Carpet beetles are a troublesome pest that have the ability to damage clothing, carpets, and stored fabrics inside your home. There are many species found living across the United States; some of the more common species found invading homes and other buildings in our area include the varied carpet beetle, the common carpet beetle, and the furniture carpet beetle.
Carpet Beetle Identification
Adult carpet beetles grow to be 1/8th- 3/16th of an inch in length; they have a rounded dome shape that is very similar to that of a lady bug. Carpet beetles generally have mottled coloring, the exact color pattern will depend on their specific species. Carpet beetle larvae are about ¼ of an inch in length; they are either tapered and carrot-like in shape or oval. The larvae are brown or tan with white and tan stripes; larvae have bristly hairs covering their backs.
Habits and Life Cycle of Carpet Beetles
In the spring, female varied carpet beetles lay about 25 to 100 eggs each. The eggs hatch within a two week time period. The larvae molt 7-8 times; feeding and developing over a period of one to three years depending on the environmental conditions they are developing in. Finally, the larvae will pupate and develop into adults in about two weeks. Carpet beetle adults are often found outside feeding on plant nectar and pollen. While foraging for food, they can find their way inside homes through cracks and crevices in exterior walls and foundations, through gaps around windows and doors, or through spaces around utility entrances. Once inside, the adults may feed on or lay their eggs in stored pantry products (cereals, flour, rice products). Larvae are often introduced into the home through packages of dry goods purchased from the store that is already infested with eggs or larvae.
Carpet Beetle Damages
Adult carpet beetles don’t damage personal property although they do contaminate food sources in kitchen and pantry areas. Carpet beetle larvae do cause damage to personal property in your home. They prefer products that are made from animal products like wool, feathers, and fur. They are known for chewing holes in carpets, upholstered furniture, clothing, and blankets. Attracted by the oils found in human hair, they will also crawl across people as they sleep to feed on their hair. Some people may develop a skin reaction from coming in contact with the bristle-covered larvae; because of that skin reaction, carpet beetle infestations and bed bug infestations can often be confused with one another.
Carpet Beetle Control
Getting help from a professional pest control company is the most effective method of control for carpet beetles. The experts at American Pest Solutions have the knowledge, experience, and technology necessary to completely eliminate carpet beetles from your home. We offer effective and affordable year-round residential pest control services that help defend your home from carpet beetles and other pests commonly found living in Massachusetts.
Carpet Beetle Prevention
There are several things that you can do to help deter carpet beetles from choosing your Massachusetts home to invade. To help prevent adults from making their way inside your home, seal any cracks and crevices around windows and doors, make sure that screens are completely intact, and seal spaces around utility entrances. Regularly vacuum and dust to pick up shed pet hair, human hair, and dust. Don’t purchase dry goods from the store that have holes or tears in them. Store wool items or clothing made from natural fibers in pest proof storage containers instead of in things like cardboard boxes.
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