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Pest Control/A few more carpet beetle questions....


Hi Steve,

I've been battling what I've recently had confirmed are black carpet beetles for three years now. I see you gave an excellent response re: the beetles in 2012. I have a few remaining specific questions.

My current battle methods are cleaning, containing susceptible items, ironing, dry cleaning or dry cleaning in my own dryer with woolite dry cleaning sheets or freezing for 3 days in our little upright freezer.

Things were so much worse this spring, though, that I threw all my delicate (even antique and vintage) clothing in the dryer for 30 minutes. The heat ruined some items, especially wools and hats. My questions are mainly about how to treat items that require delicate handling - typically hand wash and air dry or lay flat to dry. It would literally cost me thousands of dollars to professionally dry clean everything. Is it effective enough to:

1)Use a garment steamer
2)And or home dry clean with woolite dryer sheets
3)hand wash or delicate cold water cycle and hang or lay in sun to dry
4)or, if possible without wrecking them, simply put dry clothes in dryer for 20-30 minutes. I think this can cause less stress then drying them when they are wet? Although it did harm some things as said above.
5)Iron items.
6)also, can I safely put leather in dryer or bake it in oven?

If you have any insight into this problem I'd greatly appreciate it! My obsessive googling isn't giving answers.

Thanks, Colleen.

Sorry for the delayed response Colleen.

Yes dry steamers should be effective,Iron items. As far as leather in the oven don't have any idea about that it.
Carpet beetles feed on animal and plant substances such as wool, fur, feathers, hair, hides, horns, silk, velvet, felts, and bone as well as seeds, grain, cereals, cake mixes, red pepper, rye meal, and flour. Other substances include powdered milk, dog and cat food, leather, book bindings, dead insects, bird and rodent nests, and even cotton, linen, rayon, and jute, especially when stained with spilled food and animal excreta. The larvae cause the damage, crawling from room to room and living behind baseboards and molding, and in heating system air ducts, dresser drawers, carpets, clothing, and furniture. Feeding damage often occurs under heavy furniture or pianos and at carpet edges. Adult beetles fly readily in May and June. They are attracted to night-lights, and may enter through an open window or door. Some may be brought in accidentally on cut flowers or in furniture that has been in storage or sent out for repair.

Use a strong suction vacuum cleaner with proper attachments to remove lint, hair, and dust from floors, shelves, and drawers. Periodically brush, air outside, or dry-clean furs, woolens, blankets, etc. Clean rugs, carpets, draperies, furniture, baseboards, air vents, moldings, and other hard-to-reach places regularly. Destroy untreated worthless animal skins or hides, valueless insect collections, old woolen rags, and old clothing. Cedar-lined closets and chests help but are not 100 percent effective. Use one pound of naphthalene flakes or balls or paradichlorobenzene (PDB) crystals per 100 cubic feet of closet space for limited protection. Any tight box or bag that can be sealed is a good storage container. Place garments in and add PDB crystals or naphthalene flakes interspaced between sheets of paper. Use one ounce of crystals or flakes per two cubic feet of container space. Be sure that all cloth goods are dry-cleaned, washed, pressed with a hot iron, sunned, or brushed prior to storage. Fur storage in cold vaults is effective. Remove and destroy abandoned bird and insect nests in attics, under eaves, etc.

Woolen carpets, clothing, and blankets should be cleaned and immediately stored in tightly sealed containers.

There used to be many insecticides labeled for carpet beetle control that were available for homeowner use, but most of these have been removed from the market due to toxic residues. If sanitation, prevention, and PDB treatments do not control infestations, seek the assistance of a pest control professional who has access to pesticides that are effective in eliminating and preventing carpet beetle infestations. In severe cases, this may also include fumigation techniques. Total-release aerosols (often called bug bombs) are generally not effective at reaching the tiny cracks and crevices where the beetle larvae may reside. Before using insecticides, always READ THE LABEL and follow directions and safety precautions.

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Steve Oswalt


My Pest Control and Nuisance Wildlife Removal experience is in Residential, Commercial, Public Housing, Multiple Story Hi Rises, Agricultural facilities. My company is located in Lewisburg, Ohio and our Web sites are


20 years in Pest Control and Nuisance Wildlife Removal business were we provide exclusion services for pest control and nuisance wildlife along with latrine and gauno cleanup.

National Wildlife Control Operators Association's, Bed Bug Professional Group, Pest Management Professional Network, Wildlife Professionals Network, Rodent Management Network

Licensed and Certified in Ohio with the Department of Agriculture and Ohio Division of Wildlife as a Nuisance Wildlife Operator.

Past/Present Clients
Commercial Kitchens, Pre-Schools, librarys, Banks, Post offices, Urgent care, Fire houses, Kennels, Veterinarian offices, grocerys, nursing homes.

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