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SomeChick 11-11-2012 05:40 PM

Carpet Beetles Are Making Me Homeless
Hi, I'm in my first real Apt. in NYC for several years now. It was a newly constructed Luxury building when I moved in however they do allow 20% of low income people like me live in this HUGE building under the Housing Lottery program.
Over the past several years, Management has changed quite a few times and now they're letting the place deteriorate.
I became critically ill this year and was in the hospital and then with relatives for 5 months. During that time my apartment was periodically checked on but was vacant.
I'm still really ill, but I'm alive and trying to cope, however this apartment somehow got infested with (black kind I think) carpet beetles. I posted pictures on another forum and they confirmed carpet beetles.
My extensive wool collection, I'm a major knitter and was going to start a side Biz) was a total loss. A good portion of my clothes, towels ect. were unsalvageable because I washed and dried everything on the hottest setting. Plus, I found out my prized leather couch was a nest so it was thrown out. My bed was going to have to be replaced just because it was old, so that was also thrown out.

To the Point

Need Non-toxic, white or clear, paint-able calk ASAP.

I removed and checked the rest of my possessions and places the could hide. The place was exterminated twice now but things have only slightly improved. Yesterday, I saw 2 slow and probably dieing in the ant like stage CRAWL IN FROM THE VENTILATION SYSTEM. I have 2 vents, plus a poorly installed in the wall AC (which had some dead adults trying to fly in inside it), an unsealed, never working right H VAC, 3 windows 6ft tall that slide open 3 inches without screens, and hoarders for permanent neighbors on one side of the apt. The vent I spoke of was supposed closed 3 years ago at my request because smoke fumes from something "other" than cigarettes would fill my apt. on weekends and I have severe asthma. So, everytime the exterminator comes I have to leave my home for a few days.

I can't buy food for the kitchen cabinets or even a nice place to sit or sleep. I only have an air bed, folding chairs and my TV on it's pressed wood stand. I want to surreptitiously do 2 things: caulk around the baseboards of the 2 sides of my apt that have neighbors, but I need non-tocxic fume clear or white, paint-able caulk, I want to some how screen in the vents and AC, and somehow insulate the HVAC and the in the wall AC that's about 2 sizes too small for the hole and make that spot an icebox in winter.

I've taught myself to use a drill at 12, assemble my own furniture, build and repair PCs, so with some guidance, I know I can learn.

Please help I need my home back :icon_cry::icon_cry::icon_cry:

Thank you so much for trying to help a new comer!

gobug 11-12-2012 08:15 AM

Carpet beetles in a fairly new apt???

In my years of pest control, I did encounter them on occasion. They could be tied to another problem, especially due to the amount you are seeing.
It could be something they are doing outside the envelope of your apt that contributes to the high population. That could be miller moths in the walls, a septic problem, etc.

Forget non-toxic. It is an oxymoron. No such thing exists. It is a measure, like temperature. Everything has a temperature. Everything has a toxicity. Even water, and air.

Since this is an apt, I suggest you go for the management. It is more than just your problem.

Caulking may do nothing. It might create something about equivalent to living in your car, but it will not eradicate the carpenter beetles.

Now if that old leather couch had horsehair padding, that could have been the source. The same would go for stuffed animals, especially the hunting trophies. These things are just the food for the beetles. Ridding your apt of the beetle foods plus their source (home=couch?) would be enough, unless the problem does come from other tenants, or a structural related problem.

The carpet beetles I encountered were not pantry pests. I am guessing yours are not either. Are you finding them in your pantry foods?

SomeChick 11-12-2012 09:06 AM

Hi, thanks for the response.
I know non toxic is an oxymoron, but really strong odors with no ventilation as required, make dizzy and vomit (I went to a party once where someone was smoking something only legal in California and I had to immediately leave :whistling2:)
In the same skyscraper a few years back, I had neighbor who only stayed a year and I soon noticed some silverfish. I sprayed some odorless Bonide brand spray and it worked for 4 months. Thankfully, they moved, but this is past the Bonide point.
The bugs were inside my leather couch, witnessed one trying to breaking into a box of new baking soda :huh: so I through out all the food in the cupboards, they were in my real wool yarn, and natural (like cotton) fabrics. I'm sorry this part is gross- they devoured my Ped Egg because I must have forgotten to clean out the dead skin right before I got sick. I've seen them coming in through the vents and dead adults that got stuck in my AC trying to get in. So, they seem to go for just the organic stuff like I read about. They didn't seem to go into boxes of computer parts or any non organic items like roaches or any other NYC bug I've seen usually does. I've seen them in mostly the ant-like stage, but also the black beetle attracted to the sun, fuzzy caterpillar like, and the remnants of them shedding there skins alot.
From local newspaper articles I read, NYC naturally has the nastiest species. And of course with my luck, this had to be the first real year with a city wide problem.
I've gotten rid of all the sources they really liked to feed on, but management just like at any non-millionaire local in NYC doesn't care.
I can't think of what to do besides caulk up, somehow screen the vents and AC.

Any other suggestions???

mnp13 11-12-2012 12:22 PM

Food grade diatomaceous earth.

It kills bugs and is not harmful in any way to people. I get it at Tractor Supply, but I'm guessing you'd have to order it online in NYC.

You put a layer down anywhere you see them and it cuts them up and they die.

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