Do you know carpet beetles will cause irreparable damage not only to your carpets, but also your clothing, and many other household materials and fabric? Usually, adult beetles are small-sized in colors of black to a little dark brown. They can cause damage while they are in their larval stage.
Their larvae look like hairy little worms. They are found near carpets, your clothing, and also in dried food products, etc.
There are 3 Main Species of these Carpet Beetles:
- Varied carpet beetle
- Furniture carpet beetle
- Black carpet beetle
Basically, all the above carpet beetles look similar and commonly infest similar materials. However, do you know where they come from? The answer can be quite surprising for you.
Most carpet beetles breed and live outdoors. They usually feed on nectar and pollen diet. They can easily hitch a ride and get into your home through flowers or plants. They are mostly attracted to light.
Due to their small size, they can fly in around the cracks in doors and windows easily. Also, openings around the plumbing entrances, soffit vents, electrical conduits, eaves, and chimneys can also serve as their easy access points.
Where do they come from?
These carpet beetles can infest various household items.
Their common targets are:
- Wool carpet
- Wool Clothing
- Oriental silk rugs
Some beetles are easily attracted to various animal hides or the furs on the dead animal’s carcass that must have got trapped in the chimney and walls. Dried flower arrangements can provide a source of food for them. Some carpet beetle species will feed also on noodles, dry dog food, flour, or meal.
What can cause carpet beetles?
It is just a bit of bad luck to have carpet beetles, however, if such beetle infestations in homes persist then it is because they can thrive off in a dirty carpet. Usually, they can eat hair, any dead insects, or dead skin hence if they fail to vacuum regularly, your floor will offer them a chance to infest.
How can they spread?
Carpet beetles may lay eggs on any larval food of any animal origin and also woolen carpets, furs, clothing, and a few museum specimens where they can get abundant food and lay 100+ eggs in just one go. Within ten days to one month, these eggs can hatch.
Where are carpet beetles found?
They can easily infest in all kinds of furnishings like your carpets, curtains, and cushions. They are also found in dried pasta or pet biscuits.
Can carpet beetles harm us?
Carpet beetles do not harm humans but the larvae can cause certain rashes on our skin with its airborne fibers.
Do carpet beetles and their larvae bite?
Usually, carpet beetles or their larvae do not bite people. However, their presence can lead to rashes with the rough carpet beetle larvae hair that cause irritation.
If you are bitten by something, then the culprit may not be carpet beetles but another kind of pest.
Are carpet beetles dangerous or safe?
Carpet beetles are not poisonous, but they can affect our respiratory tract and may cause eye irritation. Often this may take years to turn into a problem.
How serious are carpet beetles?
The majority of carpet beetle damage can be due to larvae eating the holes into various natural fiber items e.g.
- Dead insects
All these immature pests can have bristly hair too, which can also irritate our skin. As they mature into adults, these carpet beetles will start feeding on pollen rather than fabric items. Usually, adult varieties are a nuisance as they are quite attracted to light.
The carpet beetle infestations in homes, however, suggest that their larvae and eggs are somewhere present in the house.
Top 3 Carpet Beetles Signs in Your Office
Usually, it is very difficult to spot carpet beetles in an office. Often they may live under the floorboards or sometimes in vents. Mostly they hide within the cracks and crevices present in carpets, clothing, furniture, and other textiles.
An adult beetle can fly and lay 100+ eggs, hence their infestation may happen within a short timeframe. It is their larvae coming from these eggs that will do the damage. They appear hairy and brown, though are just 2mm long, which may roll up easily into a ball if they are disturbed.
Damage to fabric
The larvae of carpet beetle can eat the nap out of the fabric’s surface, and expose threads from beneath, which will bore holes simply right through, and cause visible damage, which will be irreparable and if ignored may continue to spread.
Faecal Pellets and Shed Skins
As they will grow, they may shed their skin or molt, leaving a light brown litter, empty skin cases, which will accumulate around where they may be feeding. Also, the larvae will produce tiny fecal pellets almost the size of any salt grain, which is evidence of their infestation.
Live/dead adult insects
Any adult carpet beetles may grow a maximum of up to 4mm that is large enough to be seen. As these adult beetles can emerge from indoors, instinct will tell them to move out to mate.
You may therefore find tiny beetles, dark dots climbing on the walls towards windows, and lying dead around window sills.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
If carpet beetle infestations in homes take place then it is very difficult to eradicate them. Successful control will depend both on sanitation and exclusion. Only if this exclusion and sanitation can be successfully done, then insecticide treatment will not be needed.
You can manage their infestation in the following 3 ways:
Eliminate the source
To eliminate the source of carpet beetle infestations in homes following are a few harsh actions that you must take:
- Throw out all your badly infested items
- Get rid of entire old spider webs, birds, bees, rodents, and wasp nests
- Examine all cut flowers before you bring them inside
- Ensure that your doors, window screens, and vents are fully secure
- Regularly clean thoroughly all your rugs, upholstered furniture, draperies, closets, etc.
- Frequent, vacuuming is also an effective way to remove food sources, carpet beetle eggs, adults, and larvae
- After vacuuming the entire infested areas, promptly dispose of all the bags
- Keep all your fabrics clean
- Thoroughly perform laundering all washable items in either hot water or by dry cleaning
- Regularly clean all museum pieces, game trophies, or can place them for 10 – 14 days within a freezer.
- Inspect all stored linens, woolens, and furs. Air all these items by keeping them under the sun, and brush them thoroughly.
Few mattresses, pillows, and furniture are stuffed with certain things like feathers. If a carpet beetle gets into the stuffing, then it is very difficult to control these insects by spraying only their outside surface.
The best way of eliminating these pests is to contact Owl Pest Control Dublin or any firm that can treat all the infested items by using special insecticides.
Since there are potential hazards for applying biocides, only licensed pest control professionals should be contacted.
Protecting items in the storage
For properly storing items that can easily attract carpet beetles, first, you must ensure that all items are totally pest-free and then place them within an airtight container.
Don’t allow insecticidal products to come in direct touch with plastic buttons, garment bags, or hangers, since any active ingredient may cause the plastic to soften and melt into your fabric.
Alternative methods to control carpet beetles in stored items can be heating all the infested objects within an oven or a tumble dryer for fabrics. Before that, ensure that cold or heat does not damage your object.
The effectiveness of any cedar chests is debatable. Cedars contain a certain oil that can kill smaller larvae but not affect much any large ones.
However, as it ages, cedar will lose this oil. Having any tightly constructed chest will be in the long term use more essential than the kind of wood used for making it.
Other chemical methods
You must apply insecticides as a spot treatment, and limit your application to beneath the rugs and furniture, edges of the floor coverings, on the floors, walls of closets, and on shelving where any susceptible fabrics are generally stored, in the cracks and crevices, or in few other areas that can accumulate lint.
Avoid spraying on clothing or bedding. Closely inspect all the carpeted areas beneath your heavy furniture and also along the carpet edges. If you find live larvae, spray on both sides of the infested carpet. If there is animal hair on the rug pad and has not been treated then spray it too.
For your complete peace, contact any local pest professionals as they have a lot of experience in removing all types of pests.
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