Nobody wants creepy crawlers in their home, period. But what if the critters are hiding in plain sight?
Enter: the carpet beetle. These pesky pests are tough to recognize because of their small size and indistinct appearance, but the damage they can inflict on your clothes, rugs, and furniture will definitely get your attention.
We asked our resident entomologists here at Terminix to give us some pointers on identifying and preventing these annoying carpet beetles and their larvae. Check out some of their tips below!
How to Identify Carpet Beetles
When it comes to carpet beetles, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Adult carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped beetles that range in color from black to mottled shades of brown, orange, or yellow.
You’ll most likely find these guys hanging out near light sources or on your window sills. During the spring, keep an eye out for clusters of adult carpet beetles on your window sills, which can be an indication of a larger infestation in your home.
Carpet beetle larvae, on the other hand, are incredibly small. They are slow-moving, tannish in color, and covered in tiny bristles. You may notice small holes in nearby materials or fibers. They also thrive in collections of lint, dust, or pet hair. Yuck!
Contrary to their name, carpet beetles don’t prefer carpets as their main food source. Adult carpet beetles actually feed on flower pollen, but their larvae feed on a variety of fabrics, like wool, silk, felt, and leather.
Carpet Beetle Prevention
Female carpet beetles can lay between 50 and 100 eggs at one time.
That’s an impressive and scary stat! But don’t panic.
The best way to avoid a future carpet beetle infestation is with prevention. These preventive tips can help you get started!
- Wash or dry-clean woolen fabrics and other clothes before storing.
Before you store clothes for the season, make sure you take this important step. Washing or dry-cleaning the items will help to destroy any eggs or larvae that may be resting on the fabric without your knowledge.
- Store clean clothes in tightly closed or vacuum-sealed plastic bags.
Contrary to popular belief, cedar chests don’t deter carpet beetles. So get yourself a vacuum-sealer, STAT!
- Vacuum regularly in undisturbed areas.
Areas of your home that are often neglected, like underneath the bed, the back of closets, or the corners of a basement, can provide ideal areas for carpet beetle larvae. They love to feed on accumulated pet hair, lint, and dust, especially when it’s under beds or near baseboards. Vacuum these areas regularly to keep them clean and remove this carpet beetle larvae food source from the menu!
What to Do If You’re Dealing with a Carpet Beetle Infestation
If it’s too late for the above tips and your home has already been overrun with carpet beetles, there are some steps you can take.
First, find the source of the infestation. Shake out the clothes that have sat in drawers for months, keeping an eye out for any possible signs of damage, and check upholstered furniture. When you locate the source of the infestation, be sure to remove or vigorously clean the materials.
If you need to know how to get rid of carpet beetles in your home fast, the pest control experts at Terminix are here to help. Just give us a call today!