Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Beetlemania

This is one beetle story that I am sure no one is going to envy me.

Last Spring while doing a regular clean of our snug I noticed that something had been having a jolly good munch of a couple of areas of the carpet - in a corner and along the skirting board. There was no obvious sign of a culprit. I gave the carpet a good vacuum and thought no more about it. Then one warm evening during the Summer, and there were not many of those last year, as we were about to go upstairs to bed I noticed about a dozen flies crawling up the wall. Before I went to bed I just had to clean them off the wall. I could not leave them there overnight to cause havoc. So out came the vacuum cleaner and I used the nozzle to remove them from the wall, as that seemed to be the easiest way of doing the job without making a mess of the decoration. The snug would, of course, be the only room that is wall papered. After that I started to keep an eye on things. I continued to find flies on the skirting board and carpet almost every day and the carpet was becoming more and more moth eaten. Fortunately all the areas of carpet involved were in corners or behind furniture and only the carpet in the snug was affected. We had never had a problem anything like this before and were at a loss to know where to start to resolve it. As it happened the carpet had been bought from a chain, which had closed its' Chester store. This made life difficult as my first port of call would have been them. Undeterred I found their head office address on the Internet and wrote asking their advice.

While waiting for their response I used to crawl around the carpet several times a day removing the culprit insects. I kept a tally on the calendar of the number that I caught. The average was six per day. About two months later we received a reply which stated that the problem was nothing to do with them. The company that we had purchased the carpet from had gone into liquidation and the new company, with almost the same name, had nothing to do with it! But in the case of a genuine fault somebody must be responsible. We appeared to have no alternative but to ask a  pest control company to come to have a look at the carpet. They promised to be discreet. However, I hardly think that finding a man on your doorstep dressed in a white overall suit of the sort worn in crime/murder programmes on TV is discreet. Having had a look at the carpet he confirmed what we had suspected, that we had an infestation of carpet beetle. In our case the insects looked nothing like a beetle, but the term 'carpet beetle' seems to be used for any sort of carpet infestation caused by an insect.


The treatment was to spray the whole carpet with a solution of alpha cypermetherin, but before this was done we had to sign a COSHH assessment and he had to get the canister of the chemical from his van. This involved walking up and down our garden path several times. By now, in addition to the white overall suit he was also wearing head gear, a mask and gloves. I am sure that the neighbours must have been beginning to think that there had been at murder at our cottage. We stayed out of the room while the spraying was being done and for another hour or so afterwards. This treatment, which can not have actually taken more than 15 minutes, cost a cool £200.

Every cloud has a silver lining. I was not to clean the skirting board or vacuum the carpet for three weeks.

18 comments:

the fly in the web said...

That's worth two hundred pounds...well, nearly.

Valerie said...

How awful. There must have been something in the carpet to attract the beetles in the first place. Did you feel all-over-itchy afterwards?

Jennyta said...

Let's hope that's the end of the problem for good. I had to smile at your description of the workman's idea of 'being discreet'! ;)

cheshire wife said...

fly - yes, maybe.

Valerie - I did feel itchy at times.

Jennyta - you have to wonder what it would have been like if he had not been discreet.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

You made me laugh with your comments about being discreet, tongue in cheek I guess as you have now shared with us all in blog land!

Thanks for the recent comment about the snow, certainly much more suited to a ski resort, where you can relax and enjoy!

Suburbia said...

Eeww!Sounds awful!

cheshire wife said...

LindyLouMac - the infestation has gone now. I hope.

Suburbia - it was not pleasant.

Rob-bear said...

Sorry your place was being bugged. I'm glad the problems has been solved, apparently.

But do you think, perhaps, that MI5 might have been involved?

rosaria said...

Hope this is the end of those pests! Unfortunately, if it isn't one thing is another when it comes to pests around the house.
Glad though that the bill was not in the thousands!

cheshire wife said...

Rob - that's an exotic thought!

rosaria - if the bill had been in the thousands it would have been cheaper to buy a new carpet.

Gill - That British Woman said...

that is nasty. I have never heard of those before. Two hundred pounds seems pretty steep though?

Gill in Canada

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh yikes. That's a terrible! I feel kind of itchy now...

Jenny said...

The idea of some spaceman coming and going at your house is quite the opposite of discretion. Still job done though you do wonder where these creatures come from. You hear all these stories about bedbugs nowadays even in the best hotels, now that does make me itchy.

Maggie May said...

As someone, who in the past had to get pest control round because of rodents, I don't think you need to be embarrassed about these creatures. Not that they should be left to gobble up things though! Its always horrid to have infestations of any kind. Hope that will be the end of it.
I tried to reply to this post before without any success.... so here goes again.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

That is terrible. Did the beetles arrive with the carpet or did they just appear some other way - a fly flying in and laying eggs? Whatever I am glad that you are now well rid of them despite the cost.
Love the bit about being discreet :) Diane

Catharine Withenay said...

Uurggh! Hopefully hundreds of dead bodies at your house (beetle bodies, of course!)

cheshire wife said...

Gill - you learn something every day.

imbeingheldhostage - but they have gone!

Jenny - we have no idea where they came from.

Maggie May - thank you for being persistent.

Food, Fun & Life - I just hope that they don't come back.

Catharine - not too many actually.

Hilary said...

Glad to know you were able to remedy the problem. That had to be unpleasant but thankfully over.

How about a simple cure to another pest of a problem? Please consider disabling your word verification.. I'm on try number three to get it right. ;)