How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles in Hair
Contrary to popular belief, lice and mites are not the only critters that can live on your head. Your mane may also serve as a home to carpet beetles. Failure to remove them without delay can result in scalp irritation and hair damage, too. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to get rid of carpet beetles in your hair.
Carpet beetles can be removed from hair by using a nit comb or killed with the help of a hot hairdryer. Other things that can kill carpet beetles include apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, neem oil, cedar oil, and peppermint oil. If not in a hurry, baking soda may be sprinkled on the hair and scalp.
Getting in touch with a local pest control company is not the way to bring back a pest-free head. If you want to know how to get rid of carpet beetles in hair, keep on reading.
Below you will come across some of the steps that you need to take to remove carpet beetles residing on your head and munching on your mane.
Disclosure: Before trying any method suggested below, please consult with your doctor.
Your Hair Counts as Carpet Beetle Food
Carpet beetles responsible for home infestations are the young ones.
Unlike their adult counterparts that feed on pollen and nectar, they cannot survive outdoors where they do not have easy access to their favorite foods.
Just about everything that larvae carpet beetles need to eat to grow and develop can be found inside homes.
Wool, cotton, silk, linen, and hemp are some of those that larvae carpet beetles consume.
So, in other words, they are drawn to natural fibers. They also love other things that are from animals.
For instance, they have a liking for leather, fur, feathers, and even dead insects. If it’s organic, then those crawling pests will eat it.
Speaking of which, your hair is an organic material. This is why carpet beetles are drawn to it, too. Usually, they nibble on your mane while you are sleeping.
By the way, it’s not just your hair that they love but also the oils and skin flakes on your head. Needless to say, your head is one big buffet table for carpet beetles!
You don’t want that to happen because of the complications.
For one, your scalp may end up feeling itchy, which is due to what’s referred to as “carpet beetle dermatitis”.
Such is the result of the skin’s reaction to the hairs covering the body of larvae carpet beetles. Scratching is a no-no as it may lead to wounds and infections.
Being spotted with a less-than-stellar mane is also a common issue if there are carpet beetles in the hair. That’s because larvae carpet beetles have this habit of snacking on the base of the hair shaft.
Soon enough, your head may end up looking like a carpet beetle-infested carpet or rug with bald spots!
Related Post: How To Quickly Find the Source of Carpet Beetles
8 Steps to Take to Eliminate Carpet Beetles in Hair
Refrain from panicking the moment you realize that your head is harboring some carpet beetles.
Aggressively tousling your mane with your hands in an attempt to make those fuzzy worm-like creatures fall off your head won’t work. Furthermore, it can cause itchy, red bumps to form on your fingertips.
What you need to do instead is carry out some of the most effective tips on how to get rid of carpet beetles in hair.
Some of them may provide instant results, while others may need to be performed repeatedly. No matter the case, one thing is for sure: removing larvae carpet beetles from your head can be done.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the steps that you need to take.
Use a Nit Comb
When it comes to dealing with head lice, one of the best home remedies around is the use of a nit comb.
Well, you can also count on this handy dandy tool if your head is serving as a playground for some baby carpet beetles. By being thorough each time, it is possible to put an end to the problem completely with a nit comb.
One look and it’s plain to see that a nit comb is no ordinary comb. The teeth are fine, which is what makes it effective for removing nits (the eggs of lice) and head lice themselves.
Head lice are about two to three millimeters long. On the other hand, larvae carpet beetles are four to eight millimeters long.
Apparently, they are bigger than head lice.
This means that a nit comb, which is primarily designed to get rid of head lice, can remove larvae carpet beetles residing in your hair. It can remove carpet beetle eggs, too.
Just a quick tip: when using a nit comb to rid your mane of carpet beetles, apply essential oil that can kill those hairy bugs beforehand.
This will increase your chance of attaining success via the DIY route. Later, we will talk about some essential oils capable of zapping larvae carpet beetles, so don’t stop reading now.
Turn on the Hairdryer
Washing infested items in hot water — it’s for certain that you will come across this recommendation each time you log on the web to check out some DIY solutions for a carpet beetle infestation.
Well, it tends to show up everywhere because it is one of the quickest and most effective ways to kill larvae carpet beetles.
