Carpet beetles, flies, and moths eat keratin, a protein substance found in rugs. They lay their eggs on the carpet that later hatch into larvae, causing an infestation. When left to stay longer, the larvae can damage the carpet completely from their chewing.
Boric acid is the best natural remedy to get rid of maggots on the carpet. Sprinkle boric crystals on the carpet, and wait for a few hours to let the acid kill the larvae. Vacuum the carpet to remove the dead larvae. Lastly, steam clean the rug to kill any remaining maggots and remove stains.
Why are there maggots on my carpet?
Maggots in carpets result from hatched eggs or the larvae moving from nearby infested areas into the rug.
Spilled foods and drinks, greasy stains, or pet feces staying on the carpet longer attract flies to lay their eggs. Houseflies and moths are attracted to dirty places with food to feed their larvae. The eggs hatch at room temperature to become maggots.
Besides, open trash cans or cans with loose lids attract flies to lay their eggs and form maggots. Over time, the larvae move from the trash can and settle in warm places nearby, such as the carpet.
How to get rid of maggots in carpet
Getting rid of maggots from carpets can be done either by using natural remedies or spraying non-toxic pesticides. The methods have specific procedures but kill larvae effectively. However, using insecticides consumes less time and effort, while natural remedies require more time to eliminate the maggots.
Before killing the larvae, determine their source and remove it. Otherwise, the larvae will reappear on the carpet after killing them.
- Check the trash can near your carpet for any larvae inside.
- The presence of small, white, or creamy worms resembling a caterpillar indicates maggots.
- If there are, empty the trash can far away from home and clean it thoroughly with less concentrated bleach or vinegar to kill the larvae.
- Let it dry before bringing it inside. Check the floors around the carpet to know where the larvae come from and eliminate them.
Some natural home utilities like boric acid, vinegar, and salt can kill maggots. Here’s how to get rid of the larvae from your carpet using them.
1. Boric acid
Boric acid is a natural cleanser with insecticidal properties that kills larvae. Its crystals are sharp and easily penetrate through the maggots’ bodies to kill them instantly.
Here’s how to kill maggots using boric acid powder:
- Sprinkle a generous amount of boric acid over the carpet
- Use a brush or broom to buff the powder deep into the carpet’s fabric to reach the larvae underneath to kill them
- Wait for a few hours for the boric acid crystals to act on the maggots
- Vacuum the carpet, ensuring you scoop almost all the larvae on it
- If you still see live maggots in the carpet, spread boric acid crystals, wait for a few minutes, and vacuum the carpet again.
- Remove the vacuum bag, place it in an airtight plastic bag, and dispose of it in the trash can outside. A better solution would be to put the airtight plastic bag in the freezer for one hour before disposing of.
- Steam clean the carpet to remove any remaining larvae and stains attracting the maggots and flies. Steam cleaning applies high temperatures to the larvae, killing them. Instead of using water alone for the steam, add a non-toxic insecticide to the water to kill the remaining larvae. Steaming ensures the carpet is sparkling clean and maggot free.
Distilled White Vinegar Powder contains acetic acid that penetrates through the larvae’s bodies and kills them. Vinegar also removes the foul smell from the maggots, so it’s a perfect bet when you want to kill the larvae and eradicate bad scents simultaneously.
Here’s how to use vinegar to get rid of larvae from your carpet:
- Sprinkle vinegar powder over the rug and buff the crystals deep into the fabric using a broom or a brush. Alternatively, mix one part of vinegar with three parts of water in a bowl and stir to combine them well. Pour the solution on the rug
- Wait for a few hours to allow the vinegar to act on maggots
- If there are still live maggots on the carpet, sprinkle the powder again or pour the solution to kill them.
- Vacuum the carpet to remove the dead larvae and other debris from it. Empty the vacuum cleaner plastic bag into a trash can outside and dispose of it.
- Steam the carpet to remove any remaining larvae and stains on the mat.
Salt is a powerful, cheap, and readily available kitchen ingredient to eliminate maggots from the carpet. Salt’s dehydrating property absorbs moisture from the maggots’ bodies to kill them.
Here’s how to get rid of maggots from your carpet using salt:
- Sprinkle a lot of salt throughout the rug. Use a brush or a broom to sweep the salt particles to reach deep into the carpet’s fabric. Wait for a few hours to let the salt remove moisture from the maggots altogether. Reapply salt if there are still live maggots on the carpet.
- Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to get rid of the dead larvae from it. Remove the vacuum bag content, place them in an airtight plastic bag and dispose of them in the trash can outside.
- Steam clean the carpet to eliminate any remaining larvae and remove stains on the mat.
Pesticides are a fast remedy to killing maggots from your carpet. The best pesticide to kill maggots from your carpet contains pyrethrin as the active ingredient. Pyrethrin is non-toxic to pets and kids. Besides, it doesn’t destroy the quality of the carpet fabric when sprayed on it.
Always read the product label before spraying the pesticides on the carpet, and follow the directions of use outlined. After getting rid of the larvae, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove the dead maggots.
Maggots treatment using pesticides should also be followed by steam cleaning to remove any remaining larvae and stains that attract house flies from the carpet.
How do you get maggots out of carpet?
Keeping your carpet maggots free doesn’t stop removing the larvae from it. Otherwise, the larvae would still come back again. You also want to maintain an anti-maggot carpet and environment to keep the larvae at bay. Here are the best ways to achieve an anti-maggot carpet
1. Clean foods and drinks spilled on the carpet immediately
Food and beverages spilled on the rug attract house flies that lay their eggs on the mat. The eggs later hatch to form maggots on the carpet. Cleaning foods, drinks, and dog feces on the carpet keep flies away, preventing them from hatching their eggs.
If you accidentally spill food on the carpet, sweep them immediately. Wipe drinks on the mat with a disinfectant to remove smells that might attract flies.
2. Steam clean the carpet regularly
Steaming the carpet applies high temperatures to the fly eggs to kill them. Constant steaming prevents the eggs from hatching into maggots.
Steam your carpet once every three weeks to maintain an egg-free environment. Invest in a good steam cleaner or rent one from a garden store when you want to use it.
How to remove maggots under a carpet
Maggots love dark places and will move below the carpet when they invade it. They eat the fabric and pupate into flies, increasing their population. It’s vital to also remove the maggots underneath the rug to make it maggot-free. Here’s how to get rid of maggots below the carpet.
- Flip the carpet upside down to expose the larvae.
- Sprinkle a lot of boric acid throughout the carpet to cover all the larvae. Wait for some minutes to let the boric acid crystals act on the larvae.
- Vacuum clean the downer side of the carpet and the floor to remove the dead maggots from it. Wrap the larvae in a plastic bag and dispose of them in a trash can outdoors.
- Steam underneath the carpet to kill any larvae and eggs remaining. Steam the floor too to get rid of the fly eggs on it.
How to keep maggots away from your carpet
Keeping flies away is the best way to prevent them from causing a maggot infestation in your home. Maintain a clean house, repel the house flies, trap flies, and seal cracks to keep maggots away from your property.
1. Maintain a clean house
Larvae are attracted to dirty spaces, encouraging them to lay their eggs in the house. Here’s how to maintain a clean home:
- Don’t leave cooked foods uncovered for long
- Empty your trash can and clean it daily.
- Use a self-sealing trash can to prevent flies from laying their eggs in the can
- Wipe food spills, dog foods, and poops from the floors immediately
- Vacuum clean the floors and surfaces regularly
2. Repel the flies
Peppermint oil and bay leaves emit scents that house flies and maggots hate and would work perfectly in repelling them from your house. Spray peppermint oil on areas the flies and maggots frequent to keep them away. Plant indoor plants such as citronella to repel maggots and flies.
3. Trap the flies
Pheromone traps placed on areas of flies frequently reduce the flies and maggots population in your home, preventing larvae invasion.
Pheromone traps attract and stick male flies to it, thus preventing them from mating with the female flies. When there’s no mating, the female flies don’t hatch eggs to form larvae in the house.
Get pheromone traps from online stores or shops nearby and set them in your house to trap the male flies.
4. Install screens on windows and doors
Screens have tiny holes that block flies and other tiny insects from entering the house. Add them to your windows and doors to keep flies away. Also, seal cracks and crevices in your walls that allow the flies and maggots to get into the house.
- New Mexico State University: Preventing Damage from Clothes Moths and Carpet Beetles.
- The University of Nebraska Lincoln: Carpet Beetles.
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.