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Black carpet beetle

You have spotted insects enjoying your textiles but also cereals and other foodstuffs. It may then be an invasion of black carpet beetle. These small insects of the order Coleoptera. And it would be better for you if it were only moths, because the larvae of black carpet beetle (just like beetles) can cause great damage, especially in your dressing room. Discover in this file a set of answers and products that will allow you to best fight against the black carpet beetle more and more present in the houses. At the first signs, we must react….

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Get to know the black carpet beetle better

(identity, mode of feeding, reproduction, ...)


Fight against black carpet beetle

(methodology of action, natural insecticides, ...)


Who is black carpet beetle ?

The black carpet beetle, Attagenus unicolor

Latin name : Attagenus unicolor
Order : Coleoptera
Family : Dermestidae (also including rats, voles, field mice, etc.)
Adult size : 2.5 to 5.5 mm
Length of the larvae : 12.5mm, cylindrical body reminiscent of the shape of a cigar
Location : 
cupboards in homes, in museums and in food warehouses
Food : 
plant and animal matter, nectar/pollen (adult only), textiles, wool and also cereals  

What to know about black carpet beetle

Black carpet beetle are small insects with an elongated, oval-shaped body and a hard shell. They have a small head with two short antennae ending in a club. The first segments of the antennae and legs are slightly paler. Black in color (sometimes brown to golden), they are covered with dark brown hairs. They are only 3mm in length. These insects have wings allowing them to fly over short distances.

The black carpet beetle, Attagenus unicolor

The black carpet beetle adults only live for a very short time, on average, 2 to 8 weeks (which is not the case for their larvae).

Black carpet beetle are found all over the world. They enter homes through windows, open doors, attics, ventilation intakes and cracks. And it doesn't matter what type of accommodation. In an apartment, a detached house, in the countryside, in the city, in old buildings as well as in brand new ones, the black carpet beetle will accommodate themselves very well. They feed mainly on nectar and pollen, but also like barley, peanuts, bran or corn. They can also attack synthetic textiles, wool, leather, fur, animal hair, their kibble, hair, feathers, insect collections...

Black carpet beetle are considered minor pests of grain products. But they are real scourges when we talk about fabrics or when they are observed in museums.

Atagen larva

The breeding season begins when the temperature reaches 15°C. If it exceeds 30°C, reproduction is no longer possible. The adult, which has developed inside the house, will go outside to feed on pollen and nectar. After mating, the females may come back into the house and lay the eggs behind baseboards, in the hot air ducts of the heating system, in attics, etc. The attacking females then lay their eggs in already infested food. They dig galleries there to shelter their offspring. Females are capable of laying up to 115 eggs in their lifetime (between 50 and 100 eggs on average). These hatch in barely 15 days.

The black carpet beetle larvae emerging from it are cylindrical in shape. Their body is brown and red, and completely covered with very thick hair, like a caterpillar. Their abdomen has, at its end, a tuft of brown hairs in the shape of a brush.

The larvae have a highly developed head and legs. Their growth takes up to 2 years if the climatic conditions are not favorable. On the other hand, it will only take 8 months if the temperatures remain constant at 24°C. Finally, if temperatures drop below 15°C, the larvae go into diapause (state of dormancy during which their development and metabolic activities are slowed down). During the larval period (8 to 24 months), the larva will undergo 5 to 11 molts. This number can go up to 20 if the conditions are unfavourable.

The black carpet beetle larva does not like and shuns light. The fabrics most likely to be infested are those left in dark places, carpets, under furniture and stored clothes. The larva moves little and stays close to where it feeds. 

How to spot the presence of black carpet beetle ?

Black carpet beetle larvae like to feel compressed between 2 surfaces. It is therefore common to find them, for example, under a mattress that would be placed directly on a carpet. We can also mention sofas, sofa beds, carpets, materials containing animal fibers as well as fibers from clothing likely to be attacked by carpet attackers. So be attentive to the target objects of the larvae in order to stop any infestation. You have to look for: insects, exuviae (remains of larvae molting), galleries, silk cocoons, corpses, excrement (small granules) and traces of nibbling. It is necessary to observe more precisely the hidden parts of the textiles (back, seams, folds, pockets, base of the hairs, padding), the windows and reserves (camouflaged areas, interstices).

