Carpet beetles are small bugs that resemble bed bugs or ladybugs. If you have seen them crawling around the house and have noticed damage to your curtains, sofas, carpets, and stored foods, you need to call a pest control provider.
What are Carpet beetles?
Common carpet beetles which are usually found in homes are varied carpet beetle and black carpet beetle. Carpet beetle larvae cause damage to rugs, carpets and fabrics that are made from natural animal fibres. Carpet beetles larvae look different for each species. Adult carpet beetles are usually seen in summers and they do not bite. They feed on pollen and are usually harmless.
What do carpet beetles look like
Features: These pests are oval-shaped and have a black, white, and yellow pattern color. They are usually 2.5 cm in length. Carpet beetle larvae are light brown to black in color and covered in dense, barbed hair.
Carpet beetle eggs measure 1/4 to 1/2 in length and have an oval shape. The eggs are very small and are of white or cream color. Adult carpet beetles lay eggs and fly through open doors and windows. Female beetles lay eggs on furniture, clothing, or rugs.
Types of Carpet Beetles
There are different types of carpet beetles like black carpet beetle, furniture carpet beetle and varied carpet beetle. Carpet beetles can be found in your home and they can cause damage to furniture, rugs, carpets, cushion, chairs and clothing. Treatment for all the carpet beetles is the same.
Varied carpet beetles are a type of beetles that are more active during springtime. They are scavengers that feed on woollens, hides, stored foods like meat, taxidermy specimens, and other animal products. They are also introduced when infested items are brought into a home. If a carpet beetle infestation is left uncontrolled, they’re likely to multiply quickly.
Where do carpet beetles come from?
Carpet beetles live and breed outdoors where they can get a steady diet of pollen and nectar. They hitch a ride into your home on flowers, plants, and because of their small size, they can fly into your home through an open window or small cracks in windows and doors.
Openings around plumbing entrances, electrical conduits, soffit vents, and chimneys also serve as access points to your home. They’re attracted to light and infest a large variety of household items.
Carpet beetles damage
Carpet beetles can cause wide-scale damage to your property if the infestation is left unchecked. Most carpet beetle damage is when the pests dig holes into furniture and household items made of wool, silk, linen, leather, etc. They also feed on carpets, upholstered furniture, blankets, quilts, wool, pillows, and clothing.
Though carpet beetles themselves are not poisonous, they can be harmful if they contaminate the house’s food. Carpet beetles can contaminate stored food that is left open with their feces and saliva, which is infected with bacteria. When this bacteria enters the human body, it can cause diseases like carpet beetle dermatitis, respiratory tract irritation, and allergic reactions.
Signs of carpet beetle infestation
Carpet beetles will leave behind dead skin and fecal pellets as a telltale sign of infestation. Another telltale sign of an infestation is that carpet beetles tend to damage a single, large area on items — you can tell this apart from a moth infestation as moths leave scattered holes through the infested upholstery.
Carpet beetles can be very sneaky. They’ll attack the inside of cushions or sofas made of natural fibres, making it harder to notice an infestation.
How to prevent a carpet beetle
Rather than getting rid of a pest infestation, it is better to prevent it. Here are a few tips that can save your home and furniture:
- If you are bringing in any furniture or old clothing from a yard sale, treat it with heat.
- Vacuum your furs, woollens, and furniture regularly. This will also help you eliminate lint, pet and human hair, dirt, and other organic debris, a magnet for carpet beetles.
- Store your winter clothing like furs or woollens in air-tight bags or cedar closets. Cedar oil is a repellent for carpet beetles.
- Make sure you clean under your furniture and other hard-to-reach places regularly.
How to get rid of carpet beetles
Getting rid of carpet beetles by yourself is challenging because these pests are tiny, hard to spot, and can find food sources for their larvae in areas that are hard to inspect.
Here are some handy tips to get rid of a carpet beetle infestation:
- Vacuum away — clean hard-to-reach spots in your house and remove any hair, dander, and lint accumulations that act like magnets for carpet beetles.
- Ensure your home is free of other household pests like bird, rodents, and wasps which might be potential places of carpet beetle infestations.
- Ensure your chimney is cleaned at least once a year since it can be a breeding ground for carpet beetles.
- If you think you have a potential carpet beetle infestation in your closets, then washing or laundering your fabrics will effectively eliminate the infestation. Dry cleaning will be more effective as this process will kill all the life stages of the beetle.
- If your woollen and fur garments are a target for a potential infestation, then getting them cleaned professionally is a good idea.
- If you are dealing with a carpet beetle infestation that is getting out of hand, we suggest you call a home pest control service.
A licensed and professional pest control service can save your home from a carpet beetle infestation which might cost you thousands of dollars in property damage.