Carpet beetles are small pests that infest fabric within humanmade structures such as residential homes, vintage clothing shops, and other commercial structures. In particular, carpet beetles prefer oriental or wool rugs. Wool clothing including expensive sweaters are also targets of carpet beetle feeding. They do not care for synthetic materials that many carpets and clothing are made of, so you may not experience carpet beetles in your home.
Adult carpet beetles aren’t much of a concern. It’s the larvae that eat through fabric and destroy wool. Adult carpet beetles are much easier to see, as they are 1/16-1/8 long and circular with brown, white, and black spots. Larvae are small, 1/8-1/4 inch long with brown and yellow coloring and covered in fuzz.
Why are there carpet beetles in my home?
Carpet beetles are especially attracted to dirty or soiled wool as opposed to newly cleaned sweaters or rugs. Other animal-based fabrics such as feathers, leather, and down comforters and pillows attract carpet beetles. Adult carpet beetles live outdoors, feeding on pollen and nectar. They can easily hide within plants or flowers grown outdoors that are brought inside. Once they gain access to your home, the search a place to lay eggs begin. After they find a food source for future larvae, they breed within the fibers.
Do carpet beetles bite?
Carpet beetles are not parasitic so they do not feed off of live hosts like humans and pets. Some individuals experience allergic reactions when casings left from molting or beetle fragments are left on clothing items. This is why it’s especially important to keep woolen clothing clean at all times. The true danger of carpet beetles is their ability to destroy garments and rugs while larvae are present. Carpet beetles are notoriously difficult to eliminate once they infest. Only professional pest control can truly solve your carpet beetle problems.
How can I prevent carpet beetles?
You can prevent carpet beetles from infesting your valuables by vacuuming regularly and ensuring that you clean clothing after being worn. Steam cleaning your garments can be very effective due to the heat that is given off in the process. If you are placing woolen items in storage bins, make sure you clean them before and after opening the container.
Carpet beetles typically live outdoors, feeding on pollen. Small gaps and openings around the exterior of your home can provide spaces for carpet beetles to crawl indoors. This typically includes chimneys, vents, and gaps around windows and doors. Ensure that all of these areas are sealed and broken or torn window screens are repaired.