No More Bugs in Your Rugs! Learn About What Causes Carpet Beetles

A portrait of a carpet beetle isolated on a white background
A portrait of a carpet beetle isolated on a white background

You might not be familiar with the tiny carpet beetle, but these bugs can cause irreversible damage to your home. Mostly they prefer clothing and carpet, creating holes, and you might find worms in these areas. So what causes carpet beetles? 

At Environmental Pest Management, we know once you’ve discovered an infestation, you’ll want to get rid of carpet beetles. That’s where we come in! 

We are industry experts. We know what causes carpet beetles and we can kill them and their larvae, so there is no way they can return. 

No one likes to deal with a carpet beetle infestation. Let’s find out a bit more about these insects and how to get rid of them. 

What Causes Carpet Beetles? 

A carpet beetle in gray carpet

Before looking at what causes carpet beetles, let’s describe them. 

The adult carpet beetles are small and black to dark brown. The damage that is caused usually happens in the larvae stage, and they look like tiny little worms. You will find them on your carpet and clothes. 

There are three species of carpet beetles: The Carpet Beetle, The Furniture Beetle, and The Black Carpet Beetle. They are quite the quaint family! 

The furniture beetle prefers wood. This critter often gets inside the home when wood furniture or timber gets brought into the house. They will lay their eggs in the wood so that it can be incredibly frustrating to get rid of them. 

The carpet beetle is considered a common domestic pest. The beetles can damage anything made of natural fibers, so think of furniture, clothing, and carpets. They lay their eggs there, and if you notice holes in items you’ll know their presence. 

The black carpet beetle is reddish-brown and covered with bristles. They will damage your carpets and furniture, so you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. 

Carpet beetles live outdoors and feed on pollen and nectar. They can get into the home through flowers or plants.

Beetles have also been known to get in through cracks in doors and windows. Vents and chimneys are also easy ways for them to make their move inside. 

They love wool, so you may find them in wool clothing or wool rugs. It is devastating to find holes in your favorite wool blanket caused by these tiny scoundrels! 

They may also be attracted to animal hides that may be hanging in the home. Dried flower arrangements and even dog food can attract beetles and give them something to feed. 

How Do You Identify a Carpet Beetle?

What causes carpet beetles? A close up of a speckled carpet beetle.

There are a few identifying factors of a carpet beetle:

  • As stated, they are black to dark brown
  • In length, they are typically 2mm to 5mm long
  • All varieties are oval-shaped
  • They have short looking clubbed antennae

Wondering if carpet beetles are harmful? Likely not, but some people have allergies to insects. 

If you are allergic, you may have red, itchy eyes, a runny nose, or hives. If that is the case, it is imperative to have a professional pest controller take care of the infestation quickly. 

Having a difficult time finding the buggers? They are attracted to light, so try looking where the light source is, and you may find them crawling around. 

The larvae, however, are laid in the dark and take over a year to develop into beetles. Carpet beetle larvae are more destructive than the beetle stage, and that’s a good reason why a professional may be required to help out with carpet beetles and larvae in the home.

But How Do You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles? 

What Causes Carpet Beetles? Keeping an unclean home can attract these pests. Someone vacuuming their rug in order to prevent carpet beetles.

Getting rid of carpet beetles takes persistence and patience. 

To start, you should use an insecticide or a pesticide inside and around the perimeter of the home. Indoors, not only should furniture and carpet be vacuumed but steam cleaned as well. Infested items should be bagged for 24 hours then washed. 

Wash any stained clothing. If there are any beetles left around, they won’t want to feast upon anything clean and fresh. 

Also, seal up food in tight containers for now and keep all flowers outside of the home. 

You can also always call in pest control to handle the situation, so you do not have to yourself. 

What will pest control do to control the infestation? 

