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Q: carpet beetles and borax ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: carpet beetles and borax
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: elaine1234-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 09 Aug 2003 09:05 PDT
Expires: 08 Sep 2003 09:05 PDT
Question ID: 241772
Is leaving a permanent sprinkling of borax on cement floor and installing
new carpet over it an effective way of keeping carpet beetles away?
My current, old carpet does have these beetles, and I plan to replace them.
Is this borax idea an effective way to deal with this problem?
Subject: Re: carpet beetles and borax
Answered By: emjay-ga on 09 Aug 2003 11:00 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi elaine,

Thanks for your question! Carpet beetles are persistent, but there are
a number of ways to prevent infestation.

After you remove your old rug, give the area a thorough cleaning to
destroy any residual beetles. You can do this by washing the floor
with a borax solution, in addition to sweeping and vacuuming curtains,
wall hangings, ducts, and crevices where beetle larvae might be

As you mentioned, Borax is a widely used, and apparently effective,
treatment and deterrent for carpet beetles.

"While carpet beetles are difficult to get rid of completely, you can
keep them under control by spreading laundry borax along the edges of
the carpets,"
according to the "pest control" section at 
< >.

Hulda Clark, in an excerpt from Recipes for Household Cleaning,
advocates sprinking boric acid powder under carpets:

"Insect Killer: Boric acid powder (not borax). Throw liberal amounts
behind stove, refrigerator, under carpets and in carpets. Since boric
acid is white, you must be careful not to mistake it for sugar
accidentally. Keep it far away from food and out of children's reach.
Buy it at a farm supply or garden store." < >

Apart from boric acid treatment, the most effective preventive measure
you can take is to thoroughly vacuum the carpet on a regular basis,
since carpet beetles feed on residue including human hair, pet hair
and lint. Also clean baseboards and radiators thoroughly.

There are a number of additional steps you can take to prevent carpet
beetle infestations:

- destroy old bird, wasp, rodent or insect nests in or around your
home - they act as nesting places for carpet beetles

- use commercially available phermonone traps to attract and poison
the little intruders

- move furniture regularly to prevent beetles nesting underneath

- caulk windows to seal entry points

- low temperatures keep carpet beetle populations suppressed

- vacuum underside of rug several times a year if possible

- check stored foodstuffs like cake mixes and flour for infestations

- clean any food spills immediately and thoroughly to avoid

- spray new carpet with household insecticide which can prevent
infestations for up to six months - be sure to choose a fabric
friendly product ("pyrethin" family), and test on a hidden area of
carpet just to be sure it won't stain. You may also wish to spray the
cement floor and any baseboards before laying down your new rug.

On a final note, some carpet and rug cleaning companies will treat
rugs with a 6-month mothproofing treatment which is also effective for
carpet beetles.

Some resources for your reading pleasure:

Facts on Carpet Beetles
CarpetBeetle/carpet.htm >

Symbio's Non-Toxic Pest Management Index
< >

I used the following searches to find your answer:

carpet beetles
prevent carpet beetle infestation
borax under rug carpet beetles
borax carpet beetles
carpet beetle deterrent
carpet beetle treatment new carpet

All the best!


Request for Answer Clarification by elaine1234-ga on 09 Aug 2003 19:06 PDT
Do carpet beetles infest only wool carpets, or are man made fibers
also at risk.
I notice my rooms with non-wool carpets don't seem to have them, while
those rooms with wool carpets do.

Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by emjay-ga on 09 Aug 2003 20:17 PDT
Hi elaine,

Carpet beetles do not feed on synthetic fibres. Here's the scoop from
"Fabric Pests" < >:

"Immature carpet beetles feed on dried animal products like wool,
felt, hair, fur, feathers, dead animals, stuffed trophy heads, etc.
They do not feed on clean synthetic or man-made fabrics but they can
be found feeding in wool-synthetic blends or on synthetic fabrics
stained with urine or sweat. Carpet beetle larvae are repelled by
light and tend to burrow deep down into wool, upholstery, or other
materials to feed."

Here's what the Carpet & Rug Institute has to say on selecting rugs
and carpets:

"Man-made or "synthetic" fibers, such as nylon, polyester, and olefin,
have no food value for insects. Foods, beverages, and other soils
spilled on the carpet and not removed, attract insects...Prevention is
easy. Remove spills and foods quickly, and have the carpet cleaned on
a regular basis"
< >.

Search string used:

carpet beetles wool man made

Hope this clarifies - all the best!


Request for Answer Clarification by elaine1234-ga on 10 Aug 2003 07:15 PDT
Thanks for the help. It has been very useful.
Another point . . . .  suppose the old wool carpets are taken away and
the area is cleaned, but not completely free of ca
the carpet beetles. We then install permanent synthetic carpet.
Is it then likely that the pre-existing beetles will gradually die off
for lack of food?

Thanks again.

Clarification of Answer by emjay-ga on 10 Aug 2003 12:06 PDT
Hi elaine,
Keeping the synthetic rug free of hair and lint would certainly help
to starve any remaining insects, but keep in mind that carpet beetles
could be nesting and feeding in other areas (corners, baseboards, food
products, etc.) Thus, it's probably best to give the room a thorough
cleaning/insecticide treatment before laying down the new rug, and
follow up with a fabric-safe household insecticide treatment a week or
two later for good measure.
- Emjay
elaine1234-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very helpful. Prompt initial response, as well as responses to my
follow-up questions.

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