Carpet beetles are teeny-tiny — less than a tenth or eighth of an inch in length. Yet an infestation of carpet beetles can a large amount of damage in their wake. To make things even worse, carpet beetles are surprisingly difficult to eradicate.
“Carpet beetles are among the most difficult indoor pests to manage because of their ability to find food in obscure places and to disperse widely throughout a building,” writes Jeff Schalau, an agent specializing in agriculture and natural resources with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Yavapai County.
Carpet beetles are simply extremely efficient in devouring textiles, furs, and, of course, carpets. Just how good are these critters? “Some species of these insects are used by mammologists to clean animal skeletons in scientific collections,” Schalau adds.
What are carpet beetles?
Carpet beetles are tiny hard-shelled winged pests that you won’t see – until they start consuming the very rug under your feet. Sometimes, they are mistaken for bed bugs, another tiny pest with an oval shape and a bad reputation.
Arizona is home to three species of carpet beetles; all follow basically the same life cycle. When they are in the larval stage, they are eating machines at their most destructive. These hairy little larvae feast on all kinds of fibers, but especially rugs and fabrics. They also eat dead insects and materials containing keratin, such as fur or feathers. They eat whatever they can to help them grow into adults.
A single female carpet beetle can lay anywhere between 25 and 100 eggs in her lifetime. Each egg takes two weeks to hatch; some larvae can eat for a year before maturing into adult carpet beetles. Then the cycle starts over again.
Where are carpet beetles found?
Carpet beetles flourish in homes, warehouses, storage areas, museums – anywhere that provides an unending source of food. Left alone in an undisturbed closet, for instance, carpet beetles can wreak havoc on wardrobes and linens.
Their tell-tale signs include destroying a solid area of a rug or piece of clothing while moths eat through holes in a few places. When the larvae molt, you can find tiny bristly, shell-like brown skins left behind.
Female carpet beetles are very picky about where they lay their eggs. Their preferred outdoor spots feature the best food options for the larvae, such as old wasp nests, bee hives, or spider webs. These can hold pollen, dead insects, beeswax, and other bits for nourishment.
Indoors, the females again look for material to feed the larvae. They like to lay eggs on carpets, rugs, fabrics, curtains, leather items, stuffed animals, dried plants, fur, upholstered furniture, and anything made out of wool or silk.
Because carpet beetles are so tiny, they can congregate for months or even years before you detect an infestation. When you see bald spots on your carpets or chewed up sections of curtains or garments, that is often your only clue. By then, removing the pests becomes a time-consuming and challenging multi-step process.
Who can you call to stop the carpet beetle cycle?
Eradicating carpet beetles is no job for amateurs. Without professional treatment and techniques, the bugs will come back again and again.
People throughout the Tucson area rely on the experience and expertise of Horn Pest Management to tackle even the most difficult pest removal jobs, including eliminating and preventing carpet beetle infestations. With 21 years of pest control success in all kinds of settings, Horn Pest Management specialists are ready to respond quickly and professionally at your call. If you suspect a carpet beetle problem on your property, call them and find out why thousands of home owners and business owners have trusted this family-owned business for all their pest control problems.
Carpet beetle infestations often go unnoticed for months or even years at a time. The difficulty in detecting a carpet beetle infestation is due to these creatures’ incredibly small size and the way they keep to themselves. Your first indicator will likely be carpet beetle damage. You’ll notice chewed fabrics and bald spots throughout the rugs in your home. Furthermore, adult carpet beetles pose less of a threat than their larvae making identifying an infestation early difficult.
How Do Carpet Beetles Get Into Homes
Carpet beetles can live inside and outside. Most often, these pests will find their way into homes by simply flying through an open door or window. Rips and tears in window and door screens, damage to door sweeps, along with gaps, cracks, and holes in the exterior of homes are common entry points for carpet beetles and other unwanted pests. Finally, carpet beetles can sneak inside in the form of eggs hidden on used furniture, old clothing, or other fabric-based products.
How You Can Prevent Carpet Beetles
As a result of their small size, it may be difficult to keep carpet beetles out of your David County home. However, there are a few precautions you can take to keep these pests away:
- Use liquid cement or a caulking gun to seal up cracks, holes, and gaps around the exterior of your home.
- Repair or replace damaged window and door screens.
- Make sure all of your exterior door sweeps are in good working condition.
- Do your best to keep unscreened windows and doors closed as much as possible.
- Keep exterior lights off at night or invest in insect-repelling bulbs.
- Thoroughly check used furniture and other fabric-based items for eggs and larvae before bringing them into your home.
The Best Way To Deal With Carpet Beetles
Whether your home has an active infestation of carpet beetles, or you are looking for a reliable way to keep these destructive pests out of your home, we have options for you here at Pest Pro Pest Control. With several pest control options to choose from, you should have no problem finding the right option for your home. To make things simple, we recommend going with our general pest control plan. This option deals with carpet beetles as well as a wide variety of other common Utah pests.
Contact us today to find out more about our pest control options or to schedule a service visit for your Davis or Weber county home.