The most visible signs of the presence of black carpet beetle will be the following :
1 - Packages of gnawed food
2 - The presence of larval exuviae and droppings in cupboards
3 - Holes in your clothes, carpets, fur...

Difference Between Male black carpet beetle and Female black carpet beetle

How to protect yourself from black carpet beetle ?

There are different means of prevention against an invasion of attacken in your home :

1 - Installation of mosquito nets on windows and doors to prevent their intrusion into homes.

2 - Meticulous vacuuming around and in the furniture, under the carpets, behind the sofas... The spider mites love places where dust accumulates! Remember to get rid of the bag because the simple aspiration will not kill them. They will be able to come out through the vacuum cleaner duct.

3 - Empty your food cupboards and clean them as much as possible

4 - Close your food packages in airtight boxes

5 - Clean curtains, furs, clothes

6 - Don't forget to ventilate your cupboards regularly

7 - Installation of fine mesh on the ventilation hatches

8 - Do not leave the bowl of your dogs and cats lying around

9 - Brush your pets regularly to limit the accumulation of hair under furniture

10 - Caulk visible cracks. Seal the exterior contours of windows, doors, cornices, chimneys, etc. as much as possible. 

How to eliminate black carpet beetle ?

If you find only a few adult individuals of black carpet beetle in your home, there is no reason to worry. They most certainly come from outside and will only pass. A treatment with our insect barrier on window and door frames should deter them. Just as the installation of a mosquito net will create an effective physical barrier against any intrusion.

If, on the other hand, you find larvae inside, it can be more worrying.

It will then be necessary to carry out a meticulous and methodical treatment of all the parts where their presence is proven.

The following information is to be modulated according to the severity of the attack of black carpet beetle. Below, we offer a method when you are in the scenario of a proven invasion.

- Empty your closet completely. Check them carefully one by one. When you come across a larva or an adult, trap it with an adhesive. Be careful not to scatter your clothes to prevent the black carpet beetle from spreading to other living rooms.

- Proceed with the "disinfection" of the clothes: passage of a minimum of 48 hours in the freezer for all objects that can withstand the cold or at a temperature > 60°C (washing machine or dryer). You can also treat with the Aries anti-moth spray all affected clothes or those that you do not need immediately (winter/summer linen, etc.). For those there and to be really quiet, you can lock them in plastic bags or a completely airtight cover. Also check your books and miscellaneous papers. Consider getting help from friends or family as this operation can take a long time.

- For clothes, you also have the solution of putting them in a garbage bag and filling the air volume with Ecodoo insecticide. For this, it is preferable to use the Ecodoo insecticide based on alcohol and essential oils. Close the bag tightly and let the insecticide act for at least 48 hours. 3. This method will have a double function. You place the insects present in an environment both deprived of oxygen but also saturated with insecticide.

 Vacuuming against black carpet beetle

- Vacuum all the nooks and crannies (mainly the dusty ones), in order to remove eggs, larvae, dead insects and organic debris that can feed the black carpet beetle (all nooks, crannies, mattresses, cupboards, carpets, drawers , Windows). A steam cleaner can also be used. Pass it gently everywhere (especially on the floors if it is parquet, baseboards, window sills).

- Treat all surfaces, nooks, cracks, crevices, etc. with our Insecticide all insects (4j to 5%), as well as all the strategic places borrowed by the black carpet beetle (baseboards, interior perimeter of wardrobes, etc). This 500 ml vaporizer will allow you to treat approximately 5 m². For larger areas, use this same product but in its concentrated form. It is then you who will make a 5% dilution in a sprayer (950 ml of water + 50 ml of pure insecticide). Do not neglect any place, the black carpet beetle can take refuge everywhere. Do not hesitate to wear a mask during the operation if you are sensitive to odors and to do the treatment in the absence of children and pets. You can easily ventilate during and after treatment with this product because it is a contact insecticide. Wait at least 6 hours before reinvesting the treated areas. This will allow the product to dry. To reduce them and increase your chances of destroying them, we recommend that you provide 2 consecutive treatments at approximately 1 week intervals with this insecticide.


