Carpet beetles? What in the world are they? Most of us have never heard of a carpet beetle – but they are an extremely common pest in our homes. The most common type of carpet beetle in the United States is the varied carpet beetle. Varied carpet beetles live on dried animal and plant matter that have high protein content, including animal carcasses. Carpet beetle larvae prefer to live in secluded, dark places. Outside, carpet beetles burrow inside bird nests or trees or animal carcasses. When they come indoors, they live in air ducts, wool, grains and spices, and dry dog food.
Identifying Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles are between 2 and 5 mm in length and have short, clubbed antennae and chewing mouthparts. They are dark brown or black in color and oval-shaped. Most carpet beetle larvae are elongated with hairs all over their bodies.
Signs of Infestation
Carpet beetles do the most damage while they are in the larval stage. You will usually find the first signs of a carpet beetle infestation in windowsills where you may find adult beetles. The larvae can cause holes in carpet and fabric. You may see piles of larvae skins that are cast while molting. If you have people in your household with sensitive allergies, the cast skins may cause allergic reactions and dermatitis.
Carpet Beetle Prevention Tips
Often, adult carpet beetles find their way into your home on plants and flowers. If you cut flowers from your garden to bring indoors, do a thorough inspection before bringing inside to make sure there are no carpet beetles or larvae attached to these plants.
Make sure you clean your home regularly to eliminate any sources of hair, lint, debris, and dead insects in carpets and around windowsills that would attract carpet beetles. Check your window screens and replace or repair any that have holes or rips in them.
Have carpets, draperies, and upholstered furniture cleaned regularly to ensure there are no carpet beetles living inside them.
Store wool clothing in tightly sealed plastic containers.
Professional Pest Control for Carpet Beetle Infestations
If you find yourself dealing with an infestation of carpet beetles in your home, American Pest can eliminate the infestation and help you prevent future infestations of carpet beetles and other pests year-round. We have both residential and commercial pest control programs designed to keep your building free from pests.