  • First, they will likely vacuum the whole area well, including window sills and around the door.
  • After that, they go over the vacuumed area with a steam cleaner.
  • A potent insecticide is then sprayed over the infestation area. Ingredients may include deltamethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin, as these work magic against carpet beetles.
  • Boric acid, which is powerful against carpet beetles, is then used over the area.
  • It is suggested to then go over all the home areas with rubbing alcohol, including doors, window sills, ledges, and baseboards. 

How Can I Keep Carpet Beetles From Returning? 

Someone putting their clothing in vacuum sealed bags to prevent carpet beetles

Now that they are out, how can you keep them out? 

For one, wash clothing well and store it properly in sealed bags from season to season. Always wash linens and towels regularly, so all is fresh and clean. You can add cedar strips or mothballs when you are storing items to help keep critters away. 

It’s okay to use an insecticide around the outside of the home at the advice of a pest control expert. Talk to us about how often routine maintenance is required. 

Never let holes or tears in windows go unrepaired and fix any broken sills from windows and doors. Those can be entry points for lots of Minnesota bugs

Call In The Experts For Your Carpet Beetle Woes

Someone using their cell phone to call pest control experts to help with a carpet beetle infestation.

Now you are an expert in the cause of carpet beetle infestation and how they are managed. Do you want to tackle this on your own?

You may want to leave it to professionals. That’s why we are here! 

Environmental Pest Management can handle whatever pest issue you have so it is no longer causing stress in your life. 

Summer is back, and the bugs are going to be in full force! Contact us for information, with questions, or for a quote today!

How To Get Rid Of June Bugs

june bug portrait
june bug portrait

Summer’s coming! You know it’s summer when you hear the whack of June Bugs smacking into your sliding glass door. Let’s discuss how to get rid of June Bugs.

Are you ready to enjoy the season? If you want to relax this summer, let Environmental Pest Management handle pest control. 

We handle all kinds of indoor and outdoor pests in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Contact us today for a free quote.

How to Identify June Bugs

A large June Bug on a green leaf.

There are hundreds of June bugs species, but in Minnesota, there are roughly 20 bugs with this name. June Bugs in our area are about an inch long and have an oval-shaped body.

These bulbous bugs have six hairy-looking legs and a pair of black antennae. They are dark brown, although some appear almost black or maroon. 

The June bug’s back and body is a hard, smooth shell with a uniform color and no markings. The underside is hairy. 

When they walk, they move in a bumbling way, almost as though their legs are too short for their bodies. When they fly, they always look like they’re about to crash.

They certainly are goofy, graceless bugs.

June Bugs are unique insects with two sets of wings. That hard shell covering the backside is a set of wings. There’s a second pair underneath the first.

The top set of wings serves to protect the bug but sticks out straight to be out of the way in flight. The top wings sticking out make this bug aerodynamically awkward.  

What Is A June Bug’s Life Cycle?

June Bug Larvae on potting soil

Adult June Bugs show up in or around (you guessed it) the beginning of summer. But where do they originate?

The bug begins life as an egg. The little white egg takes about three weeks to hatch.

The June Bug larva makes its way into your soil. It has a huge appetite, and it will molt twice before moving to the next stage of life. 

The bug will continue in the larval stage, eating roots and growing for one to three years. 

When the larva has grown and matured enough, it enters the pupal stage.

The pupa starts dark brown, gradually taking on an iridescent sheen. The pupa remains underground and doesn’t move at all during this stage.

The pupal stage lasts about three weeks. When this stage ends, the adult bug finds its way out of the ground and flies off to find a meal.

What Draws June Bugs To Your Home Or Yard?

walking june bug

June Bugs are attracted to moist soil and organic material. If you leave grass clippings left in your yard, June Bugs will be happy to dine there.

Damp soil is an ideal place for June beetles to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the June Bug grubs will burrow into your lawn.

June Bugs are drawn to any light source. If you have exterior lights on in early summer, you are likely hosting a nightly June Bug party. It may be the reason you’re researching how to get rid of June Bugs!

