Does Freezing Kill Carpet Beetles?

Many homeowners think that their carpets are safe from harm, especially when kept indoors. But those thoughts change upon seeing tiny holes caused by carpet beetles. We’ve asked the experts if freezing can kill carpet beetles.

Freezing can kill carpet beetles. Users need to put the infested material in a freezer with a minimum temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.78 degrees Celsius). Additionally, it should be frozen for at least one week.

Industry professionals know that freezing isn’t the only technique to eliminate carpet beetles. Find out the information these specialists provided as you continue reading the article. Doing so will let you know how to deal with these critters permanently and other important information about the topic.

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Black beetle on the carpet top view. Does Freezing Kill Carpet Beetles

Can Carpet Beetles Survive Freezing Temperatures?

Carpet beetles can’t survive freezing temperatures. These insects are cold-blooded creatures, which means their bodies can’t regulate internal temperatures efficiently. Therefore, carpet beetles raise or lower their bodies’ temperature from exterior sources.

For example, if the outside temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), the beetle’s body temperature adapts to the same heat level. In turn, putting carpet beetles in containers with freezing temperatures will freeze their bodies’ functions, ending their lives.

Freezing Carpet Beetles

Pest industry experts explain that freezing carpet beetles is one way of killing them. However, the proper application should be followed to eliminate these cold-blooded pests effectively.

How to Freeze Carpet Beetles

  1. Place the infested items in plastic bags tightly
  2. Put the bags loosely in a chest freezer
  3. Set the freezer’s temperature to at least 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.78 degrees Celsius)
  4. Wait for at least seven days before removing the bags from the freezer

Setting the freezer to temperatures lower than 0 degrees Fahrenheit can accelerate the death of carpet beetles. For example, setting the temperature to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-28.89 degrees Celsius) can kill the insects in about three days. Furthermore, make sure to defrost the freezer to make sure the device works efficiently.

What do Carpet Beetles Look Like?

macro shot of a varied carpet beetle on a white daisy

Understanding the appearance of the carpet beetle will help indicate if there's an infestation. An adult carpet beetle has an oval shape with a length that ranges from 1/16 to 1/8 inches. Colors can differ but can be anywhere from black, brown, white, yellow, and orange. Moreover, mottled patterns can exist on the insect's body, making it distinguishable from a reasonable distance.

What are the Signs of a Carpet Beetle Infestation?

Mature carpet beetles are about 1/8-inch long, which makes them challenging to spot. These pests also like to live in dark places, such as under floorboards and vents. However, they also like to hide between carpet fibers, hence the pest’s name. Therefore, it’s important to know the signs of a possible carpet beetle infestation before the situation gets worse.

Fabric Damage

Carpet beetles like to feast on animal products, such as furs, feathers, wool, and dead insects. Carpets with combinations of synthetic and natural fibers are among these pests' favorite foods. Also, since eating synthetic substances won't satiate their hunger, carpet beetles will eat more than intended, leaving behind holes and thinned-out areas.

Additionally, carpet beetles like to feed in huddles. Therefore, it's a tell-tale sign of a carpet beetle infestation if the holes on damaged fabrics are clustered instead of spread out.

Droppings

Carpet beetle larvae can leave droppings that are about the size of a grain of salt. Fortunately, the larvae will concentrate their droppings in one spot, making them reasonably easy to see.

Shed Skins

The carpet beetle larvae shed their skin as they grow. The shed skin remains, which looks like brown empty cases. Like the excrements, larvae will concentrate their shedding in one area.

What Season do Carpet Beetles Come Out?

Carpet beetles mature from their larvae stages in spring or summer. Females can lay hundreds of eggs, which will hatch in about seven days to a month. Once the young emerge from their casings, they’ll develop into adults within nine months to two years. The larvae can survive for many weeks without nourishment. However, mature beetles will only live for a few weeks, according to a 2001 study from the New Mexico State University.

Do Carpet Beetles Go Away on Their Own?

Carpet beetles won’t move from one spot if there’s still food for them. It’s best to use special deterrents to ensure these insects won’t return. For example, sealing clothes in plastic bags ensures the beetles can’t get into the fabrics. However, sealing fabrics with carpet beetles allows the insects to feast on those materials.

Are Carpet Beetles Harmful?

Carpet beetles aren't poisonous and they don't bite people. But these insects can cause significant damage to fabric-type objects in homes. Additionally, the beetles can also consume food when they get into pantries, and the bacteria left behind can cause contaminations.

How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

The time it takes to eliminate carpet beetles depends on the method used. Using harsh chemical fabric cleaners can kill these insects instantly. Spot-cleaning using commercial insecticides can also prove to be effective products for preventing carpet beetle infestations. However, these products have components that can harm the environment. Non-chemical carpet beetle control practices, such as freezing, can take longer than using harsh chemicals.

Does Vacuuming Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Vacuum can help eliminate carpet beetles, but it’s not enough for complete control. Vacuum cleaners can suck up adult and young carpet beetles, plus their eggs, on surfaces like rugs and upholsteries. However, many vacuums can’t suck these creatures living in tight spaces like the cracks on walls or the crevices between floorboards. Homeowners relying solely on their vacuum cleaners can find the infestation to return quickly.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles Permanently?

Freezing is only one of many solutions to eliminate carpet beetles permanently. Take note of the following techniques to ensure these pests don't breed, thrive, or return.

Insecticide

Store-bought insect killers are quick solutions to eliminate carpet beetles permanently. Products with ingredients like bifenthrin, deltamethrin, or cyfluthrin. Also, dichlorobenzene, the main ingredient in many insect repellants, can help eliminate and deter carpet beetles, as per a 2014 study.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is hazardous to humans when ingested, but this chemical can kill carpet beetles when poured on carpet beetles. Sprinkling a small amount on these adult or young pests can help exterminate them. Spreading the substance across areas can help dissuade the beetles from feasting on fabrics.

Fog

Insect foggers are effective in eliminating adult carpet beetles. Although it’s a fast and easy solution, these products can’t kill eggs and larvae.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is an organic product that can kill carpet beetle larvae quickly. Use this substance like boric acid and spread it across surfaces like carpet fibers and clothes drawers. Also, using food-grade diatomaceous earth while using a mask or respirator will reduce the risks of harm to humans and pets.

Fix Wall Cracks

Carpet beetles like to live in tight, dark areas like wall cracks. Fixing these ruptures can prevent insects from living in establishments. One way to deal with this concern is to use an epoxy injection system to seal cracks in concrete walls. Putting tape over small cracks can also be a temporary solution, although the adhesive can appear unsightly.

Professional Exterminators

Pest control experts can be excellent choices in removing carpet beetles permanently. However, these specialized services can be expensive with some companies charging their customers over US$100 per request. The costs can vary greatly depending on the severity of the infestation.

Final Words

Freezing fabrics can kill carpet beetles. Practicing the proper freezing procedure ensures that these insects will no longer exist on materials like feathers, wool, and cotton. Take note that freezing carpets to kill these tiny beetles takes a few days to a week to complete. Don't take those items out of the freezer quickly or the pests will continue their feast. Also, freezing insect-infested items is only one of many ways to kill these pests.

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