How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles in A Mattress [Guide with Steps]

bedroom with a bed and 2 white pillows

Have you noticed signs of carpet beetles in your bed? If yes, getting into quick action can be the difference between a controlled infestation and one that gets out of hand. Like bed bugs, beetles can be difficult to eradicate. This is why most people contact professional exterminators immediately they spot signs of these troublesome insects.

The good news is that it is not impossible to formulate a DIY line of attack to decimate the carpet beetle and larvae population in your home. However, lots of patience and action will have to be observed to increase the chances of success. As long as you follow the step by step instructions outlined below, these insects can be history.

How Do You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles In Mattresses?

As mentioned above, you can get rid of the carpet beetles by yourself. The guide below describes in easy steps how you can get rid of the beetles.

1. Look For The Signs

The first step to getting rid of carpet beetles is to confirm their presence in your bedroom. This is because other pests can infest mattresses as well and each type may require a different approach to get rid of.

Note that carpet beetles feed on and are attracted to mattresses that feature animal-based fabrics such as wool, silk, and fur. If you own an organic mattress, pillow, sheets, and bedding made from any of those materials then your bed could be an attractive spot for these insects.

Checking the top surface as well as the under-bed areas and insides of the mattress and box springs may reveal signs such as: 

  • Live, oval-shaped adult carpet beetles which may be black, white, brown, yellow, and orange colored
  • Live carpet beetle larvae with shiny, smooth skins and tufts of hair
  • Brown shell-like larvae skin sheds
  • Brown pellets of feces

Any of these signs above is proof of carpet beetles in your bedroom and thus the steps below can follow.

2. Strip The Mattress Bare

new mattress with no bedding

Once the presence of carpet beetles has been confirmed, it is time to strip the mattress bare of any sheets, pillows, blankets, and comforters. Check out for signs of infestation in your bedding and throw away any badly infested sheets, pillowcases, and blankets into the trash can.

The remaining bedding should be washed according to the label instructions immediately using a hot water setting if possible. Fortunately, the hot, soapy water should kill off any adult carpet beetles and larvae populations hiding in the bedding.

If any of your sheets, blankets, and comforters are labeled “dry clean only”, following the manufacturer’s instructions can be vital as long as you use hot water and soap. During dry cleaning, watch out for live adult carpet beetles that may try to escape from the fabric in question and kill them instantly before they find a safe hiding place.

3. Vacuum the Box Spring and Mattress 

Finding live adult carpet beetles in your mattress should tell you that there could be even more hiding in various corners in your box spring or mattress foundation. This is because these insects can be sneaky and love to hide in areas where they cannot be easily spotted.

The next step is to vacuum all 6 sides of the mattress thoroughly to kill any adult carpet beetles, eggs, and larvae. Do not forget to vacuum the entire surface of the box spring as well as any areas these insects may try to hide.

4. Dust The Insides of the Box Spring With Boric Acid

The inside areas of box springs and other mattress foundations can be notoriously difficult to vacuum. This means they can serve as impenetrable areas of refuge for adult carpet beetles as well as their larvae and eggs.

This is why a chemical solution can come in handy. Dusting difficult-to-reach areas of box springs with Boric Acid can eliminate significant carpet beetle populations. A good tip is to mix a tablespoon of Boric acid with 2 cups of hot water. Stir the solution until it can dissolve well, fill a plastic spray bottle with the solution, and spray those hard-to-reach cracks and crevices. 

5. Open and Spray Bedroom Furniture

Are there nightstands, drawers, closets, and other pieces of furniture in your bedroom? Spraying them with the hot water+Boric Acid solution can be a smart way to get rid of these insects.

Be sure to wear gloves and other protective clothing before spraying any chemicals or insecticides to limit physical exposure as they can be poisonous. 

Pay particular attention to the headboard and footboard areas of the bed, especially if they feature some form of upholstery. Carpet beetles love hiding in those areas so thorough spraying can be rewarding.

In the absence of Boric Acid, insecticide sprays labeled carpet beetles can also work well in spots that cannot be cleaned or washed. Areas that collect lint in particular, should be properly targeted during spraying.

6. Set Glue Traps 

Hormone-based glue traps may be another effective way to get rid of carpet beetles. These are sticky traps that can be laid out in different areas across the home to attract and kill these pesky insects.

Make sure to install these traps in areas such as around the legs of box springs, and the edges of carpets as well as in entry points such as doors and windows.

After laying them out, check the traps once or twice a week and empty the dead beetles into a trash can.

7. Vacuum The Whole Home 

Carpet beetles are a particular breed of beetles that love hiding in carpets and areas that collect lint. As stated earlier, noticing signs of these insects in your mattress is proof that there’s a thriving population in other parts of the home.

This is why the whole house needs to be deep cleaned to eradicate their numbers once and for all. From under or the edges of carpets and rugs to closet walls and shelves, no areas should be ignored during the spraying process.

