Carpet softens the look of a home, adding warmth and creating a cozy living space. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who love carpets and rugs. There is a risk of trekking in debris from outside, including household pests. Here we look at how to get rid of pests and bugs in carpets and rugs.
Household bugs enter our homes in several ways, including:
- Open doors
- Open windows
- Dirty footwear
Once there are pests in carpets, it becomes difficult to remove them. They embed themselves in rug fibers, hiding in plain sight.
At Appleby Cleaning & Restoration, we specialize in carpet cleaning. We know a thing or two about removing unwanted household pests in carpets and deterring them in the future. Here, we’ll break down the cleaning process by bug type and treatment.
PESTS AND BUGS IN CARPETS AND RUGS — DIFFERENT TYPES AND HOW TO TREAT THEM
Getting Rid Of Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles are fond of natural materials like wool, leather, silk, and fur. They are also drawn to fabrics that include keratin because their larvae digest the protein as its earliest form of nutrition.
You’ll find these bugs in carpets near the end of spring or the beginning of summer. If the adults lay eggs in your carpet, the larvae hatch in the Fall. This is when the damage becomes most evident, as the larvae eat the carpet fibers.
There are branded carpet beetle powders you can buy to treat your carpets and rugs. Boric acid is also effective. Be sure no pets or children are near carpets while the boric acid is working on the fibers. Sprinkle the powder over your rug, spreading it out evenly. Wait two hours and vacuum well. Let the carpet settle and vacuum once more to ensure boric acid residue is gone.
Dealing With Bed Bug Pests In Carpets
Bed bugs are small flat pests with a reddish tinge to their brown bodies. They eat blood from people and pets and live in soft materials like bedding and carpet. Bed bugs come into homes on shoes, clothing, luggage, and pets. Once they’ve begun spreading throughout your home, they’re extremely difficult to get rid of.
Bed bugs are one of the nastiest of the pests and bugs in your home. Chances are, if you find one of these critters, you’ll need to call a professional to treat your entire home. If you tackle the task yourself, it’s a multi-step job, involving chemical and non-chemical treatments, including:
- Washing bedding, furniture, carpets, and clothing in hot water
- Cleaning floors
- Clearing clutter
- Wiping out cracks and openings in the home
- Using pesticide fogger
Fleas are other small flat insects which are reddish-brown in color and feed on blood. They mostly attach to pets but will bite humans as well. It’s important to treat carpets quickly when fleas are involved, as they can spread diseases. They burrow into soft furry places, including carpets, to lay eggs.
Like bed bugs, fleas usually require the help of a professional. To treat them yourself, you’ll need:
- Flea carpet spray
- Carpet shampooer/steam cleaner
Thoroughly clean your carpet with a vacuum cleaner, followed by a shampooer or steam cleaner and allow the carpet to dry. Vacuum the dry carpet and spray with flea carpet spray. This needs to sit on the carpet for a few days. Keep children and pets away during this time. Dispose of vacuum bags immediately, as fleas can crawl back out and into your home.
You may also want to have your upholstery professionally cleaned to remove household pests which may revert to your carpet.
Removing Carpet Moths
Moths are like carpet beetles in that they are attracted to natural fibers. They can chew through a carpet in short order. Moths are nocturnal, winged insects. This household pest may choose low-traffic, hidden areas of rugs and carpets to hatch larvae in, so treat those areas first.
Setting your thermostat lower than usual helps deter moths from making a home in your carpet, as they prefer warm temperatures. Vacuum your carpet thoroughly, and steam clean or shampoo if the infestation is severe.
Cleaning Ants From The Carpet
Ants are small creepy crawlies that live in the dirt outside our homes. Ants enter homes in search of food through cracks in the foundations, doorways, and windows. The most common ant found in Californian homes is the Argentine ant. Other common ants in the U.S. include:
- Carpenter ants
- Acrobat ants
- Thief ants
- Odorous ants
- Pavement ants
- Pharaoh ants
Ants aren’t natural carpet dwellers, but they’re attracted to food crumbs. You can usually avoid ants by regularly vacuuming and cleaning your carpets and rugs.
There are plenty of chemical-free ant removal methods, which is good news for your carpet. To attract and kill ants simultaneously, create a 1:1 mixture of baking soda and sugar. Ants love sugar and will flock to your carpet to collect it. The baking soda, however, kills them. Simply vacuum up the remaining powder (and ants).
After this process, you may want to have your rugs cleaned professionally. Sugar sticks to carpet fibers and could create a gooey mess when damp or warm. Appleby can remove this mixture from carpets and area rugs in a flash.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
Removing pests from carpets takes experience and the right equipment. At Appleby Cleaning & Restoration, we do more than just clean your carpet. Our dual-step pre-conditioning process prepares carpet fibers for a thorough cleaning, and our freshwater rinse removes all residual detergent and pest control powder.
You can count on us to keep your rugs looking their best, and make them safe for your family and pets.
Contact Appleby Cleaning & Restoration
Appleby Cleaning & Restoration works with home and business owners across San Leandro, Oakland, and surrounding areas. We offer our clients more than 7 decades of experience with the cleaning and management of:
- Oriental and Area Rugs
- Natural Stone
- Grout and Caulking
Our professional team works both in residential and commercial buildings, offering the highest quality of service and products.