Does Baking Soda Kill Carpet Beetles?

Baking soda can kill carpet beetles’ larvae but it is not an effective solution when getting rid of adult beetles. The adults have a protective layer that keeps baking soda particles from their bodies. However, the larvae are vulnerable because they are still soft and weak with no protective layers.

To get rid of carpet beetles and their larvae, you have to sprinkle baking soda powder on them. Spread and ensure it gets to the bottom of the infested areas I.e. fabric or carpet. Let it stay for 1-2 days after which you can vacuum the area to get rid of the powder particles along with the dead beetles.

A sign of an infestation includes random holes in materials made from animal products around the house. This includes anything that is made from wool and silk. The larvae extract keratin from those materials since that is all they need is to develop.

Does Baking Soda Kill Carpet Beetles?
Does Baking Soda Kill Carpet Beetles?

Baking soda for carpet beetle eggs

Baking soda can kill carpet beetle eggs by draining moisture and liquid from their soft layers. This dries them out and they will not be able to hatch as required if they are well dusted in it. Those eggs are soft and are always laid in moist environments that are relatively warm.

The females lay in warm seasons at room temperatures of about 78 F°. When generously spread on an infested area, baking soda absorbs water molecules around the eggs. This makes them exposed to heat and they are easily dried out.

Carpet beetle eggs have an ovate shape with a 0.05-centimeter length and are always laid in clusters. They are always white but they may have an off-white look in some cases. How they look depends on where they are laid because if the place is dusty, those eggs can have a brown look.

Those eggs should be eliminated before they hatch to avoid an infestation. From the day they are laid, they can take about 1-2 weeks before they produce the larvae. This is a very short duration that can easily lead to an infestation.

How to get rid of carpet beetles with baking soda

Baking soda is toxic to carpet beetle larvae because it is made of sodium that drains their cells. This makes their soft tissues dry and they will die from severe dehydration. Even though it may affect the adult ones, you will have to drown them in a concatenated solution if you want them dead.

When getting rid of an infestation on a carpet, simply spread powdered baking soda on the carpet and let it sit for at least 12 hours. Do this at night when there are fewer movements on it so that the particles are not disturbed.

It is advisable to use it where there are fewer human activities. It has been observed that baking soda can cause skin irritation in sensitive people. Avoid using it on seats or bedding that are actively used. If you have to do so, then keep them covered for some time until the powder is removed.

Baking soda for adult carpet beetles

Using powdered baking soda for adult carpet beetles is tricky because once they are grown, they tend to change their diet from keratin to foodstuff like cereals. They also have a protective shield on them that the powder will not penetrate.

Baking soda is a good way to control an infestation at an early stage because it is toxic to them at the larvae stage. This is a safe non-toxic way that reduces the number of adults since the larvae will not have a chance to develop into adults.

Females hide in fabric materials to lay eggs since it is the only way their young ones will find food after they are hatched. Sprinkling baking soda around the house is always safe for pets as long as they do not leak the powder.

When dealing with an adult infestation, you can mix baking soda with white vinegar and hot water to make a strong solution. Vinegar is harmful to beetles thus adding it to the solution increases the chances of eliminating them. Here is how to make the solution:

  1. Scoop 1/2 cup of baking soda and put it in a bucket
  2. Pour 2 liters of hot water into it
  3. Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar and stir to mix
  4. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and sprinkle it on the infested areas
  5. This will kill carpet beetles, their larvae, and eggs on contact

Baking soda for beetles on carpet

Those beetles are known as carpet beetles because they are commonly found in fluffy carpets. Almost all fabric carpets are made from animal products and this is why carpet beetles hide in them.  Here are a few steps to use when dealing with a carpet infestation:

  1. Remove everything from an infested carpet and vacuum it
  2. Spread baking soda on every inch of the carpet and let it settle overnight
  3. In the morning, vacuum it again and ensure that the dirt is well disposed to avoid re-infestation
  4. Steam clean the carpet to remove any eggs or stains left behind by the larvae
  5. If the sun is up, take it out and let it perch

To ensure there is no re-infestation, check for carpet beetle larvae that look like maggots on the carpet, seats, or curtains. If there is any, wash the curtains with hot water and dry them at high temperatures to kill all the larvae and eggs. The seats can be sprayed with a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar.

Baking soda + thermal control

In case you do not want to wash the carpet, you may combine baking soda with thermal control. After spreading baking soda on an infested carpet, you can wrap it up and place it in a freezer.

You need to get an air-tight bag for this. Note that it is only effective for small carpets or upholsters that can fit in a large freezer.  Thermal disinfection is not effective for extra-large carpets or fabric materials that cannot be folded. Here is what to do:

  1. Spread baking soda on the carpet and let it sit for about 6 hours
  2. Fold it up with the powder and put it in an airtight polythene bag
  3. Put it in a freezer and let it sit for 3 days
  4. This will kill carpet beetles in all their life stages I.e. egg larvae, pupae, and adult