Carpet beetles are small, hairy insects found in most homes. The tiny bugs reproduce by laying eggs and can quickly become a menace if left controlled because they hatch only within 10 days.
At their larval stage, these insects are highly destructive as they feed on clothes, bedding, carpet, curtains, and furniture. They can also cause irritation to the human skin using their hairy bodies.
If carpet beetles are a menace in your home, you’re probably thinking about the best way to get rid of them effectively and immediately. And if you have a steam cleaner, you could be asking yourself if using it can yield results.
This article answers the question, “Does Steam cleaning kill carpet beetles?”
Does Steam Cleaning Kill Carpet Beetles?
Yes, steam cleaning kills carpet beetles naturally by subjecting them to high heat. Carpet beetles will die at 120°F across all their stages of life. Therefore, using a steam cleaner correctly will get rid of them.
How To Know if You Have Carpet Beetles in Your Home
Before you consider using a steam cleaner or any other method to eradicate these bugs, you’re going to make sure that you know where they live within your house. But how do you know if you have an infestation?
To begin with, carpet beetles are most destructive at their larval stage. At this stage, they’re 1/8 to 1/4 inches long and have tiny hairs on their bodies.
They also assume carrot or oval-shaped bodies and are either brown or striped white or tan. The insects can be tan or brown in color (or stripped white) and have some hair covering their backs.
On the other hand, adult carpet beetles are mostly found outdoors on flowers because they feed on pollen grains. They mostly resemble a ladybird. Look for the following signs if you suspect carpet beetles in your home and start working on killing them immediately:
- Damaged wood, clothes, curtains, and blankets to mention a few.
- Shed larval skin that is usually translucent with a yellowish or brown hue.
- Tiny beetles walking on walls or dead remains of the insect on your windows, floor, and other places.
- Thin and bare areas of wool on your carpet.
How To Kill Carpet Beetles Naturally Using Steam
1. Know Where They Live
We’ve already described how to know if you have carpet beetles in your home. You now want to discover where they live so that you can eradicate them effectively. The key point here is that carpet beetles aren’t adventurous, so you’ll mostly find them in dark areas.
Look for them beneath your furnishings, at the edge of your blankets and carpets, and near upholstered furnishings to mention a few.
2. Vacuum The Area
Start by vacuuming the surfaces that you want to steam to get rid of loose dirt, some insects, soil, dead insects, and other small materials. Don’t skip this process as it clears the way for smooth steam cleaning.
3. Steam Clean Thoroughly
After adding water, plugging in, heating (up to not less than 120°F), and installing the right nozzle on your steam cleaner, start steaming every affected area thoroughly, holding the machine over the areas for longer to ensure maximum contact time.
Ensure that you use this machine on surfaces that won’t get damaged at or slightly above 120°F.
4. Leave To Dry And Vacuum Again
It’s now time to let the steamed surfaces dry before vacuuming them again. Here, you wait for 30-60 minutes. Then, take up your vacuuming machine and use it on the surface to remove all debris including dead beetles, loose dirt, soil, and other particles.
What Temperature Wash Kills Carpet Beetles?
If you’re using a laundry machine to kill carpet beetles living on machine washable fabrics, the ‘rules’ remain the same. That is, set the machine to 120°F and wash the fabrics for around 20-30 minutes.
How Do I Prevent Carpet Beetles From Coming Back To My House?
Ensure that you vacuum your carpets, upholstery, blankets, and other places where the insects would live.
Get Rid of Outdoor Nests:
Remove and destroy any nests around your house as beetles will lay eggs in them and migrate into your home.
Use outdoor insecticides around your house to discourage these bugs from entering the house again. Use it on any potential points of entry like windows and vents.
Store Clothes Properly
Use plastic containers and or bags to keep your linens safe and secure.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Vinegar Kill Carpet Beetles?
Yes, vinegar kills carpet beetles but it’s not as effective as a steam cleaner if used correctly. We recommend apple cider vinegar, which kills both the adult and larvae beetles. It also repels the insect.
Does Boric Acid Kill Carpet Beetles?
Use boric acid and a vacuum cleaner to kill carpet beetles effectively. You can use a spray bottle to distribute the solution well on the carpet, leave it to stay for a while, and vacuum the surface after most of the carpet beetles are dead.
Note: Boric acid is a highly toxic solution. Therefore, you need to use it with optimum care.
Does Baking Soda Kill Carpet Beetles?
Baking soda kills a wide range of bugs. It dehydrates carpet beetles, which then die after a few minutes. It also deters the bugs from accessing food, which could lead to their death by starvation.
The Bottom Line
The answer to whether a steam cleaner is effective at killing carpet beetles is yes. Steam cleaning uses heated steam to kill the insect instantly. It is a natural, surefire method for getting rid of these insects without incurring high costs. If combined with vacuuming, the results are perfect.