Pest Control

How Do You Know If You Have Carpet Beetles?

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Hubert Miles

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Carpets are popular for many reasons. These include the fact that they improve thermal insulation and create a warm feeling within the home. They also provide additional seating spaces. But they can also have issues. And one of those problems is infestation by carpet beetles, which are common household pests.

There are a few ways you can tell if you have a carpet beetle infestation:

  1. Damage to objects within your home
  2. Your skin will feel irritated
  3. You will notice adult beetles around your windows
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We will be reviewing more detail on what you can expect if you have a carpet beetle infestation, so read on to find more information.  

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?

Carpet beetles are oval-shaped with short-clubbed antennae usually found within carpets where they tend to lay eggs. You can also find them in furniture, clothing, blankets, and furs. Their larvae will feed on the fibrous material.

Carpet beetles come in various colors, from brown to black, depending on their maturity and type. They also have colored patterns on their bodies.

Signs Of Carpet Beetles Infestation

It would be best to look for signs of infestation by carpet beetles. The sooner you deal with these insects, the better. Below are signs that carpet beetles have made themselves at home.

1. Damage To Your Stuff

Left unchecked, a carpet beetle can cause severe damage to objects within your home. Therefore, you should check your carpets, furniture upholstery, and clothing for holes and other damage. Be especially careful when checking out the folds of rarely used fabrics or dark corners of your carpet. That is where carpet beetles are likely to do the most damage.

2. Skin Irritation

Another sign that carpet beetles have invaded your home is skin irritation and allergic skin reactions. You may have rashes whenever you come into contact with your carpet, clothing, or furniture.

Adult carpet beetles do not cause skin damage, but the larvae of carpet beetles are the most destructive. At this stage, the insects also have bristly hairs. And it’s these hairs that will cause skin irritations.

3. Adult Beetles Will Be Around The Doors And Windows

Adult carpet beetles tend to be attracted to lights. For this reason, you are likely to find these kinds of insects around your doors, windowsills, and everywhere else where there is light. You will likely see them crawling or flying around in those areas.

If you see adult carpet beetles, know the destructive larvae are not far behind. So, you need to find them and deal with them before they cause too much damage.

Video Demonstration

If you are like me and need a visual or audio to help you better understand, here is a quick and easy video demonstration to help you understand better:

What Makes Carpet Beetles More Likely To Infest Your Home?

Certain things attract carpet beetles more than others do. It helps to know what makes these insects more likely to infest your home so you can avoid some of these issues.

1. Furnishing Your Home With Materials That Contain Animal Fibers

Carpet beetles like to feed on plant-based and animal-based materials. So, if you have carpets or furnishings consisting of wood, leather, silk, fur, and felt, these insects will be more likely to invade your home.

Another quick thing to add is carpets that contain blends of natural materials, which contain animal proteins, tend to be more vulnerable to attacks by these insects. They consume the chitin and keratin within these fibers as food.

2. Owning Pets

Pets like dogs and cats tend to shed fur. Birds may also shed some of their feathers. For that reason, you need to be extra careful. So, your pets and what they shed attract carpet beetles and enable them to take over.

3. Having A Dirty Home

If you don’t clean your home well, you will likely deal with carpet beetles at some point. These insects will feed on accumulated pet hair, lint, and even pet food wherever they find it. They will also feed on rarely-used fabrics, especially those stored in dark areas.

How To Deal With Carpet Beetles

Once you realize that you have carpet beetles within your home, your next order of business is to deal with them. You can do this in various ways.

Removing Heavily Infested Materials

Start by inspecting all your carpets, furniture, and clothing. Carefully investigate every dark corner, edge, crease, seam, and fold. You need to cut your losses if you discover an infestation in your carpets, clothing, and other furnishings. 

Remove those materials, bag them, then dispose of them safely so you can start afresh. Consider replacing those items with others that are made of synthetic fibers. They will be less likely to be attacked by carpet beetles.

Clean And Vacuum Your Home

You should thoroughly clean and vacuum everything in your home once you find carpet beetle infestation. That includes the beneath the carpet edges, floor, and within heating vents. Also, clean underneath all your stored things and along your baseboards. 

Also, clean out pet fur, droppings, and where they tend to rest. Pay close attention to dark and hard-to-reach areas. And you may want to store both pet foods in airtight containers to prevent carpet beetles from being attracted to your space.

Launder Your Stuff

If you suspect your things have carpet beetle infestation, you must launder them. Ensure that you use hot water or steam when laundering your items. The heat will help kill the larvae or eggs in your stuff, which will hatch if you don’t deal with them.

Use Insecticides

When dealing with a nasty carpet beetle infestation, you may have to use insecticide to kill the adult beetles, larvae, and eggs. If you use this option, pay close attention to wall/floor junctions underneath your carpeting and inside your closet. However, you should avoid using insecticide on your clothing or bedding. 

You need to consult professionals if you are not an expert at using insecticides. Do not take unnecessary risks with your health or home. Professional pest control service providers will know the most effective chemicals to remove carpet beetles. Also, they have the right gear and can protect themselves and your stuff from harmful chemicals.

Hire A Professional

Left to your own devices, you may not know where to start concerning carpet beetles and how to identify then deal with them. For this reason, it would help to hire a home inspection professional to check your home and determine if you have carpet beetles. They are essential for many reasons.

Professional home inspectors have more experience and knowledge than you do. They can quickly identify the damage carpet beetles have caused and alert you to their presence. They also know where these insects are likely to hide. And should you need to find professional pest control service providers, they are in the best position to recommend a reputable company to help you out.

Final Thought

There are quite a few ways to tell if you have carpet beetles within your home, but the good news is that you can quickly get rid of these pests with persistence! If all else fails, contact your local pest control professional to help you get rid of carpet beetles. You cannot do this alone sometimes, so do not be afraid to ask for help.

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Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting professional home inspections since 2002. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Professional Inspector (CPI), Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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