Pest Control

Does Baking Soda Kill Carpet Beetles? (We Find Out)

Baking Soda

Carpet beetles are insect pests that can infest and damage your home—such as feeding on fabric throughout your home, not only furniture carpets. Along with this, they also keep on feeding on animal byproducts, including hair and dander. That being said, carpet beetles can thrive in a home if left alone, whether that home is occupied or not. But how do you get rid of carpet beetles? Can you use baking soda to kill them?

In short, you can use baking soda to kill and get rid of carpet beetles completely. When it comes to using baking soda for carpet beetles, the baking soda does not need to be consumed by the beetle. Just coming in contact with the baking soda is enough to kill them. However, if the beetle drinks baking soda, the death of that beetle will be much faster. 

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While baking soda is an effective way to exterminate the population of carpet beetles in your home, there are other alternatives you can and should use along with the baking soda. This article will discuss such options and go more in-depth about baking soda to kill these fabric-eating pests.

Does Baking Soda Kill Carpet Beetles?

Yes, baking soda does kill carpet beetles. Not only will the baking soda kill the carpet beetles, but it can also get rid of them entirely with continuous use. The carpet beetles don’t need to ingest the baking soda for it to be fatal. In fact, as long as the baking soda comes in contact with the carpet beetle, they will eventually die from dehydration.

If baking soda is consumed, the death of those beetles is far quicker. The death can be due to multiple reasons. Because of the composition of baking soda, when the soda enters the body of the unfortunate carpet beetles that consume it, the baking soda will release carbon dioxide within the beetle. This carbon dioxide will fill up the tubes and intestines of the carpet beetles, causing blockage and leading to death. 

Not only that, but because of the granular nature of baking soda, the edges of each grain can cause cuts inside the beetle as it is digested. Causing massive internal bleeding and, once again, leading to death. 

It is noteworthy to say that there is a specific species of carpet beetle that has a thin layer of slime on the outside of its exoskeleton. These beetles are no match for baking soda either for the same reasons listed above. The baking soda will absorb the thin layer of slime, causing the beetle to dehydrate and eventually die. 

How To Use Baking Powder To Kill Carpet Beetles

There are a few unique ways of using baking soda to kill carpet beetles. Below we will discuss the main methods of baking soda to accomplish your goal.

1. Sprinkling The Baking Soda

One way to deal with carpet beetles is to sprinkle your carpet around your furniture with baking soda. This wide birth of baking soda will give a nice area where you should start seeing results. Along with the wide-area sprinkling, focus on sites that are hard to reach where you have seen or suspect carpet beetles to be hiding.

2. Spraying Baking Soda

Something else you can do is mix the baking soda into a squirt bottle with some water and spray those hard-to-reach areas and spots on your furniture, including creases and folds. The water will dry up, leaving a barrier of baking soda that can be traversed or consumed by the carpet beetles, both leading to death.

For best results, do this step overnight. The beetles are more likely to be active when there are no vibrations or anything else that may threaten them. 

3. Making Piles of Baking Soda

Another valuable tip for using baking soda is making small piles. Specifically, when doing this, you want to aim for the legs of furniture and beds. While carpet beetles can fly, there will be some that may fall off of your furnishings or are going back to your furniture to take shelter after eating. They will have to climb up the legs of said furniture.

With the small piles of baking soda around the legs of your furniture and beds, the walking carpet beetles will have to walk over the baking soda. It is coating them and causing them to start dehydrating, leading to their death.

4. Creating a Baking Soda Paste

This method falls in line with the spraying of baking soda. However, instead of making a sprayable liquid, you will mix A LOT more baking soda into the water and make this mixture very thick. When doing this, try to aim for the consistency of honey. 

Once your baking soda paste is made, use a small brush or even your finger to paint the areas of your home where you suspect the carpet beetles to be coming in. Along with those areas, go ahead and pain other spots that you suspect carpet beetles of hiding, whether in the wood siding, in your walls, or on the underside of your furniture where the support beams are. 

5. Baiting With Baking Soda

The last thing you can consider doing with baking soda to address the carpet beetle issue in your home is using leftover or useless fabric as bait. With the bait, you can do a couple of things. First, make a small pile of baking soda and leave the fabric on top. Once again, the beetles will have to climb the baking soda coating their underbellies, leading to dehydration. 

Next is taking that fabric and spraying it or painting it with the baking soda methods listed above. If going this route, leave the fabric to dry before placing it in spots you suspect are good areas to bait for the carpet beetles. They will eat the fabric and the baking soda leading to their inevitable demise.

Other Methods Of Carpet Beetle Extermination

Some other things to consider doing while using the baking soda methods above are as follows:

1. Vacuuming

Vacuuming can be a great way to see immediate results in your carpet beetle endeavor. Primarily by physically removing them from your home. However, the vibrations of the vacuum may kill quite a few larvae you suck up along with any unhatched eggs if you can suck any of them up.

2. Steam Cleaning

Along with vacuuming, steaming your home and furniture has a significant two-fold effect on carpet beetles. Not only are you cleaning your home while you do this, but the extreme heat from the steam will quickly kill any beetles, larvae, or eggs the heat comes into contact with. Be sure to let anything you have steamed dry completely, and vacuum afterward to clean up any dead beetles and dirt.

You can easily rent a steamer out from somewhere or buy one of your own just in case they decide to come back.

3. Doing Laundry

Laundering your pillows and any pieces of furniture cushions that you can is another great way to reduce the carpet beetle population in your home. Because the carpet beetles can basically find anywhere to snuggle up and call home, cleaning these items in hot water is a great way to kill them and get them off those specific objects.

4. Whipping and Spraying Down With Vinegar

Vinegar is a great thing to use for cleaning up tough stains and dirt. Not only that, but any carpet beetles caught in the vinegar spray will most definitely be killed. Not only that, it acts as a great repellant because carpet beetles hate the acidic smell of vinegar. You can use most types of vinegar, but apple cider vinegar is reportedly the best repellent of the bunch.

5. Boric Acid

Boric acid is a great alternative to baking soda. Also, it can work wonders alongside baking soda. With boric acid, sprinkle a thin layer on everything fabric, and concentrate on areas where you see the most carpet beetles. Alternatively, you can make a spray in a bottle with some water, just like baking soda. With the spray, focus on the same areas you would focus on with the baking soda spray. 

Once you have applied boric acid in your home with either method, allow it to settle and wait approximately 2 hours before cleaning everything up.

6. Indoor Carpet Beetle Pesticide

There are a plethora of pesticides that you can use on carpet beetles that come in cans. You can buy these cans in quite a few stores. The only catch to these pesticides is they are not suitable for use on carpets and furniture. With these cans, you want to mainly aim for wooden structures where the carpet beetles can go and hide. These places include the frames on the underside of your furniture, baseboards, or even under your sinks. 

7. Professional Exterminators

Lastly, the easiest and most sure-fire way to rid yourself of any pest is by calling your local professional exterminator. This will be the most costly option. However, you will have to do none of the work while being comfortable that the exterminators will handle the issue, and you will be carpet beetle-free. 

Video Demonstration

For those who want to know even more on the subject, we have found an excellent video demonstration for you to look at:

Final Thoughts

Carpet beetles can be a destructive pest for any homeowner. Hopefully, with the information we have provided you in this article, you will determine the best course of action for you to take when ridding yourself of the carpet beetle menace.

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Get FREE quotes from licensed pest control technicians in your area today. Whether you need spraying for ants, roaches, spiders, ticks, mosquitos, or bed bugs, We Can Help! All technicians are screened, licensed, and insured.

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Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.