Have you ever wondered what a little, speckled brown and white bug on your carpeting was? It was most likely a carpet beetle. Don’t be alarmed if you see one or two in your home; the creepy creatures aren’t harmful to your health. However, because these pests might cause damage to your belongings, you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
According to the University of Kentucky, carpet beetles are little oval-shaped bugs that range in color from black to mottled patterns of white, brown, yellow, and orange. The bugs are usually 1/16 to 1/8 inches in size.
According to Ben Hottel, Ph.D., technical services manager at Orkin, the larvae of these beetles have brown bands and lengthy “hairs” over their bodies with “distinct tufts of hairs” at the end. They are commonly found in locations other than carpets, despite their name. “Adults are frequently spotted on walls moving slowly,” he says.
While getting rid of one or two is simple, preventing an invasion takes a little more forethought. Insect specialists explain all you need to know about carpet beetles, as well as some of the most effective home cures for keeping them away from you and your house.
What precisely are carpet beetles?
According to Michael Thome, associate certified entomologist at Ehrlich Pest Control, carpet beetles are members of the dermestid family of beetles. He claims that they can harm animal-based materials like leather, wool, and furs, as well as stored food. They do not, however, ingest synthetic fibres, according to Thome.
Carpet beetles may feed on almost any animal fabric, making them tough to manage. “They’re called carpet beetles, but they don’t always eat carpets,” says Changlu Wang, Ph.D., an entomology extension expert at Rutgers University.
The black carpet beetle is the most prevalent type in the United States, according to Wang. It’s 1/8 to 3/16 inches long, black, round, and tiny.
Does carpet beetle bites?
Are you wondering if carpet beetle bites? You or your pets will not be bitten by carpet beetles. “Unlike bed bugs, they don’t tend to infest beds or congregate near people,” Thome explains. They don’t eat blood either. However, the bristly hairs of the carpet beetle larvae (which resemble a tiny, fuzzy caterpillar) might harm your skin if you contact them, according to Wang.
Overall, the most serious concern is the larvae consuming your belongings and causing holes in rugs and clothing.
How do carpet beetles gain access to your home?
They can enter the house through open doors and windows, or by latching onto contaminated items carried in. “Pollen and nectar from flowers around houses are also eaten by adult carpet beetles,” Wang says. “They’re more likely to invade if you have a lot of flowers around the house.”
If you want a fresh bouquet of cut flowers, carpet beetles can even eat your favorite cut blooms, according to Thome.
Adult carpet beetles can lay eggs on or in things like furniture, clothes, air vents, or rugs after they’re inside, Wang adds, which can lead to an infestation.
Carpet bugs and how to get rid of them
You may get rid of the bugs at home by doing the following:
Look for infested goods. An old sweater, cap, or rug could be the item in question. One of the first stages to getting rid of the bugs is to figure out where the infestation is coming from.
Infested goods should be cleaned or discarded. If you uncover infested items, Wang recommends washing them in hot water or throwing them away. To kill the beetles, wash the garment and dry it on high heat for at least 45 minutes.
They should be vacuumed. Sucking up the critters will make it easier to get rid of them swiftly. Wang suggests emptying the sack (preferably outside) later to ensure they don’t crawl back out.
How to keep carpet beetles away from your home
Thome and Wang provide a number of strategies to keep the rodents out of your house in the first place:
Vacuum your floors and vents on a regular basis. The most effective approach to prevent carpet beetles from infesting your home, according to Thome, is to vacuum thoroughly. Meanwhile, vacuuming your floors, carpets, and inside heating vents will help eliminate larvae as well as the hair and lint they feed on, according to Wang.
Keep your belongings in airtight containers. Wang believes that keeping your goods sealed will help discourage carpet beetles, whether it’s seasonal clothing or dry pantry goods like cereal and pet food.
Consider hedges again. Carpet beetles are more likely to come inside if there are flowering plants near your home, according to Wang.
Wang believes that if you see a few carpet beetles here and there, you should be able to get rid of them on your own. If you’ve tried the procedures above and they’re still crawling about, it’s time to hire a professional exterminator.