What Harm Do June Bugs Cause?

A June Bug on white blossoming flowers.

This flying, bumbling beetle is not a danger to people, and they do not want to bite or eat you. But June Bugs are interested in your plants.

June Bugs eat a wide variety of plant leaves, making Swiss cheese out of your lawn and garden. But that’s just the start.

The bugs lay eggs in your soil, turning your yard into a June Bug nursery. When the eggs hatch, the grubs feast on the roots of your plants.

A grub infestation can cause patches of dead grass to show up on your lawn. Brown patches in your yard are a sign of grubs munching on your roots.

Bugs in your lawn can also attract other animals notorious for being pests. Skunks and raccoons will dig small holes digging up grubs for dinner. 

How To Get Rid Of June Bugs

A bug zapper light installed and lit up to help prevent June Bugs in a yard.

The first step to getting rid of June bugs is to focus on the adults. 

If you aren’t squeamish, grab a pair of gardening gloves and pick the bugs off your plants by hand. Place them into a jug of soapy water to drown them.

If you prefer a hands-off approach, try this integrated pest management approach. This DIY insect killer is safe for humans and the environment:

  1. Mince four cloves of garlic. Soak them overnight in a tablespoon of mineral oil.
  2. Drain the oil, then add the garlic to a pint of water.
  3. Add a teaspoon of dish soap to the mix. 
  4. Put two tablespoons of your mix in a pint-sized spray bottle. Fill the remainder with water.

To get rid of June Bugs, spray the ones you see, as well as the plants they’ve been munching. The method also works well on Japanese beetles.

You can also reduce your June Bug count by installing a bug zapper. These bugs are notorious for heedlessly heading into lights. They fly straight into a crispy end with this contraption.

Once you’ve gotten control of the adults, you’ll need to address the grubs. 

June Bugs like to lay eggs in short grass, so don’t mow your lawn too low. You can set the mower to at least three inches to keep it at an ideal height. 

Deal with grubs naturally by introducing nematodes to the soil. You can purchase these microscopic worms online or at a garden center. Apply them with a spray bottle. 

A similar method is to apply a bacteria called Bacillus Thuringiensis, or BT. Apply in a spray or powder form to safely eliminate grubs.

If you need a more robust solution, try an insecticide that contains neem oil. This compound is toxic for many larvae but will not harm most beneficial bugs

Don’t Want To Deal With Bugs This Summer? Let Us Help

A pest control worker spraying a lawn.

If you’ve tried managing your outdoor pests, but they keep coming back, give us a call at Environmental Pest Management. We are experts at keeping your Minnesota yard free of nuisance bugs. 

Reach out today for your free quote to be on your way to having a pest-free environment!

Everything You Need to Know About Larder Beetles

Beetles
Beetles

If you have ever gone into your kitchen and opened your pantry, or larder, and seen small brownish-black beetles having a picnic, you know what it’s like to have larder beetles in your house. You probably weren’t thrilled about it.

At Environmental Pest Management, our job is to keep your home pest-free. Whether we’re helping to evict unwanted guests or prevent them from arriving in the first place, you can count on us to use the safest, most environmentally friendly products to get the job done.

Unlike some bugs that can invade your home, larder beetles are noticeable because they tend to travel in groups and don’t try to hide. Here’s everything you wanted to know about identifying these insidious insects and encouraging them to take up residence elsewhere

What are Larder Beetles and How Do I Identify Them?

When you’re dealing with pest control, the first step is to identify who you saw scurrying through your pantry. Knowing what type of bug you’re dealing with lets you know what techniques or products will be useful in dealing with them.

Larder beetles get their names from the place they are often found – in your larder – which is an old word for your pantry or cupboard, where you store food, especially grains and meat. They are small in size, only about ¼”  to ⅓” long, and oval-shaped. Look for the brown band around the midsection of their black body. It’s the primary identifying characteristic of a larder beetle.

