Carpet beetles are insects that can cause irreparable damage to carpeting, clothing, and other types of fabrics found in your home. The adult insects are small and may be brown or even black in color. Most damage results from carpet beetles in the larval stage of life.

Adult Carpet Beetle
Carpet Beetle Larvae
Carpet Beetle Larvae

Carpet Beetle larvae are small worms that are hairy and are typically found in carpeting, dried food ingredients, and/or clothing. The three main types include the black carpet beetle, the varied carpet beetle, and the furniture carpet beetle. Continue reading to learn all about carpet beetles and get rid of them once and for all.

Where Do Carpet Beetles Come From?
What Attracts Carpet Beetles?
What do Carpet Beetles Look Like?
How to Identify Carpet Beetle Infestation
Do Carpet Beetles Fly?
Do Carpet Beetles Bite?
Are There Carpet Beetles in Winter Months?
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Where Do Carpet Beetles Come From?

These insects typically live outdoors, but considering they have a diet that includes fabrics and various types of animal products, they will use whatever means possible to enter into homes. Here, they will thrive due to the vast amount of food sources.

In most instances, adult carpet beetles will simply fly insider of doors and windows that are left open. They will then lay their eggs on rugs, carpeting, furniture, and clothes. They may also enter the home by being carried in on an item that they have infested, such as plants, flowers, and even secondhand items brought in from an infested home.

What Attracts Carpet Beetles?

These insects prefer outdoor areas; however, the warmth, comfort, and the vast amount of food sources located within your home will instantly attract these insects. They are attracted to the following:

  • Animal Proteins and Items That Contain These Proteins
  • Carpeting
  • Wool
  • Fur
  • Feathers
  • Silk
  • Grains
  • Dried Dairy Items
  • Seeds
  • Pet Food
  • Bedding
  • Furniture
  • The Nests of Other Creatures
  • Clothing
  • Furniture Covers
  • Curtains
  • Upholstery

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?

Dermestidae>Attagenus fasciatus? Carpet beetle IMG4520

Adult Carpet Beetles are shaped like an oval. They have two antennae and a total of six legs. Their bodies are rounded and quite hard. There are shells that have wings beneath them. Those in the larvae stage are worm-like. They are fuzzy with hair-like extensions situated on one end or both of the ends of their body. They also have dark-colored bands going across their body.

Carpet Beetle larvae.

Steps to Identifying Carpet Beetle Infestation

Carpet beetles will cause damage and FAST! If you suspect you have an infestation, it is imperative that you work to eliminate it as quickly as possible. The following outlines some steps that you may take in order to determine if carpet beetles have infested your home:

  1. First, you should learn to properly identify both larvae and adult carpet beetles from other insects. Larvae are oval shaped, usually brown in color with bands on their body, and they look like hairy worms. They measure up to 4-5mm. Adults are oval-shaped, too. They grow up to 4mm in length and are black. They usually have patterns that are yellow or white. In some instances, the patterns are orange.
  2. The adults move very slowly. When they are touched, they will typically roll over.
  3. All carpet beetles – be it eggs, larvae, or adults -are typically found in corners and in places that are typically hidden, such as underneath carpeting and in windowsills.
  4. Pieces of dead skin and the fecal pellets are typically found in upholstered furniture, clothing, and carpeting.
  5. Wool or blended rugs may have areas where the fabric is very thin or the area may be completely bare.
  6. The insects will damage various types of fabric. The damage may look like holes or it may appear shredded with loose threads.
  7. If your walls are light colored, you may notice dark spots. These are adult carpet beetles attempting to head towards light in order to get outdoors for the purpose and intent of mating. This sign is typically more noticeable in the spring months. The bugs may be attempting to climb towards the window or may even die at or near windowsills.
  8. If you develop a rash, red dots, or itchiness of the skin and are sensitive to skin reactions or allergic reactions, you may have carpet beetles. You should always see your primary care physician to rule out underlying medical conditions and to determine the cause of such issues.
  9. If you suffer from asthma or another respiratory condition, you may find that you suffer from flare-ups. This could – potentially -be a sign of an infestation of carpet beetles, but not always. You or a loved one should inspect your home as it could be the insects or the presence of another irritant.
  10. Naturally, if you see carpet beetles (even though it may be difficult to see them because they are so small), this is an obvious sign of an infestation.

