While we may feel varying levels of revulsion with different bugs and may accept the occasional spider setting up shop in a dark corner of the basement, no one ever wants to deal with a full-blown infestation, and certainly of all places, we don’t want one in a nursery.
Finding the larvae or shed skins of carpet beetles in nurseries can occur in a number of places, typically in cracks and corners of closets, dresser drawers, lint accumulations, stored woollens, and as the name would imply, carpeting. The larvae may appear virtually anywhere in your home, as they are quite active.
While adult carpet beetles feed on pollen, their larvae often feed on lint and on animal fibres such as wool, fur, feathers, hair, and mohair. This can cause considerable damage to clothing, upholstery, carpeting, and household furnishings. Carpet beetles may also find their way into dried food products such as flour or cereal.
Reasons for carpet beetles infestation
As with any potential insect infestation, the best way to deal with it is to prevent it, and it is for this reason that regular housekeeping is important. Eliminate breeding places by thoroughly removing lint on a regular basis. Be especially thorough when cleaning your rugs, carpets, closets, shelves, and radiators, as well as ducts, mouldings, corners, and floor cracks.
Periodically check that your windows and air ducts are properly screened and ensure that no bird nests are near these points of ingress.
When storing articles of clothing, be sure to launder or dry clean them first to present a less-tempting target. Items should be stored in tightly-sealed boxes or chests, avoiding plastic bags, which may result in damage to clothing during long-term storage.
Repel carpet beetles
Naphthalene (mothballs) may be placed with clothes in a properly sealed container. Although cedar chips may have a less offensive smell to you, they are not effective in deterring carpet beetles. Dry cleaning will help reduce the smell of the mothballs when you are ready to wear these clothes again.
If you must keep scraps of wool, fur, or other materials, ensure that they are stored securely.
Pound of Cure
If, in your cleaning of the nursery, you find larvae or their shed skins, perform a thorough search of anything that may be infested, including:
- Stored clothing
- Stored pieces of material
- Upholstered furniture
- Lint accumulated in floor cracks or air ducts
- The area under rugs and carpets, particularly near the edges
- Under baseboards, molding, and trim.
Get rid of carpet beetles naturally
If you find that the infestation is limited in scope, you may remove infested materials and expose them to temperature extremes; carpet beetle larvae and eggs can be killed if left in freezing temperatures for 48 hours. You may also dry clean or iron these items.
It is a delicate matter to deal with a potential infestation in your nursery, so if you find that the infestation has spread beyond easily-removable and cleanable items, consider turning to a professional for help.
They have the proper tools and experience to handle infestations safely and effectively, allowing you to breathe easily and get back to enjoying the things that matter