All About Pest Control Daily

How to Tell if You Have Carpet Beetles: The Telltale Signs

Jun 15

Carpet beetles are a common household pest that feeds on carpets, clothing, and upholstered furniture. They belong to the dermestid family of scavenging beetles. The black carpet beetle, the furniture carpet beetle, and the diversified carpet beetle are three types of carpet beetles that you could find in your home in Athens, GA.


Adult carpet beetles are usually found outside, munching on flowers and plants. Still, they might occasionally fly inside your home through an open window or be mistakenly brought in on cut flowers or foodstuffs. They lay their eggs in fibrous objects once inside, which provide sustenance for the fuzzy little carpet beetle larvae.


Larvae of carpet beetles are rectangular and range in color from reddish-brown to black. They have lighter-colored stripes along their backs, and their bodies are covered with many tiny hairs.


A carpet beetle infestation, if left untreated, has the potential to inflict severe property damage. The indicators of a carpet beetle infestation in your home are listed below.

Fibrous Materials Damage


When carpet beetles infest your home, their larvae may feed on various goods and materials. Carpet beetle larvae devour any fibrous materials containing keratin, including wool, fur, felt, silk, feathers, and leather. When carpet beetle larvae start eating carpets and rugs, they graze across the top and bottom, leaving bald patches or frayed behind.


The term "carpet beetle" stems from when wool was used to make most carpets. They aren't interested in modern carpeting composed of synthetic fibers. However, if there's an accidental spill or infestation in your home, they could damage other materials made of natural fibers, including:


  • Upholstered furniture
  • Sheepskin rugs
  • Fur coats and hats
  • Wool blankets and clothing
  • Pillows
  • Stuffed animals

Holes in Clothing


If you're unlucky, these pests may also feast on your clothing. Carpet beetles' larvae can tear holes in sweaters, scarves, coats, and blankets if they get inside your wardrobe. Clothing damage is frequently in massive clusters or groupings of holes. Clothing moths, on the other hand (another sort of insect that feeds on materials), graze along the surface of fabrics, leaving only a few random holes.

Carpet beetle larvae love dark, isolated regions. Thus they're more likely to be found feeding on fabrics and clothing that have been preserved or left untouched for a long time. This is why old clothing stored in an attic or basement is especially susceptible to damage. If you think your fabrics may have fallen victim to these pesky insects, wash and dry them on the hottest temperature setting possible to kill any larvae that may be present.


You can also place the items in a plastic bag and freeze them for at least 72 hours to ensure that all the larvae are dead. Afterward, be sure to vacuum and clean any affected areas of your home thoroughly to prevent re-infestation.


Shed Skins


Carpet beetles go through a molting process and shed multiple times as they grow, leaving behind empty skin casings.


A carpet beetle's shed skin is usually transparent and yellow or brown. The size of these dry, hollow shells, which resemble sunflower seeds, varies depending on the species and molting stage.


The shed skin of a carpet beetle can resemble the shed skin of a bed bug at first glance. However, the shape of the shells of carpet beetles and bed bugs can be used to distinguish them. Carpet beetle shells are more prolonged, while bed bug shells are rounder.


Fecal Pellets


As they feed, carpet beetle larvae leave behind little fecal pellets, which resemble specks of table salt.


Their feces are usually black or brown in appearance, but this might vary depending on the color of their last meal. Carpet beetle fecal pellets, like shed skins, are generally seen in regions where they feed.


Irritation of the Skin


Although carpet beetle larvae can not bite humans, they can cause skin irritation, rashes, or welts, known as "carpet beetle dermatitis." In addition, some persons may experience these symptoms due to an allergic reaction to carpet beetle larval hair and hemolymph.


Larvae of carpet beetles have hair all over their bodies, which protrudes from their skin at various angles. The strands fall off as they lose their skin and mature, and they remain on the carpet or other things they were feeding on. Long-term contact with these hairs can cause an acquired hypersensitivity reaction, manifesting as the symptoms listed above.


At Pete's Pest Patrol, we understand how distressing carpet beetle dermatitis can be. Our experienced and qualified professionals will work with you to develop a carpet beetle treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. We also offer a wide range of other services to help keep your home or office free of pests. Contact us today to learn more!