6 - Black carpet beetle are structural insects. They manage to move from one floor to another and from one room to another through structural voids. To be sure not to forget anyone, diatomaceous earth can be of great help to you. This fine powder composed of silicon dioxide will be formidable against black carpet beetle. It is a natural insecticide that kills insects by dehydration by damaging their skeletons by absorbing protective waxes. You will need to sprinkle some behind the socket and switch trims, as well as around the pipe outlets. For an action in the smallest recesses, small holes and interstices difficult to access, prefer the diatom to be sprayed in the form of an aerosol. This earth acts by mechanical action. Once the black carpet beetle put in contact with this diatomaceous earth, it will end up after a few days by dying from the injuries inflicted.

In the event that atgens larvae are found in your natural fiber clothing, you will need to air these clothes (or wash them), vacuum the shelves or drawers, then dispose of the bag. Then a thin layer of diatomaceous earth can be spread around the shelves and/or drawers. Place a paper (or other) covering in the bottom of the drawers so that the clothes do not come into contact with the product. Since diatomaceous earth does not have a shelf life, it is up to you to vacuum it up when you believe that the invasion of black carpet beetle is over.


7 - Put the clothes back in your closets.

8 - Finally and in order to disturb their receptors, it is necessary to install products that smell good but which will mask odors. For this, we offer 2 references. Don't be surprised that they are destined for clothes moths. It also works perfectly for black carpet beetle ! :
a- Lot of 10 packets of clothing moth repellents (contains cedar wood essential oil, an excellent repellent) packed in a welded aluminum bag, to be placed on shelves.

b- ARIES textile anti-moth protection containing 2 diffusers that can be hung on the hanger of a wardrobe.


9 - Do not forget to vacuum several times a week and possibly take the opportunity to give an Ecodoo insecticide spray before closing the closet.


10 - To be sure to put the odds on your side, you can use our Habitat fogger habitat Biovétol once the 4J insecticide treatment has been carried out. It is an automatic insecticide diffuser composed of active ingredients of plant origin (pyrethrum + geraniol). It is intended for the basic treatment of the habitat. Very volatile, the solution is deposited in the smallest recesses where parasites and insects lodge. Immediate and prolonged action, up to 4 months. 3 different formats exist: 75ml for a treatment of less than 15m², 150ml, for a treatment of less than 30 m². Finally, 250ml, for a treatment larger than 30m².


After all these operations, it is recommended to continue a daily and meticulous inspection. You will eliminate the larvae or beetles found and continue to vacuum regularly. It is possible to find a few more within 2 weeks after treatment. It's normal. Only unpack what you need during this time to avoid re-contamination.

Do you have a large area to treat ?

For the treatment of a complete house or large surfaces such as rugs, carpets, etc., we advise you to equip yourself with a garden-type sprayer and insecticide 4j concentrate. Make your own preparation by diluting the insecticide up to 5% with water. For information, a bottle of 4J concentrated 250 ml in 5 liters of water allows you to treat 50m².

To be really effective, it will be necessary to treat in addition to the surfaces, all the "dark" places like behind the baseboards, the slots, the grooves,... For this type of treatment, you can use the insecticide spray All Insects Pistal which is particularly effective on larvae and eggs and will allow you to reach more difficult to access spaces.


The products you need against black carpet beetle

Direct access to detailed sheets of products to fight against black carpet beetle.

Textile Moth Spray – 200 ml

Aries Textile Moth Spray contains azadirachtin, extracted from Neem seeds. Neem is known for its repellent and insecticidal...
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Insecticide 4J diluted 5% - All insects -...

Ready-to-use  4J insecticide diluted to 5% . With this concentration, you will destroy  most flying and crawling insects  very quickly....
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4J Insecticide concentrate with plant...

4J insecticide concentrate to be diluted. Effective against a large number of crawling and flying insects in our homes. Available in...
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All Insects Natural Insecticide Aerosol -...

Pistal insecticide with PBO-free plant pyrethrum extract is a fast-acting universal natural insecticide. This formula kills all...
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Diatomaceous earth – Kieselguhr Celatom -...

Diatomaceous earth (also called Kieselguhr Celatom) is a completely ecological and natural insecticide that helps fight against...
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Fogger Habitat with plant-based active...

This is fogger composed of plant-based assets is intended for the background treatment of the habitat in case of infestation by mites,...
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*PAE : Ready to use


This is what a moving black carpet beetle larva looks like