Also, pay attention to all cracks and crevices when spraying for maximum efficiency in the quest to eliminate carpet beetle populations from the home.

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 from Amazon is the number-one-rated HEPA certified vacuum cleaner on the market today and I’m proud to own one. It keeps my mattress devoid of carpet beetles, bed bugs, bacteria, and allergens that can increase the risk of diseases and infections. It also offers amazing cleaning solutions for floors, carpets, and other parts of the home. I  couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

8. Cover the Box Spring and Mattress with Bed Bug Covers 

Bedbug covers are plastic covers that can be draped around mattresses to insulate them from bed bugs and other insects. Once your bedroom and other areas have been deep cleaned and sprayed, the next step is to drape a bedbug-proof protector on the mattress.

Since box springs can serve as attractive hiding places for these insects, pest control experts recommend covering them with bug-proof protectors as well. These encasements come in different sizes so it is important to order one that can cover your box spring fully.

The Hospitology Products Sleep Defense System from Amazon provides world-class protection of my box springs against bed bugs. It is affordable and offers breezy installation thanks to the stretchable material. It also blocks allergens, mold spores, and dust mites from the box spring for easy breathing.

How To Prevent Carpet Beetles In Mattresses

Prevention is always better than cure and this is why care must be taken to prevent carpet beetle infestations from occurring in the first place. Here are a couple of preventative measures that can keep these insects away.

1. Clean Mattress Regularly

Clean mattresses seldom attract carpet beetle infestations. As such, regular vacuuming of your mattress can kill any existing insects and bugs before development into a full-blown infestation.

If you live in an area prone to these insects, make sure the mattress, box springs, and bedroom furniture are cleaned at least twice a month. Since carpet beetles prefer hiding in carpets and other areas where lint typically accumulates, bedroom carpets, and rugs should be cleaned weekly.

Besides, bed sheets should be changed at least every 3 days to prevent the buildup of hair on your bed which may attract carpet beetles. Remember, the insects feed on human hair so any leftovers can make your bed very attractive for them.

2. Use a Carpet Steamer 

blue carpet steamer in use

Carpet steamers are electronic gadgets that use hot steam to clean carpets and other floor surfaces. Electronic steamers may not only get rid of dust, dirt particles, and stains but can also kill adult carpet beetles as well as their larvae and eggs.

Apart from the carpets, hardwood and other floor types can also be steamed as well. Remember, there will always be a good chance of finding these beetles as well as their larvae and eggs in different areas of the home.

Hence, thorough cleaning of all areas can be the key to winning the battle against these insects.

My carpets and floors have become super-clean since I ordered the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner from Amazon a month ago. It delivers powerful carpet and floor cleaning with a rapid drying mechanism. It is easy to use and provides amazing results.

3. Destroy Any Outdoor Nests

If there are carpet beetles on your mattress and other areas of the home then there’s a good chance that the insects have thriving nests nearby. Taking the time to check around your property for signs of carpet beetle nests can be rewarding.

Any nests found should be destroyed immediately to eliminate adult beetles that may be present as well as eggs and larvae.

Note that spider webs, bird nests, mouse nests, and abandoned beehives can serve as good nesting places for carpet beetles. Thus, destroying these nests can push any populations of these destructive insects on your property to the brink of extinction.

Additionally, look out for evidence of these beetles in potted flowers, especially those placed in outdoor areas of the home.

4. Seal Unused Clothes

Do you have clothes that are only worn during certain periods of the year such as winter or summer? Why not wash, dry, and seal them in a plastic container until that time of the year comes around again?

During the summer, those seasonal clothes can be dried out in the sun for a day or two and resealed in the plastic bag to ward off any lingering odors. Keeping such clothes clean and sealed can prevent them from serving as accidental hiding places for carpet beetles and other insects.

5. Avoid Organic Mattresses 

Organic mattresses are renowned for their ability to provide superior sleeping comforts during the night.

One of the best ways to keep out carpet beetles from your bed is to invest in synthetic mattresses. This piece of advice can come in handy for those living in areas that may be susceptible to insect infestations.

This is because these insects only feed on organic materials such as wool, silk, and cotton. Hence, mattresses layered with natural fabrics especially at the top surface can attract huge populations of carpet beetles.


Getting rid of carpet beetles in a mattress and other parts of the home is not impossible even if it can be a daunting process. As long as you take the necessary steps to identify the source of the infestation and apply the right eradication protocols, any home can be carpet beetle-free again.

Remember to clean the mattress and box springs thoroughly, paying particular attention to the undersides and corners which may be difficult to reach. Additionally, the use of insecticide sprays specifically labeled for killing carpet beetles can often work well.

However, alternatives such as Boric Acid and hot water solution can be a great choice too. If you’re too busy or have no desire to get your hands dirty then professional exterminators can also come in handy as well.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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