What are Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles are a group of small, oval-shaped beetles that feast on animal based fabrics and textiles such as wool, silk, fur and leather. Adult beetles are 1/16 – 1/8” long or roughly the size of a rice kernel. They can be tan, yellow or black and may be a single solid color or have a creamy mottled pattern.
Carpet beetle eggs are white and oval shaped. They are about 1 mm in length and difficult to spot. Larvae are tiny worms with spiky hairs that are tan or brown depending on what the larvae have been eating. Larvae go through several molts and leave shed skins behind.
Don’t confuse carpet beetles with bed bugs. Though similar in size, appearance and habitat, the carpet beetle larvae will go after your clothes, furniture and carpet instead of your blood. They can do real damage when they hatch en masse.
Signs of Carpet Beetles
Look for carpet beetles in bright areas of your home where they are attracted to sunlight. The spiky larvae, which cause the actual damage, prefer dark, undisturbed areas like closets where there is ample food. In your pantry, carpet beetles and larvae will gravitate to dry goods and pet food. In bedrooms they’ll eat bedding, clothes and even book bindings.
Signs of carpet beetles to watch for:
- Tiny beetles climbing along windows and doors
- Clusters of holes in clothes, fabric and blankets
- Thinned areas on wool carpets and rugs
- Bald patches on furs or trophy animals
- Translucent skin sheds
- Black or brown fecal pellets the size of pepper grains
During a carpet beetle’s life cycle, the larvae molt several times. As they grow towards adult beetles, they devour natural fabrics, shed skins, leave feces and make a general mess of your space.
Where do carpet beetles come from?
In the wild, adult carpet beetles can be found around certain plants like myrtle where they feast on the nectar and pollen. Larvae can be found around bird and rodent nests where they eat feathers and fur.
Adult carpet beetles may move into your home or business if they find a reliable food source to lay their eggs near. They can be especially common in warehouses, store rooms, museums and other quiet sheltered locations.
Adults lay 50-100 eggs from which hungry larvae hatch and begin to eat. After they molt up to a dozen times, larvae pupate into adult beetles and the life cycle begins anew. A few stray beetles can lead to a full infestation after a couple of months.
How to get rid of carpet beetles
Cleaning is the biggest preventative measure you can take. By vacuuming, you remove tiny larvae and carpet beetle eggs that would otherwise go on to create a bigger problem.
Targeted insecticides are also an effective carpet beetle treatment but should only be applied by an experienced technician. The best method for getting rid of carpet beetles is to hire a pest control professional. A member of Gregory’s team can assess the area affected by carpet beetles in your home or business and propose the appropriate treatment.
Carpet Beetles FAQ
What is the difference between a carpet beetle vs bed bug?
Bed bugs are flat, red or tan, and do not have wings like carpet beetles do. Bed bugs are nocturnal and hide during the day. Like mosquitoes, bed bugs need blood to produce eggs and will bite you in your sleep. Carpet beetles will not.
Do carpet beetles bite?
No, they don’t bite humans but some people have allergic reactions to the spiked hairs on the larvae. This can produce a minor rash.
Are carpet beetles harmful?
Yes. If left unchecked, carpet beetles will continue to reproduce and devour your carpets, fabrics and textiles.
Do carpet beetles fly?
Yes. Adult carpet beetles have wings and can fly into your home or business searching for new food sources and locations to lay their eggs.
How do carpet beetles get in the house?
It’s possible you brought carpet beetles into your home via a used rug, textile or article of clothing. More likely is that adult carpet beetles found an open window, torn screen or loose door to squeeze through.
Call Gregory for Fast Carpet Beetle Removal
Don’t let a carpet beetle infestation grow in your home of business. Call Gregory today for fast and reliable carpet beetle identification and removal. We’ll eliminate these pests and help you prevent them from returning in the future.