A few weeks ago, a reader explained her situation to us: She knows her mattress is infested with carpet beetles, but she can’t get rid of it because she is only 14 years old, and her family doesn’t have the resources to get a new mattress. She has been vacuuming the outside of the mattress, but doesn’t know what else she can do. Also, she thinks her actual carpet is also infested with carpet beetles, but she can’t throw it out for similar reasons. She has cats that sometimes get into her room, so she is hoping for an inexpensive treatment that is pet-safe.
This sounds like a tough situation, and we are happy to provide answers to her questions: What should she do with a mattress that is infested with carpet beetles? Is it unsafe to sleep on an infested mattress? Are there pet-safe carpet beetle larvae treatments?
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Usually, we would advise her to get rid of the mattress, but we understand that this isn’t an option for our reader. Since she can’t remove it, we recommend keeping the rest of her room as clean as possible. She should sweep, vacuum, wipe surfaces, and do laundry to eliminate potential food sources for the larvae. Also, there is a treatment option that is relatively cheap and safe for pets! Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a talc-like powder made up of the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. Food grade DE kills bugs, but doesn’t harm mammals! After vacuuming and cleaning her room, she should sprinkle food grade DE in the infested areas, like the mattress and carpet. It is available for purchase in the Home & Gardening department of most stores.
Next, she mentioned she’s been sleeping on the couch because she didn’t know if it was safe to sleep on the infested mattress. Carpet beetle larvae might be annoying, but aren’t poisonous or carriers of any human diseases. It might be hard to get a good nights sleep on the mattress knowing it is infested, but it isn’t dangerous to sleep on. She should begin cleaning and using DE as soon as possible, but in the mean time it is still fine to sleep on her bed if she wishes to.
To wrap up, one of our readers had a few additional questions about dealing with carpet beetle larvae. We recommend she begin using Diatomaceous Earth to eliminate these pests.
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