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Fighting fur beetle and its larvae is possible by various methods. But which ones are effective and yet gentle? Our guide will show you how and provide instructions.

In a nutshell

  • Detecting the beetles early is crucial
  • Feed marks can be a clue
  • Households with animals are particularly at risk
  • natural and organic materials serve as food and brood matter
  • toxic agents should not be used

Identify fur beetles and larvae

The larvae of the carpet beetle, like the adult insects, are grey-brown and have thick, dense hairs all over their bodies. The beetles appear as if they have a furry coating on their shell.
However, the fur or carpet beetle does not get its name from its appearance. Instead, he was named after his nutritional foundations. This is animal material, such as:

  • feathers
  • fur hair
  • hair
  • leather
  • furs
  • Wool

Typical signs of an infestation are:

  • Eating marks on textiles
  • bald spots on furs or animal exhibits
  • Bugs or larvae in dark areas and cracks
  • irregular holes
brown fur beetle; Source: gbohne from Berlin, Germany, Attagenus smirnovi (Dermestidae) - the notorious "Vodka" beetle in Berlin (8625113264), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Assess infestation

Before the fur beetles can be combated in a targeted manner, the infestation must first be identified and localized. Because although the insects and their offspring prefer to stay in certain areas, there are usually one or more central starting points. These are usually:

  • dark corners
  • Cracks, for example in the parquet
  • cupboards and drawers
  • carpets
  • door moldings

Controlling these can already help. However, it is better and more thorough to set up or attach appropriate sticky traps with pheromones. On the one hand, this makes it easier to determine whether it is actually a case of fur beetles. On the other hand, the extent of the infestation can also be estimated.

Tip: Fur/carpet beetle traps should be in place at all times during combat. This enables continuous monitoring and further egg laying can be prevented. However, the special pheromone traps do not help against the larvae.


Before a (re)infestation occurs, some simple preventive measures can be taken and resources used that are gentle and efficient.

  • fly screen: Windows and doors can be sealed with it so that no adult beetles can get into the house or apartment. The costs are relatively low and installation is easy. Another plus is that the close-meshed gauze not only keeps these insects away. Even flies, mosquitoes and moths can no longer penetrate.
  • controls: Behind furniture, in cracks in the parquet, rarely used cupboards and drawers - little frequented areas and animal materials are particularly susceptible. A collection of fur, hair and dander behind furniture, for example, is often used as a breeding ground. Rolled up carpets with natural fibers in the attic can also fall victim to the pests, as can leather shoes that are rarely worn. Leather-bound books and stuffed animals should therefore be checked as well as fur collars.
  • Cleaning: Thorough cleaning in otherwise rarely used areas, such as vacuuming cracks and niches, helps to remove the pest eggs. In addition, the insects are deprived of their food base and breeding grounds are eliminated. Alternatively, a steam cleaner can also be used.
  • custody: Natural materials and textiles of animal origin should be thoroughly washed or dry cleaned before storage. They are also airtight and can be packed safely. Boxes or cases with a vacuum valve are ideal for this.

Control with neem oil

Neem oil dissolved in water can be used to control carpet beetles and their larvae. Simply add a few drops of the essential oil to lukewarm water and shake this mixture well in a spray bottle.

Affected areas can be sprayed to repel or kill the beetles and larvae.

vinegar essence

Like neem oil, a solution of vinegar essence and water can also be effective. However, this is only advisable if the materials in question are colourfast and can withstand contact with acid.

Tip: One part vinegar essence and four parts water is a good mix ratio. Again, a spray bottle should be used to distribute the solution thoroughly and evenly.


Diatomaceous earth is among the methods that can also kill the eggs and larvae of the pests. You can distribute the fine mineral powder in cracks, niches and between fine fibers. It smothers the parasites and is easy to suck out again.

Notice: Inhaling the powder is not recommended. Appropriate protection therefore makes sense.

suction and cleaning

Thorough vacuuming also helps to combat the insects belonging to the bacon beetle. This does not only apply to the floor or the area behind cabinets.
Upholstered furniture and carpets should also be cleaned thoroughly to combat the fur beetles and their offspring. In the case of already badly infested and damaged furniture or home textiles, however, quick disposal is recommended.


Both eggs and larvae and the beetles themselves can be killed by heat. For this, however, at least 60 °C must prevail for at least one hour. This condition can be achieved by washing, the oven, leaving it in a sauna, dry cleaning or a steam cleaner. However, this is only possible with materials and objects that can withstand the temperature.


Since many of the measures are effective, but eggs of the fur beetle can survive for several months, cold weather should also be used when fighting. For this purpose, the objects in question are frozen at -18°C for at least three days. The measure should be repeated in order not to risk spreading again.


Cleaning with the vacuum cleaner is a good start if the container is then emptied or the dust bag is disposed of. In addition, you should move their closets and clean the floor behind them.
Other useful cleaning methods are:

Suction is only partially successful.
  • use dry cleaning
  • Use steam cleaner
  • Wash textiles as hot as possible and several times

The less hair, dander and fur there is, the lower the risk of the beetles spreading. Regular cleaning is therefore useful and also prevents moths and other pests, among other things.

parasitic wasps

Ichneumon wasps should only be used to combat fur beetles if it is a securely closed or outdoor area. The natural predators also eliminate the larvae, but alone are not enough to kill the eggs.

chemical methods

Biocides and insecticides can of course also be used. However, they should only be used if the other methods prove insufficiently effective. Because the funds can harm both the environment and your own health and beneficial organisms.

frequently asked Questions

What are the best methods for controlling fur beetles?

It is optimal to combine several means and measures with each other. Even after an infestation, preventive traps should be set up and grids installed. This prevents further spread.

Do the fur beetles pose a danger to humans?

No. They are not dangerous to humans or pets. They only pose a risk to dead material of animal origin.

How long do the beetles live?

The adult beetles themselves only live for about a month. However, the eggs and larvae can survive for up to three years. With twelve stages during development, the animals live a long time and can cause considerable damage. However, this only applies if no appropriate countermeasures are taken.

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