If you are doing research on how to get rid of carpet beetles, there is a good chance you already know how damaging these insects can be. As their name implies, they tend to be drawn to carpets, but they are also drawn to other items which are composed of animal fibers, such as wool, furs, silk, feathers, felt and leather. If these pests are not eradicated quickly, they can grow into a serious infestation and cause major damage.
Identification Of The Carpet Beetle
Adults: There are many different species of carpet beetles, but the adults of all species are tiny, oval-shaped beetles that measure around ⅛ of an inch long. Black carpet beetles (the most common species) is shiny black. The adults of other common carpet beetle species are brightly colored in a variety of patterns of white, brown, yellow and orange.
Larvae: The larvae, or immature stages, of carpet beetles are approximately ¼ of an inch in length and densely covered with hairs or bristles.
Damages Done By Carpet Beetles
Adults: Adult carpet beetles generally feed on pantry items such as rice, cereals, and flour. And while they are not generally harmful to humans, it is disturbing to find these creatures inside your stored foods. Also, if you have found adult carpet beetles in your home, you can be almost certain that there are already young carpet beetles (larvae) doing damage in other areas.
Larvae: These are the ones that cause all the damage in a home. While the adults feed on flowers outside and pantry items inside, larvae feed on any kind of animal-based materials including wool, fur, silk, feathers, and leather. Items that are damaged by carpet beetle larvae might be woolen sweaters, coats, blankets, carpets, down pillows or comforters, and upholstered furniture. Even synthetic fabrics may be attacked by carpet beetle larvae if they are heavily soiled with food spills or body oils.
The larvae can also be harmful in a different way. These beetles can leave small red bumps on the skin which look like bug bites or a rash but these bumps are actually caused when a person (who has an allergy) comes into contact with the hairs, or bristles, on the abdomen of the larvae--or to the insect's blood. If these itchy red bumps are scratched, the area may become infected.
Since both adult and larvae prefer to dine in dark, secluded areas, they can do a lot of damage before they are detected. Some places they prefer to eat include inside closets, in attics, inside boxes where items are stored, underneath rugs, underneath upholstered furniture, and in air ducts where they feed on lint, pet hair and other bits of debris.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles
It is easier to prevent a carpet beetle infestation than it is to eliminate these bugs once they have invaded, but here are some do-it-yourself tips that may keep them out or reduce their numbers inside your home
- Do a detailed inspection of the outside of your foundation and outer walls. If you find any gaps or cracks, repair them or fill them in using a caulking gun. Make sure to check around areas where wires, pipes, and other items enter into the home.
- If you are bringing plants in from outside, check them carefully for insects
- To kill possible larvae, dry clean all clothes or run them through the dryer.
- Vacuum and thoroughly dust your home on a regular basis. Make sure to include cleaning furniture and pantry shelves.
- Keep rooms well lit, and use bright fabrics. This will help to drive the larvae away.
- Keep all foods stored in secure locations, either inside the refrigerator or freezer or in tightly sealed containers.
For a complete solution to your carpet beetle problem, reach out to American Pest Solutions. Our pest control professionals are licensed and certified in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, and we are proud to have been recognized by the NPMA as a QualityPro Certified company. We have been helping folks eliminate pest problems for over 100 years. Let us help you with your carpet beetle problem. Help is just a call away.