Carpet beetles. What do you picture when you hear these words? Maybe you think of a bunch of beetles crawling around on a carpet. Perhaps you see a floor completely covered in beetles, so it looks like a "beetle carpet." That's disturbing. Or maybe you imagine 4 British musicians standing on a rug. Well, none of these images are actually what carpet beetles really are. These little beetles actually have larvae that eat away at carpets, or clothing, or just about anything else that is made out of fabric.
Carpet beetles are insects that belong to the family Dermestidae. There are more than 500 species of carpet beetle worldwide. The carpet beetles we battle as household pest are anthrenus verbasci (varied carpet beetle) and A scrophulariae (common carpet beetle), and Attagenus unicolor (black carpet beetle). These beetles are tiny, oval-shaped beetles that have a range of colorations. The varied carpet beetle, common carpet beetle, and furniture carpet beetle are a mix of brown, white, and black. All of these range in length from 1/10 of an inch to 5/16 of an inch.
Are Carpet Beetles Harmful To Belongings?
As mentioned, these pests do not only eat carpets, their larvae actually dine on clothing, carpets, drapes, tapestries, couch cushions, blankets and sheets, as well as silk, wool, leather, animal hair, pillows and furniture. And since these tiny creatures prefer to feed inside dark, undisturbed areas, both adults and larvae can go for long periods without being discovered, until the infestation has grown.
Are Carpet Beetles Harmful To Humans?
Though not generally harmful to humans in any way, there are some individuals who can be affected by these insects. Carpet beetles can leave tiny red bumps on some people's skin that resemble bug bites. These are actually caused by an allergic reaction. These bumps, or rashes, appear when an allergic individual comes into contact with the bristles (hairs) on the abdomen of carpet beetle larvae (or to the insect's blood.) If these itchy bumps are scratched too much, an infection can occur.
Carpet Beetle Prevention Tips
Carefully inspect the outside of your foundation and outer walls for holes. Whatever gaps or cracks you find, fill them in using liquid cement, caulk, or some other sealant. Make sure to pay attention to areas around windows and doors and where pipes, wires, etc. pass through walls.
Cover any vents that may give access to pests.
Keep windows and doors closed, or make sure screens are present and in good repair.
Prevent other insects from getting into your home with ongoing pest control. Carpet beetles like to feed on dead insects inside walls.
Put all of your clothing in the dryer on the hottest setting, or have everything dry cleaned, to kill all carpet beetle larvae or eggs.
Thoroughly dust and vacuum your home on a regular basis, including all carpets, furniture, and pantry shelves.
Keep rooms as brightly lit as possible, as these beetles love to hide in dark places.
Carefully check all plants and flowers for pests before bringing them into your home.
Store food inside the refrigerator, freezer, or in tightly sealed containers.
It is very difficult to get rid of carpet beetles once they have established themselves. Since they often remain under the radar, it is a good thing if you are noticing adult carpet beetles. Adults mean there is probably larvae feeding on your belongings. And knowing there is a problem is half the battle.
Since it is difficult to totally get rid of carpet beetles on your own, it is wise to partner with a pest control company to get these, and other destructive (or nuisance) pests out of your home.
Year-Round Pest Control From American Pest Solutions
At American Pest Solutions, we offer homeowners complete integrated protection against common household pests that typically try to invade throughout the year. Our board-certified entomologist designed this plan to address current pest activity as well as focus on preventing future infestations.
In addition to eradicating common household pests, our licensed service technicians have the education and experience to tackle any pest problem. Call us today to learn more about American Pest Solutions residential pest control options. Life is simply better when you are pest-free.