Do Carpet Beetles Fly?

Yes, Carpet Beetles can fly. Once a carpet beetle enters the adult stage of life, they develop wings. These are situated underneath a hard and very shiny casing that is capable of moving so that the wings can be used. These insects are fully capable of flying once the wings develop.

Do Carpet Beetles Bite?

No, carpet beetles do not bite. They may cause people to experience an allergic reaction, though. In most instances, the reaction is to the dead skin that falls from the body of carpet beetle larvae. The reaction may cause itching, pain, and other forms of irritation, but it is because of human sensitivity, not because one has been bit by a carpet beetle.

Are There Carpet Beetles in Winter Months?

While it is true that the Months of August and September are most commonly associated with carpet beetle infestations, it is important to understand that these creatures are highly active during the fall and the winter. The larvae usually hibernate during the winter months, but generally engage in pupating by February and/or March.

Life cycle of a carpet beetle. All carpet beetles pass through the egg, larva, pupa and adult stages.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

If you have confirmed that you have a carpet beetle infestation, you must take immediate action. Not because these creatures will hurt you (though they may cause an allergic reaction or a respiratory condition to flare up), but because these insects are known for their seemingly insatiable appetites. In addition to this, they breed very fast! Take the following measures to rid yourself of the infestation – once and for all:

  1. You must start by knowing that you will need to take steps to remove the eggs, the carpet beetle larvae, as well as the adult insects. The very first measure is to thoroughly vacuum. This should include the entire home, as well as any furniture in the home.
  2. Next, take down all of the curtains in your home and wash them in hot water and dry in a dryer.
  3. Once the curtains are in the washer, steam clean all of the areas where you originally vacuumed. The heat and moisture that comes out of the steam cleaner will help in removing any remaining eggs, larvae, and adult bugs.
  4. Even though it may be a huge task, take your clothing, bedding, towels, and linens and wash and dry in the hottest temperatures possible.
  5. If you discover fabrics and other materials that are infested, place them in a plastic bag and then seal them up in a garbage container with a tight-fitting lid.
  6. Mix together vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, use it to wipe the surfaces in your home. This will help ensure all dirt, dust, debris, and food residue is removed so that the carpet beetles are no longer attracted to those areas.
  7. You may then dust boric acid over your carpeting, rugs, and even your furniture. Make sure no pets or children are in the home at this time. Leave it on for two hours to kill remaining insects. Then, vacuum it all up. You will need to throw out the vacuum bag. If you use a bagless system, empty the canister and clean according to manufacturers instructions.
  8. Next, you may purchase insecticides that are safe to use inside of the home. Follow the instructions on the labeling. Remember, these are poisonous. It is better to have professional pest control technicians come in and handle the pest control aspect of getting rid of carpet beetles. This is especially true if there are pets, children, seniors, individuals with respiratory conditions and/or other underlying health conditions living in the home.

We Can Help

Carpet beetle infestations have the capability of growing in size very quickly. Many are actually resistant to over-the-counter insecticides. In addition to this, it is not uncommon for do-it-yourself treatments to fail. We here at All Pest are capable of quickly and effectively eliminating carpet beetle infestations. These are pesky, yet highly persistent pests.

If left to their own doing, they will destroy fabrics and other materials in the home. By enlisting the assistance of our certified technicians, you can rest assured that the eggs, larvae, and adult carpet beetles in your home are eliminated safely and as fast as possible. For more information, just give us a call today at the following: 765-259-0043