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Carpet beetle

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Color of a carpet beetle

Adults are black, and wing covers have an orange/red stripe down the middle. They also have a pattern of white and orange/red oval scales. Larvae are reddish-brown with black or brown hairs.

Carpet beetle characteristics

Get a haircut, kid. Carpet beetle larvae have a lot of hair. These beetles are short and stout, widest in the middle. Common carpet beetles also wriggle up and down when they crawl. Adults are oval-shaped, with compound eyes that are notched around an inner margin. One segment is much shorter than the other two. The underside of the carpet beetle abdomen has black patches of scales on each side.

Where are carpet beetles found?

Carpet beetle species are located throughout the world, but they've got a sweet spot for northern U.S. They are found in homes and businesses all over North America and are often mistaken for bed bugs.

Where to find carpet beetles in the house

Why build when you can buy used? Carpet beetles are thrifty. The insects simply move into places where other things have lived. Examples include wall voids, old rodent bait in attics and crawl spaces, and wasp or hornet nests.

A graveyard is suitable, too; carpet beetles don't mind places cluttered with dead bugs and spiders. From May to July, the beetles get outdoors to stop and smell the flowers, where they enjoy pollen and nectar, and mate. The common carpet beetle, like chipmunk, insect, and bird nests outside, and even just the dead bird itself.

What do carpet beetles eat?

Carpet beetle larvae eat anything and everything. Literally – wool, hair, bristles, feathers, silk, furs, dried plants, rye flour, wheat, clothing and fabrics, even your insect collection. Or your carpet. By the time these beetles are adults, they get real picky and shorten their list down to pollen and nectar.

Carpet beetle biology

Female carpet beetles lay 30-60 eggs, usually in May through June, either indoors or in food for larvae. Eggs hatch in 10-20 days, and then mature in 6 instars (stages) in about 60-80 days. Carpet beetles pupate in the last larval skin, which is like their security blanket, as they hold on to it awhile. Pupation takes 1-2 weeks. Afterwards, adults stay quietly tucked inside the old skin for 18 days. Then, the beetles suddenly become active for a few days to a month. Outdoors, ¼ of them overwinter as larvae, while the other ¾ overwinter as adults, still snuggled in their larval skins. Indoors, heated buildings keep them active through winter and spring. Total development is 77-110 days at room temperature, but can take up to 2 years.

Carpet beetle damage

Your carpets, fur and insect collections are not safe from the common carpet beetle! The hairs on larvae can cause pulmonary irritation from inhalation and there is something known as carpet beetle rash where their legs can cause a reaction to some people when they crawl on their skin.

Carpet beetle infestation

Adult carpet beetles fly, and can easily get inside if they see something they like. And common carpet beetles like to eat a lot of things.

Getting rid of carpet beetles

Common carpet beetles infest both natural fiber items and items in your pantry. Thorough inspection is necessary to ensure all appropriate areas are treated. Preparation is necessary to achieve long-term control. Inspect and treat areas where the following items are stored: pantry goods, old cereal products, old pet food, fur coats, mounted animal specimens, natural fiber, and furniture or carpets. Other areas that should be inspected include under the dryer that collect lint and areas under furniture or along walls that collect pet hair. 

These areas should be vacuumed or cleaned before treating. Clean up any spilled pet food or old rodent bait used in attics or sub-areas. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dusts are recommended. Due to the thoroughness required during the treatment process, you may want to use a professional exterminator. 

Continued monitoring and possible additional treatments may be necessary. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.

If you have found carpet beetles around your home or property then make sure you get rid of them with effective treatment from Western Exterminator and contact your local office today for an inspection and discussion of common carpet beetle treatments.


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