and easily infests stored fabrics. It also feeds on dried flowers, wood products, seeds, grains and flour. Infestations can be serious in homes, offices, museums and warehouses. Adults often fly into buildings and are attracted by sunlight. They can also be attracted by outdoor flowers such as crape myrtles and a variety of trees and shrubs.
Sanitation is the key to controlling carpet beetle infestations. Regular vacuuming of rugs, curtains, and upholstered furniture removes food particles and carpet beetle eggs, larvae and adults. Frequent laundering of washable fabrics in hot water will kill both the live insects and their eggs. Clothes that cannot be laundered should be stored in cedar chests or closet floors, although the effectiveness of this treatment is debatable; the oils in cedar lose their ability to repel fabric pests as the chest ages.
Protecting Your Home: How to Prevent and Eliminate Carpet Beetle Infestations
Stored fabrics that are susceptible to beetle damage should be thoroughly cleaned before storage and periodically sunned or brushed. Moth balls or flakes labeled for use on fabrics are effective in protecting stored items, but should not be relied upon over extended periods of several months or more; they contain paradichlorobenzene (PDB) which is toxic to people and pets.
Insecticide dust or sprays containing the active ingredients bifenthrin, beta-cyfluthrin, chrysulophene and lambda-cyhalothrin can be used in areas where cleaning is impractical. Apply treatments around the edges of floor coverings, under rugs and furniture, floors and walls of closets, drawers and shelving where susceptible fabrics are stored, cracks and crevices, and in other areas where lint accumulates.