Carpet beetles are pests that can infest your carpet, rugs, and furniture. They are often mistaken for other insects, like booklice and spider beetles.
These tiny objects like to feed on fabric items that give them their name. The difficulty with these creatures is that they often go unnoticed until there is quite the infestation or outbreak in your living space.
Carpet beetles mostly live in organic-rich areas, such as woodlands, forests, and grasslands. They also like to spend their time in places with household items that give off odors.
They also eat dead insects and larvae they find. There are 3 carpet beetle species that attack fabrics: the varied carpet beetle, black carpet beetle, and furniture carpet beetle.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
In order to get rid of these pests, you must follow a few steps in order to control their population growth and deter them from returning.
1. Vacuum the carpet where you see them, especially at the entry points of your home.
2. Keep your home clean and clutter-free to help prevent the insects from finding a place to nest in or for food.
3. Keep your pet free of fleas, mites, and ticks to avoid that larvae might develop that would produce eggs and be spread out in a new area of your house while they are still small.
4. Pick these eggs up with a container of flour or other substance that will not be harmful to you or any other living creature (such as soapy water). Carefully place these eggs into this container in order to destroy them away from your home preventing further infestation.
5. Regularly check your carpet for any dead or dying eggs, which would be easy to spot if you will just notice.
Be sure to also follow any recommendations given by your local pest control company and have only the best protection for your home against this pest. These insects are difficult enough to get rid of without adding other pests and problems into the mix.
About Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles have a short lifespan of about 6 weeks, but adults have a relatively long life cycle. The eggs hatch in about 1 month and 2 males are needed to mate with a single female in order for the eggs to develop. This will take about 4 weeks by itself for them to lay their eggs.
The larvae are very small, under .5mm long, and can be found throughout your home. They live on dead insects or larvae that they find and then burrow into the material they come in contact with.
They can also enter new items through holes in your floors or furniture surfaces by using their antennae to get inside these areas.
Once the larvae reach maturity, they will pupate over a period of several weeks. The males develop into adult beetles faster than the females do. They are also more resilient to colder temperatures and food shortages. Both of these qualities make them very difficult to control once they have set up residence in your home.
Carpet beetle larvae, though tiny, can chew through books, carpets, and other soft materials. Not only do they consume organic materials such as wool, silk, cotton, and hair; but they also leave a trail of fine fecal dust which can cause allergies in some individuals.
Carpet beetles are not known to bite or sting (though their larvae do bite people), but the damage that is caused by an infestation can be costly. It is recommended that the control of these insects begins with the cleaning and disinfecting of affected areas with insecticides. It is important to remove any infected material from the home to prevent reinfestation.
If the carpet has been in contact with the pests for some time and contains significant quantities of organic material which has been chewed, it can be scrubbed with a stiff brush and then further disinfected using a partial pressure steam cleaner followed by a hard vacuum.
Chemical control is generally regarded as ineffective when it comes to carpet beetles; however, there are many chemicals that are commonly used in commercial pest control. There have been many cases where such chemical products have caused severe reactions in humans, including death.
People that have sensitivities to ingredients in these products should avoid them or seek appropriate medical advice beforehand.
Insecticidal dust can be applied to cracks and crevices where carpet beetles are known to hide. This dust should be dusted with a fine brush or puff duster. They should never be sprayed, as this will result in poor inhalation and possible sickness. There are also aerosol sprays that contain the chemical pyrethrin, which works well on these insects.
Pheromone traps can also be used to catch beetles; however, they do not prevent infestation and may only attract more of the pests. The traps should be hung in areas that are located away from the room where they intend to use the traps.
The risk of dying from a carpet beetle infestation is extremely low, however, it is important to avoid breathing the air of an infested area and prevent young children from accidentally ingesting any dead or living carpet beetles.
The use of insecticides when treating carpet beetles should be standard practice and should be done by a professional pest control service. Professionals can provide more information about how to treat carpet beetles.
Also, if you have children and pets that are allergic or sensitive to ragweed pollen/dew, obviously there would be a risk if you live or work near an area with this pollen.
If you are in this situation, it would be best to avoid carpeting and rug-making businesses, since carpets and rugs often have a lot of ragweed pollen/dew on them.
The best way to prevent an infestation is to maintain your house regularly by vacuuming up dead insects and rubbish found around the home. You should also keep your lint trap clean, as that is where many carpets get their fibers from.
However, dead insects will not always be found around all your carpeting materials; oftentimes, they may only be found in certain areas but not others. In these instances, it is highly recommended that a professional pest control service be used to eradicate the pests. ***