Aside from washing in hot water, items infested with carpet beetles may also be steam cleaned. This is a faster way to exterminate those critters because of the extremely hot steam that they produce.
Most of today’s steam cleaners can generate steam of up to 150°F to 300°F blistering hot temperatures.
Because it is a terrible idea to steam clean your head, you can use heat to zap larvae carpet beetles in your mane by reaching for a hair dryer.
The majority of today’s hairdryers can produce a heat of nearly 200°F.
Fortunately, carpet beetles die at 120°F only. When using a hair dryer to rid your head of those pests, never point it at a single spot for a long time.
Otherwise, you may burn your hair and scalp. If you want to shield your mane from a lot of heat, you may apply your favorite heat protectant spray before turning on your hair dryer.
Pour Apple Cider Vinegar
If you are into home remedies for all kinds of beauty-related issues, then you may already have an idea that apple cider vinegar can make you look and feel your best in many ways.
For instance, it’s great for relieving acne, psoriasis, and sunburn. It’s also revered for its ability to deodorize the feet and eliminate body odor.
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for the hair and scalp, too. Many people swear by its effectiveness in dealing with dandruff. That’s because it has powerful antifungal properties.
Apple cider vinegar also helps strip off the buildup of chemicals from hair care products. You may count on it, too, if your hair serves as a home to carpet beetles.
The reason why apple cider vinegar can kill larvae carpet beetles is that it is acidic — those hairy baby carpet beetles cannot survive strong acids.
What’s so nice about apple cider vinegar is that it can exterminate carpet beetles on contact. Similarly, it can destroy carpet beetle eggs before they hatch.
Using apple cider vinegar to rid your tresses of carpet beetles is easy. You simply have to pour generous amounts of it on your head and, using your fingertips, massage into your hair.
You may also add a little of your favorite shampoo to apple cider vinegar, and then lather into your hair. Rinse very well after several minutes.
Apply Some Lemon Juice
Once more, the acidity of apple cider vinegar is the reason why it can get rid of carpet beetles in the hair.
So, in other words, just about anything that’s acidic can be used to keep your mane free of larvae carpet beetles.
It’s due to this why you may count on lemon juice if there are some carpet beetles residing on your head.
Just like apple cider vinegar, using lemon juice against carpet beetles is trouble-free. You just need to allow any larvae carpet beetle to come into contact with it by massaging it into your hair and scalp.
Allowing it to stay there for several minutes helps ensure that lemon juice is given plenty of time to exterminate those carpet beetles.
Similarly, you may mix lemon juice with your trusted shampoo to come up with a homemade anti-carpet beetle shampoo.
Because shampoo dilutes lemon juice and weakens its acidity, it’s important that you leave the lather on your hair for several minutes to make sure that no larvae carpet beetle will remain alive.
By the way, aside from making your mane free of carpet beetles, lemon juice also offers other benefits to your hair and scalp.
For instance, it can neutralize accumulated chemicals on your scalp and restore the normal pH level of your hair.
However, lemon juice has bleaching properties, too, which is why it can lighten your hair color.
Give Neem Oil a Try
When shopping for hair care products that contain natural or organic ingredients only, it’s for certain that you will come across those that contain neem oil.
Some of them come in liquid form, while others are sold as a bar. Either way, using a product that has neem oil in it offers many perks, from alleviating scalp acne to promoting hair growth.
Neem oil is a naturally occurring chemical obtained from the seeds of the neem tree, which is native to India as well as many other countries in South Asia.
For centuries now, neem oil has been used in aromatherapy, a type of holistic healing in which plant extracts and aromatic items are used for promoting health and wellness.
If you have carpet beetles in your hair, you may count on neem oil to get rid of them. It works by causing hormonal imbalance in larvae carpet beetles.
This wreaks havoc on their metabolism and vital organs, thus causing them to die. Neem oil can also be applied to nooks and crannies in your home to rid it of a carpet beetle infestation.
Using neem oil to keep your hair free of carpet beetles can be done in a couple of ways.
You may place a few drops of it on your hair and scalp, massage, wear a shower cap for 30 minutes, and then rinse off very well.
You may also mix neem oil to your shampoo if you are not fond of the essential oil’s smell, which is like garlic.
