Can you recognise the signs of a beetle infestation?

There are a number of different varieties of beetles in the UK. Different materials attract different species of beetles into homes and gardens. The different types of materials that beetles feed on are garden plants, wood, fabric, hair/fur, leather, packaged foods and stored grains. There are 3 main types of beetle species in the UK that cause infestations in homes. These are:

  • Biscuit Beetles – These beetles feed on starchy foods such as biscuits, bread, cereals, pasta etc. They will also feed on pharmaceutical products.
  • Carpet Beetles –  These beetles feed on soft material, so you will find them in carpets, floorboards, curtains, sofas etc
  • Ground Beetles – These beetles feed on other insects, so will not cause damage or eat stored food. The will only enter your home to seek shelter from the cold

What are the causes of beetle infestation?

The causes and/or reasons of beetle infestations in UK homes are:

  • Beetles seeking warmth and shelter, especially in the winter months…beetles can enter homes through cracks in the foundation or gaps around door and window frames
  • Homeowners unknowingly bringing them inside with infested items such as packages or plants etc
  • Beetles seeking out food sources

How to recognise an infestation

Some of the ways you might recognise a beetle infestation in your home are:

  • Finding their cast-off skins and faeces strewn across or gathered on your carpet, under furniture and other areas
  • Damage to fabrics such as clothes, carpets/rugs, leather, furniture upholstery and wood
  • They may be spotted in the areas they are infesting such as carpets, food cupboards etc. They may also be found along window sills where they have travelled toward the daylight to mate
  • You may experience skin irritation from contact with the beetles

What to Do?

If you find your home infested with beetles you can rid of them in the following ways:

  • Locate the area that is most infested such as food cupboards, furniture, edges of carpet etc
  • Once located, thoroughly vacuum the area and be sure to vacuum the rest of your home and furniture. You can also apply boric acid to the area before vacuuming as this kills beetles
  • Get rid of any infested items such as food packages or clothes
  • Machine wash fabrics such as towels, bedding, curtains etc on a high temperature
  • Sanitise all surfaces
  • Call pest control if required


The best ways to prevent an infestation are:

  • Regularly hoover and sanitise your home to get rid of hair, skin, food crumbs etc
  • Use repellents and insecticide
  • Check packages, food items, plants, fabric and wooden items before bringing them inside
  • Try to minimise bright lights as some beetles are attracted to this
  • Store dry food in air tight containers
  • Keep windows closed or install window screens
  • Protect unused clothing in plastic covers