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North Carolina Pest Identification: Carpet Beetles

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Carpet beetles are a common household pest that can cause significant damage to your belongings—especially for residents of North Carolina. These tiny insects are often overlooked but can wreak havoc on your carpets, clothing, and other cherished possessions.

To keep these insects from settling down in your home, it’s best to know just how to identify them, where they might be found, and what risks they present.

Carpet Beetle Identification in North Carolina

Carpet Beetle Identification in North Carolina

Carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped insects that measure around 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in length. They are often mistaken for ladybugs due to their similar shape and size, but their coloration helps set them apart. Carpet beetles come in various colors, including black, brown, or mottled patterns of white, yellow, and black. The larvae of carpet beetles are typically covered in tiny hairs and range in color from light brown to dark brown.

These insects are known for their diverse diet, which includes natural fibers such as wool, silk, and fur, as well as synthetic fabrics, and even stored food products like grains and cereals. Their voracious appetite for natural materials makes them a common nuisance in homes across North Carolina.

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Where Carpet Beetles Are Found

Carpet beetles are widespread in North Carolina and can be found throughout the state. They are attracted to homes and buildings because those structures typically are made of, or contain, many of their favorite foods. You may encounter carpet beetles in areas such as:

Wardrobes and Closets

Closets and Wardrobes

These areas provide an ideal environment for carpet beetles to feed on clothing items made of natural fibers.

infested carpets

Carpets and Rugs

As the name suggests, these insects often infest carpets, where they can hide and lay eggs.

Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered Furniture

Furniture with natural fabric upholstery can be a prime location for carpet beetle infestations.

stored clothing

Stored Items

Items in storage, such as old books, taxidermy, or stored clothing, can become breeding grounds for carpet beetles.

Carpet beetles may find their way into kitchens

Pantries and Kitchens

Carpet beetles may find their way into kitchens, attracted by grains, cereals, and other stored food products.

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Dangers of Carpet Beetles

While carpet beetles don’t pose direct health risks to humans, their presence can be detrimental to your property. Carpet beetle larvae feed on natural fibers, leading to significant damage to clothing, carpets, and upholstery.

The shed hairs of carpet beetle larvae can also trigger allergic reactions in some individuals, resulting in itchy skin and respiratory issues. When these pests infest pantries, they can contaminate stored food products, rendering them unsafe to eat.

What to Do if You Find Carpet Beetles

If you suspect or discover a carpet beetle infestation in your North Carolina home, taking prompt action is essential. Here are some steps to address the issue:

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Identify the Source

Locate and eliminate the source of the infestation. This may involve cleaning out closets, vacuuming carpets, and inspecting stored items.

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Wash and Dry Clothing

Launder any clothing or fabrics that may have come into contact with carpet beetles. High heat in the dryer can effectively eliminate them.

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Store Food Properly

Ensure that food items are stored in airtight containers to prevent carpet beetles from accessing them.

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Seek Professional Help

For severe or persistent infestations, or if you're unsure how to handle the problem, it's advisable to contact a pest control expert.

FAQ About Carpet Beetles

Adult carpet beetles grow to between 1/8th and 3/16th of an inch in length; their exact coloring will depend on their specific species, but in general they have a mottled color pattern. Their larvae are covered in bristly hairs and are tapered in shape, similar to a carrot, or they can be more oval in shape. Carpet beetle larvae grow to about ¼ of an inch in length and they are brownish or tannish in color, with tan and white stripes.

Telling the difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs can be difficult because both have the potential to create red, itchy welts on your skin. The welts cause by bed bugs are from actual bites, while the welts from carpet beetles are caused by a reaction to the bristly hairs that cover their body. Both insects are about the same size, but their coloring is different. Bed bugs are usually black or reddish-brown in color, while carpet beetles are lighter in color- whitish or tannish. Another difference is that carpet beetles can fly and bed bugs cannot. Also, if bed bugs are in your home they are there to feed on your blood, carpet beetles don’t feed on human blood, instead they feed on animal products.  Inside homes they will also damage clothing, bedding, furniture, and carpets.  If you’ve discovered red welts on your skin, try to identify if the bites happened while you were sleeping.  Bed bugs are active at night so bites are more likely to occur then.  If you’re not sure and cannot find any other signs of bed bugs or carpet beetles, professional identification is recommended.

Though carpet beetles do not bite, it is possible to experience an allergic reaction to carpet beetles and these pests may contaminate pantry items.  Damage to clothing, blankets, carpets and items made from animal products are likely to occur when these bugs have infested

If you’ve discovered what you think is a carpet beetle infestation, contact A-1 Pest Control for help.  Offering effective pest control solutions for both homes and businesses in Western North Carolina as well as part of the Piedmont area, you can count on our team to conduct a thorough inspection and develop a treatment plan that stops these pests!  To learn more, please give us a call or complete our online form.

To avoid carpet beetle infestations, we recommend:

  • Sealing any potential entry points
  • Vacuuming and dusting frequently
  • Inspecting dry goods for holes or tears before purchasing
  • Storing clothing and other items made from wool or natural fibers in pest-proof containers – not cardboard boxes
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About A-1 Pest Control

A-1 Pest Control is a leading pest management company serving North Carolina, including the areas of Asheville, Boone, and Spruce Pine. With over 50 years of experience, we specialize in addressing a wide range of pest problems, including carpet beetle infestations. Our team of trained professionals uses advanced techniques and eco-friendly solutions to safely and effectively eliminate pests from your home.

Don’t let carpet beetles damage your valuable belongings and cause unnecessary stress.

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