How Did These Carpet Beetles Get Into My Hartford County Home?

March 3, 2021

a carpet beetle crawling on the floor

There are several species of carpet beetles in Hartford County, but the varied carpet beetle and black carpet beetle are the most common. Their larvae can destroy silk and wool fabrics, leather, carpets, furs, feathers, food, and preserved specimens such as stuffed taxidermy. The adults eat nectar and pollen. Carpet beetles can be found almost any place there is food, including homes.

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like? 

The adult varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) looks similar to a lady beetle (also called lady bug) but is much smaller. This carpet beetle adult is only about 1/10th of an inch long. The base color of the beetle is black, but the wing covers have scales in white, brown, and dark yellow. The larvae start out much smaller, but right before the larvae pupates, it is a little longer than the adult. The larvae are brown with alternating light and dark stripes. They are covered in tufts of hair that stand straight up when they feel threatened.

The black carpet beetle (Attagenus unicolor) is shiny black and dark brown. Their legs are brown. The adult is from 1/8th to 3/16th inches long. The larvae can reach 5/16th of an inch. Larvae are light brown to almost black. Short, stiff hairs cover the larvae.

Life Cycle Of A Carpet Beetle 

Male varied carpet beetles only live for two to four weeks. Females live two to six weeks. During that time, the female will lay about 40 eggs. These eggs hatch in 10 to 20 days. Larvae live a long time – 220-630 days. At the end of that time, they pupate for 10 to 30 days. After that, they are adults and start the life cycle over again by laying eggs. 
 
Female black carpet beetles lay about 90 eggs. These hatch in 9 to 16 days.  Larvae live 166 to 330 days before pupating. After 8 to 14 days, they emerge as adults and start a new generation.

How Do Carpet Beetles Get In? 

Adult carpet beetles often fly into houses. They can often be found near windows. Carpet beetles also enter on cut flowers, old carpets, old fabric, and other "food sources" being brought into the home.  

Carpet Beetle Prevention Tips 

  • The best way to prevent carpet beetle problems is by excluding them from your house in the first place. 

  • Make sure screens are tight around windows. 

  • Check screens for holes and repair them. 

  • Check the weatherstripping around the base of your doors and replace if worn. 

  • Vacuum often and empty the vacuum immediately into a plastic bag when finished, seal the bag, and put in the trash. 

  • Store fabrics in plastic storage bins with tight lids. 

  • Dry clean clothes before placing them in storage for the season. 

Get Professional Help With Carpet Beetle Problems 

Once you have carpet beetles, you really need professional help to get rid of them. American Pest Solutions will treat your home and get rid of the problem for you. They have a 24-hour answering service so you can reach them quickly. When their licensed technician arrives, they will inspect your home inside and out. American Pest Solutions will treat for carpet beetles and any other pests they find. Then they can come out a minimum of four times in twelve months and re-treat the exterior. If there is another interior problem, they will treat that, too. Call American Pest Solutions at (413) 216-4188 today and get rid of your carpet beetle problem

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