Of course, larder beetles have six legs like all insects and two jointed antennae. The brown band typically has yellow or black spots on it, and tiny, densely packed hairs cover the larder beetle’s stomach.

Larder beetle larvae are about ½” long and do not have the characteristic beetle shape yet, and look more like a sow bug except that the bands on its body are striped brown and black. Like the adult larder beetle’s stomach, larder larvae have short yellowish hairs on their bodies.

Why are Black Larder Beetles in My House?

Larder beetles and their larvae are hungry. When we say that they are omnivores, we really mean they will eat anything. Stored food such as cereals, oatmeal, cookies, bread, dried pet food, stored cured meats, tobacco, carpet fibers, dried fish, cheese, clothing, dried museum specimens, and the carcasses of other bugs. They’re in your pantry or garage because of one thing: access to food.

If you’ve had another pest infestation problem, such as stink bugs or boxelder bugs, sow bugs, or ants, or rodents such as mice, moles, or bats, and there are carcasses in your attic or walls, then larder beetles are going to love your home. Even if you don’t know about the dead bugs in your attic, the larder beetle knows and will tell their friends.

Larder beetles can bore through wood and drywall to get to your food, so not only are they unsanitary, but they are also destructive. They can even bore into tin and lead, to lay their eggs in your canned tuna or black beans.

In the winter, larder beetles often hide in crevices or other sheltered places.

They may even lurk in your walls or garage. In spring, they emerge, looking for a place to lay their eggs. There will be dead bugs or other food sources in your home, so in they come. Females will lay around 100 eggs, which hatch in just a few days, eat consistently, and reach maturity in about six weeks.

Signs of Black Larder Beetles in Your House

wood

Aside from seeing the bugs or their larvae themselves, other signs of a larder beetle infestation include:

  • Holes bored into your boxes, bags of pet food, or other food storage containers
  • Larvae burrowed into a melon, potatoes, onions, or another food source
  • Skins from when the beetles molt
  • Spilled or scattered food — they aren’t precisely fastidious eaters

Strategies for Dealing With These Pests

Larder Beetles

If you’ve got larder beetles in your home, you need to do some severe sanitation to get rid of them. Merely removing the items containing beetles and wiping down your kitchen isn’t going to do the trick. Here are some steps to take to deal with a larder beetle infestation.

  • Everything in your cupboard or pantry must come out.
  • Throw out all food infested with larder beetles.
  • Throw out any opened food containers in your pantry, even if you don’t see signs of the beetles. That includes bags or canisters of flour, cereal boxes, partial pasta boxes, etc.
  • Inspect all canned food items for signs of entry.
  • Change your food storage containers to hard (BPA) plastic or glass, which larder beetles cannot enter.
  • Wipe down all shelves and the pantry floor with a solution containing vinegar or bleach.
  • Thoroughly vacuum all cracks and crevices
  • Look for cracks or holes in the walls, baseboard trim, or other areas where the beetles could have entered. Use a caulk gun to seal these and keep the beetles away.
  • Throw out partial bags of pet food. Store in a hard plastic container with a tight lid.
  • Check behind stoves and other appliances, which may harbor treats and secret passages for larder beetles. Clean this area and seal any gaps.
  • Seal any gaps in doors and windows that could allow entry to larder beetles or other pests.
  • Line the edge of your pantry walls or cabinet backs with diatomaceous earth to help deter and kill any larder beetles (or other bugs) who dare to return.

Contact Environmental Pest Management for Help

Larder beetles can be tricky to get rid of, just because they are so persistent. At Environmental Pest Management, we’ve dealt with larder beetle infestations before so that we can put your mind at ease.

We have a toolbox full of strategies to ensure the pest goes out and don’t come back. We’ll always use the least invasive and safest products and procedures to keep your family and pets free from harm while still eradicating pests and preventing them from returning.

Give us a call today, and we can help make larder beetles a thing of the past, just like the word larder.