The best way to avoid carpet beetle problems is through prevention. Woolens and other susceptible fabrics should be dry cleaned or laundered before being stored for long periods. Cleaning not only removes perspiration odors that are attractive to the beetles, but also kills any eggs or larvae that may be present. Articles to be stored should then be packed with moth balls or flakes in tight-fitting containers. Insecticides should not be used to treat clothing. However, mothproofing solutions may be applied to susceptible clothing by professional dry cleaners.
Routine vacuuming effectively removes carpet beetles which are already present, as well as hair and lint which could support future infestations. Particular attention while vacuuming should be paid to the edges of carpets, along baseboards, underneath furniture and similar “quiet” areas where carpet beetles prefer to feed.
Insecticide applications directed into infested areas are often useful as a supplement to good housekeeping. Products containing active ingredients such as chlorpyrifos, permethrin, bendiocarb and allethrin are effective against carpet beetles. Sprays may be applied to carpets (especially beneath and along the edge adjacent to the baseboard), underneath furniture and other likely areas of infestation where prolonged contact with humans is unlikely. Clothing and bedding should not be sprayed and should be removed before treatment.
Control of carpet beetles requires patience and a thorough inspection to locate all sources of infestation. Elimination of widespread, ongoing infestations may require the services of a professional pest control operator.