Pest Spotlight Carpet Beetles In Western Massachusetts

Pest Spotlight: Carpet Beetles In Western Massachusetts

When a carpet beetle invades your home, you may not know it. A carpet beetle isn't much more than a speck. If you find several carpet beetles in your home, you may notice them, but this isn't a great way to discover carpet beetles. Seeing several beetles is a warning sign of a mature infestation. What does that mean? It means that you've likely had carpet beetle larvae in your home for months and they have developed into adults. Today, we're going to spotlight carpet beetles and share helpful tips to identify carpet beetles, explain how carpet beetles can create trouble, and share simple tips to help you prevent a carpet beetle infestation. If you already know you have an infestation and you need a carpet beetle treatment, contact us. American Pest Solutions offers industry-leading pest control in Western Massachusetts. We can inspect your home, evaluate your carpet beetle control problem, and guide you toward a solution to get rid of carpet beetles. 

How To Identify Signs Of Carpet Beetles In Your Home

A carpet beetle infestation can show itself in a few ways. We touched on the first. You may see adult carpet beetles in your home. If so, you should know that adult carpet beetle insects don't particularly like being in your home. They don't eat fabrics like their larvae do. They eat pollen. Since your home doesn't have a sufficient source of pollen, these insects want to live outside. They get in accidentally when a door or window is opened or they crawl through a gap around a window that is near your exterior landscaping. Another reason carpet beetles don't tend to get inside is that they're diurnal (active during the day) and attracted to light. Since there is much more light outdoors than inside your home, a carpet beetle won't choose to enter your home. They only get in by accident.

Once inside your home, a carpet beetle may see an opportunity to lay eggs on fabrics because they want to place eggs on a food source that their offspring can eat. You might catch them before they do this. If so, you may stop them before an infestation begins. The trick is knowing what they look like and keeping watch.

What does a carpet beetle look like? There are a few characteristics to consider. If you have good eyesight, you can use all of these visual characteristics to identify them. A carpet beetle is only about 1/16 of an inch in length. They are entirely black or a mottled coloration of brown, white, orange, and black. They have six legs and a hard shell that protects their wings. They are oval or pill-shaped, depending on the species.

Another way you may detect a carpet beetle infestation is that you may notice their tiny worm-like larvae attached to fabrics. The larvae are hairy grubs that are slightly larger than the adult insects. Larvae are orange or a mixture of black, orange, and brown, depending on the species. These tiny grubs aren't easy to see, but if you don't see them, you may still detect them. The hairs on a carpet beetle can cause you to get a bumpy rash on your skin. Rashes caused by these beetles remind people of bed bug bites and make them think they have bed bugs. It is easy to tell the difference between bed bug bites and a rash caused by carpet beetle larvae in your bed or couch. The bites caused by bed bugs follow a pattern. Each bug typically bites three times in a straight line or zig-zag pattern, and the bugs feed as a group and move together. Since they move across the skin as a group, the bumps look like a path. Carpet beetle larvae cause a rash with random bumps. They won't look like a path on your skin. A carpet beetle rash will look like any rash you might get from touching a fabric you're allergic to. 

A carpet beetle infestation often rears its ugly head when clothing, carpets, drapes, sheets, and other belongings are damaged. The tiny holes created by carpet beetles are easy to spot on certain items. While it is possible to get tiny holes in your clothes or other items, it is not common to have lots of holes appearing.   

One last way to detect a carpet beetle infestation is that you may find these insects in your food. Yes, we know, this is extraordinarily gross. So, it deserves its own section. Let's take a look at how these fabric-damaging pests can also become pantry or kitchen pests.            

What To Know If You Find Carpet Beetles In Your Stored Food

Carpet beetles are annoying pests that sometimes get into food and lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae come out and feed on the pantry foods. If you have these pests in your food, you may notice holes in the packaging, fecal pellets, shed skins, or grubs crawling around on the food. Carpet beetles won't create webs. If you see webs, you have another kind of pantry pests—most likely Indian meal moths. These pantry-infesting moths cocoon during their pupal stage and create a material that looks like webbing. 

The good news with carpet beetles is that they are not known to transmit diseases. So, while it is entirely gross to find bugs in your food, these aren't particularly bad as far as bugs go. It is far worse to find cockroaches or ants in your food.  

Simple Tips To Prevent Carpet Beetles In Your Home

You can keep carpet beetles out of your home by considering how they get into your home in the first place. We touched on this already. Carpet beetles climb around in your landscaping, or on weeds in your yard, and may crawl on your home and find a gap to enter. The first prevention tip is simply to seal gaps. Here are a few tips:

  • Inspect exterior doors and make sure there are no gaps. Replace damaged weatherstripping. Install door sweeps. Replace damaged frames. Your exterior doors can let carpet beetles and other insects in even when they're closed.
  • Inspect exterior window frames. If you see even the tiniest gap, use a caulking gun to seal it. An insect that is a mere 1/16 of an inch in length will not have trouble entering your home through a gap the width of a credit card.
  • Inspect your foundation wall or slab. Carpet beetles can enter through cracks in concrete. Be sure to check around your water main and other utilities.
  • Inspect behind landscaping. Since carpet beetles climb around on your plants and eat pollen, it is common for them to crawl on exterior walls behind landscaping. Check your sole plates and siding to make sure there are no cracks for these insects to sneak in through.

Once you've sealed your exterior, take time to consider a few reasons why carpet beetle infestation begin. These insects are looking for food, therefore, removing lawn weeds such as dandelions can have an impact on carpet beetle activity. Addressing potential breeding sites is also important. Carpet beetles commonly use bird nests as places to lay their eggs. A lot of carpet beetles can emerge from an old bird's nest. If you like to collect bird's nests, keep this in mind. Consider any animal skins and other materials that are present outside that carpet beetle larvae would eat. These will attract adult carpet beetles.    

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles In Your Home

When you find carpet beetles, larvae, or warning signs of carpet beetles in your home, what should you do? What is the best way to deal with a carpet beetle infestation? There are a few things you can do, such as vacuuming regularly, washing all your clothes and bedding in soapy water, storing clothing and other food sources in sealed containers after you've washed them, etc. But, due to the destructive potential of these pests, and their ability to damage valuable keepsakes, it is best to have a licensed pest management professional address your infestation. A professional will inspect your home, evaluate conducive conditions, check for activity, apply treatments, and monitor for carpet beetles after the initial treatment is done. Carpet beetle control is a science. A licensed technician applies this science to address carpet beetles in your kitchen, bathroom, mattresses, walls, and attic spaces.

Are you in Western Massachusetts? If so, contact American Pest Solutions to address carpet beetles in your Western Massachusetts home. We'll guide you toward a solution to arrest your infestation, protect your belongings, decontaminate your food, and prevent future carpet beetle infestations. Jump to our contact page and tell us about your pest problem or pest concerns. We'll reach out to you quickly.

Carpet beetles are tiny pests, but they are no tiny problem. They have the ability to damage items of significant sentimental value, like a wedding dress passed down from your great-grandmother. Get the right solution. Contact American Pest Solutions.

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