What Carpet Beetle Damage Looks Like
November 20, 2018
When the weather turns colder, many insects look for a warm place to survive the winter. That’s why it is common in the fall to notice an uptick in the number of bugs you find inside your home. This is an extremely important time of year to make sure you are taking care of these bugs before they become a much bigger problem than the current annoyance they are.
One type of bug that may end up in your home this time of year is the carpet beetle. Carpet beetles are small, multi-colored beetles that look similar to bed bugs. The adults will spend the summer feeding on pollen and nectar outside, so when fall arrives and their food sources start to diminish, they must find a new place to live and eat. Often times, they’ll find your home.
Although the adults are fairly benign, their larvae can cause all sorts of problems. Carpet beetle larvae are small worm-like creatures. They are brownish-yellow with short bristly hairs all over their bodies.
The larvae can cause skin reactions that look similar to bed bug bites. Some people may experience more severe allergic reactions to them as well.
Carpet beetle larvae are not extroverted creatures and will spend most of their time well-hidden, making it harder to identify them. Although they’re shy, they don’t just sit around hiding. While they hide, they cause a lot of damage to your belongings. Carpet beetle larvae feed primarily on animal products but will eat other items as well. They’ll damage rugs and wool clothing, as well as dirty clothing made of other fibers, such as cotton or silk. They’ll feed on skin cells, pet food, and can also get into packaged foods.
The damage they cause depends in part on how bad the infestation is and in part on what they’re feeding on. For instance, in wool rugs, they’ll often chew slits in the underside of the rug. On clothing, they may just remove the outer layer or they might chew a hole right through the fabric. In food that isn’t stored in pest-proof containers, they can chew through the bag to get inside.
There are some things you can do to prevent a carpet beetle invasion or, at the very least, reduce the damage they cause.
- Seal cracks, holes, and openings around the outside of your home. Carpet beetles can fit through the tiniest of gaps, and they can fly, so be sure to look around your foundation, at your walls, windows, and doors, as well as at openings that need to be covered, such as chimneys and vents.
- Keep your home clean. Frequent vacuuming and dusting will cut down on some of the food sources for the adults and larvae
- Keep clothing stored in pest-proof containers, not cardboard boxes.
- Keep pantry foods stored in airtight, pest-proof containers.
- Check food items at the grocery store for holes or openings in the packaging before bringing them home. It is possible for you to bring carpet beetles into your home in that way as well.
If you discover carpet beetles or their larvae in your home, call the pest control experts at A-1 Pest Control. Carpet beetles can be difficult to eradicate due to their propensity to hide, so it’s best to get help from the people who are trained to deal with them. We will conduct a thorough inspection and come up with a treatment plan customized for your specific needs.