When it comes to household pests, carpet beetles may be less known, but they are still capable of causing a great deal of damage. The University of Florida IFAS Extension points out that these beetles destroy a wide range of fabrics, including wool, fur, and silk. They can infest your clothing as well as your furniture and carpeting. If you spot these insects, you'll need to follow the steps below to achieve proper pest control.  

Confirm Their Identity

Before taking measures to remove the carpet beetles, you must be sure of their identity. The Entomology Department at the University of Kentucky reveals that adult carpet beetles are an 1/8 inch long, oval in shape, and shiny black in color. Should you come across a carpet beetle in the larvae stage, you'll notice they are about 1/4 inch long and covered from head to toe with tiny bristle-like hair. Sticky traps are a great way to catch this pest so you can examine it for proper identification. 

Prevention and Habitat Changes

It is possible to completely rid your home of carpet beetles by following a list of prevention techniques and habitat changes. You want to get your home to the point that it is no longer desirable to the pest. According to Colorado State University Extension, you'll want to store your food and clothing items in insect-proof containers, regularly clean lint and pet hair so that it does not accumulate and attract the beetles, and ensure all screens and cracks around doors and windows are sealed to prevent adults from entering the home.  

Insecticide Treatment

Larger infestations will require the use of an insecticide. The University of Maine lists bifenthrin, permethrin, cyfluthrin, and deltamethrin as effective against carpet beetles. You can use these chemicals in spray form, or as a dust. Since carpet beetles can cover a wide area of your home and hide in places you may not be aware of, it is best to have an exterminator handle the pest control for you. The expert will know the exact places to administer the insecticide for complete success. 

Protection Against Future Infestations

The University of California's Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program gives excellent tips for protecting your home against future carpet beetle infestations. Always have new clothing that enters the home dry cleaned or washed in hot water before putting it away, as heat will kill the insects. You can also do the opposite and freeze items that may be contaminated with carpet beetles for a period of 10-14 days. Finally, you'll want to keep an eye out for nests, such as bird nests or nests made by rodents. Immediately remove these as you find them. Carpet beetles love to make their home in these nests, so keeping a nest-free home is a key part of effective pest control. 

For more information, contact a business such as Affordable Pest Control Inc.