Count on Cedar Oil
Not a lot of people like the smell of neem oil. This is especially true for those who are not keen on the overpowering smell of garlic.
If you are one of them and placing neem oil in your hair is not an option, do not worry. That’s because there is an alternative to it that works just as well. It’s none other than cedar oil.
Just like what the name suggests, cedar oil has a sweet, woody smell. Often, it is applied to pieces of furniture that are out of cedarwood to refresh their natural scent.
In the world of aromatherapy, cedar oil is effective for dealing with stress and anxiety. It is also often used for promoting sleep.
Cedar oil possesses insecticidal properties, too.
As a matter of fact, cedar blocks can be placed in closets and cabinets to protect clothes out of natural fibers from being consumed by larvae carpet beetles.
The smell of cedar blocks can not only repel carpet beetles but kill them as well.
Instead of rubbing cedar blocks on your mane to get rid of carpet beetles, simply massage cedar oil into your hair and scalp.
You may dilute several drops of it in a little distilled water to make your stash of it go a long way. Similarly, you may add a few drops of cedar oil to your shampoo of choice and lather away.
Place Some Peppermint Oil
One of the most commonly added essential oils to all kinds of oral care products such as toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss is peppermint oil.
One of the reasons for such is that it can help inhibit the multiplication of bacteria in the mouth. Also, the powerful smell of peppermint oil can make the breath smell fresh.
Peppermint oil is a popular home remedy for a carpet beetle infestation, too. It works because it can kill larvae carpet beetles the moment that it comes into contact with them.
Spraying peppermint oil on potential feeding and hiding places can also help keep carpet beetles at bay.
Needless to say, you can count on peppermint oil if your hair is harboring some larvae carpet beetles.
Not only can it zap those creepy crawlers ASAP but also make your mane smell minty clean.
You can take advantage of this essential oil by adding a few drops of it to water, and then spraying the mixture on your head using a spray bottle.
You may also place a few drops of it in your favorite shampoo. No matter what you do, never put pure peppermint oil on the scalp or elsewhere on your body.
That’s because it’s so concentrated that it can cause skin irritation.
For diluting peppermint oil prior to topical use, you may use distilled water or carrier oil, like jojoba oil or almond oil.
Sprinkle Baking Soda
Occasional and professional bakers know very well that baking soda is one of the most indispensable baking ingredients on the face of the planet.
It is necessary for making all sorts of baked goodies, including cookies, muffins, and cakes. Other than for baking, baking soda is also a staple ingredient in many health and beauty home remedies.
Did you know that you can also count on baking soda if it seems like there are larvae carpet beetles residing in your hair?
It works because it is a mild desiccant. This means that it is capable of absorbing moisture or water, thus causing dehydration.
One way to kill carpet beetles naturally is by dehydrating them.
This is exactly the reason why boric acid is one of the all-natural remedies for carpet beetles. When those hairy critters come into contact with it, they end up dehydrated.
This causes them to die after several minutes or a few hours. Baking soda is not as strong as boric acid alright, but it can still work.
All you have to do is sprinkle generous amounts of it on your head. Use your fingertips to work baking soda into your hair and scalp.
Allow it to stay there for a couple of hours to make sure that any carpet beetles in your hair will end up dehydrated. Tousle your mane very well or hit the shower afterward.
Just Before You Head Out
Contrary to popular belief, carpet beetles can ravage more than just carpets.
They can devour many other items in the home, particularly those that are out of natural fibers and contain animal products, leaving them damaged.
Your hair, as well as the oils and skin flakes on your scalp, are also delectable for larvae carpet beetles.
Worry not if there are carpet beetles in your hair. The minute that you notice that there are hairy creatures residing in your mane and damaging it, simply follow the steps mentioned above.
Sometimes, you may have to perform more than one of them to see impressive results without much delay.
Other than carrying out the different tips on how to get rid of carpet beetles in hair, it’s also a must that you get rid of carpet beetles elsewhere in your home.
You can do so through the DIY approach or by contacting a local pest control company. For as long as there is a carpet beetle infestation, your mane is always at risk.
Related Post: Fastest Way to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
Photo credit: Joseph Berger Bugwood.org, Gary Alpert Harvard University Bugwood.org
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