Monday, March 16, 2009

Carpet Beetles

Most houses have a few of them. They look like tiny ladybugs and their larvae look like tiny, pokey fuzzy caterpillars. Their mission: Eat your clothes and furniture.

I never get normal pests. No ants, no roaches, not even a crummy silverfish.
Instead I get destroy-your-stuff pests like mice and carpet beetles. Can termites be far behind?

Last March they moved in. In a day.
I came home from work to a dozen of them flying around. The last thing I needed was for them to turn my stuff into their food court. What if they laid eggs and had kids? Would they chew up my wardrobe? My bedding? The curtains? No trap 'n' release tactics were considered. This was war.
I sprinkled Borax* on the carpet. I sprayed the furniture (and the window screens) with pet-friendly** orange oil bug killer . The invaders succumbed.
This year I planned ahead. Borax was sprinkled, orange oil was sprayed. Would they return?
So far I've found a few, but they weren't flying around. Most have been dead with their feet in the air. Suckers!

*It kills bugs! It's less toxic than most insecticides (not that I recommend sprinkling it on your cornflakes!)
**I didn't want my harm my bird.


stray said...

I love learning about these safe ways to get rid of bugs!! Thanks. Parkinson's is thought to be set off by environmental toxins like herb/pesticides.

Namowal said...

Hi Stray,
Good point about Parkinson's. I was more concerned for my bird (they're very sensitive), but I'm living there too, so maybe I did myself a favor.
Of course, my place now smells like a marmalade factory.

Linda said...

Great bug drawing. Love how his arms attach to his underside.

Namowal said...

Thanks, Linda.

walterworld said...

The perfect cartoon says it all...I sure do smile when I read your posts.

Let's hope that Lawyer Squirrel doesn't show up to defend these jokers!

Take care---

Namowal said...

Aw, thanks, Walterworld!

kim* said...

i have been having a war with them the past few weeks, i bombed my room sprayed some pet friendly spray but they wont go away.

Namowal said...

Hi Kim,
Carpet Beetles are persistent little bastards, to be sure!
Part of the problem is that they leave pheromones, so even if you kill them they've still left the "come here for a good time" scent to attract new ones.
I have to spray (orange oil mix) frequently from late February through late March to zap the newcomers.
Another thing to watch out for- when you run the vacuum you'll probably suck some up. They can lay eggs in there and you risk hosting the next generation in your vacuum cleaner. You may want to switch bags more often instead of waiting for them to fill up.

Anonymous said...

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Oliver said...

I really dont like carpet beetles. They cause serious damage to fabrics, carpets, furs, stored food, and preserved specimens. That is why i always call home cleaning at Sydney once a two month.

Rachel said...

How do you make the essential oil spray? Or do you buy it?