CARPET BEETLES: A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF DAMAGED ITEMS
Such a fancy name for a pest, but they are called as such because these beetles target the very thing we walk barefoot on inside our homes: the carpet. Once these carpet beetles spot your carpet, lots of damage will soon follow. The most difficult part is, much like the termites, you will most probably discover the damage first before you detect them. Be always vigilant if you have carpets at home.
Carpet beetles are not as well-known as the other household pests. It is easier to spot a cockroach, or a rat, or flies, so we get to act immediately upon spotting them. It is quite different from carpet beetles. Most people get to know about them after they find out their carpets were already damaged. They digest keratin, a common protein found in animal hair and feathers.
For this reason, we should learn how to identify carpet beetles so that we can get rid of them and avoid the damage they bring about inside our household.
If you have these unwanted pests at home, you may want to enlist the services of the local Raleigh exterminator for insects and flying pests. Finding the best pest control management is important if you want to completely eradicate these troublesome carpet beetles in your home safely and efficiently. For their pest control needs, people from North and South Carolina trust only one name: Go-Forth Pest Control.
Identifying carpet beetles
Carpet beetles belong to the family of beetles known as dermestids. It is estimated that there are around 500 to 700 species of this group all over the world. Their size ranges from 1 mm to 12 mm. For the adults, they have round, oval-shaped bodies that are covered in scales, and clubbed antennae.
This type of beetles feeds on animal and plant materials. They feed on fur, wool, leather, and animal hair. That is why they tend to attack carpets, furs, and stored dry foods. It is not simply the carpet that attracts them, but the materials they are made of. They do not care about synthetic fabrics unless it has been soiled by food, oil, or even sweat from humans.
They usually attack homes, warehouses, buildings, and wherever they are close to a food source. Humans give them an abundant supply, unintentionally of course.
Carpet beetles are classified further into three types: the varied carpet beetle, furniture carpet beetle, and the black carpet beetle.
Types of carpet beetles
Let us further break down the types of carpet beetles that you may encounter. Each type has its own characteristics and feeding habits,
Varied carpet beetles – Scientific name is Anthrenus verbasci. Its size is about 1/10 inch long. It is black in color, but with irregular patterns of white, brown, and yellow scales on its wing covers, which is called elytra. This gives the beetle a splotched appearance. In some adult beetles, the patterns wear off, giving them a solid black appearance.
They usually feed on dead insects, dead animals, and a wide variety of fabrics and materials made of fabric. Outdoors, they feed on pollen and nectar. The larvae eat seeds, animal food, and other stored dry foods inside the house. The adult carpet beetles lay their eggs where the larvae can easily get their food. This could be on spiders’ webs, bees’ nests, wasps’ nests, or birds’ nests. These nests contain dead insects caught by the spiders, beeswax, pollen, feathers, or other debris that may serve as food for the larvae. Inside the house, they lay their eggs on carpets, animal skins, furs, rugs, stuffed animals, leather book bindings, dried plant products, near dry stored food, feathers, hair, and other similar materials that can also serve as food after the eggs hatch. The adults, on the other hand, can thrive anywhere, be it indoors or outdoors.
Carpet beetles enter the homes through windows, doors, and other openings. They may also be brought in through cut plants and flowers, hitching a ride on them. They can also live on the walls or chimneys as they feed on dead insects. Sometimes you may even see them on your beds, feeding on dead skin cells that were left on the bedding. In general, though, they prefer to live and feed in dark and peaceful areas where they will remain undisturbed.
They are also harmless to humans; they do not bite, However, the bristle-like hairs of the carpet beetles may irritate the skin.
Furniture carpet beetles – Scientific name is A. flavipes. Adult furniture carpenter beetles are slightly larger and rounder than the varied carpet beetle. They come in different colors and markings, but they generally have a mottled appearance because of their black spots that are scattered all over their white and yellow to orange scales on their wing covers. There will be a time when these scales will wear off, so the beetles will have a solid black appearance. They have white undersides.
They are named as such because they usually target upholstered furniture. Like all the other carpet beetle, they are able to digest keratin. They are most damaging when in warmer parts of the world. If undetected, they can cause significant economic damage to household owners. They are capable of destroying upholstered furniture by eating the covering and the padding, rendering furniture useless and visually unappealing. Other things they feed on include carpets, fur, and silk. Cotton and linen may be attacked when these things with oil or sweat.
Furniture carpet beetles can only be detected upon close inspection of the abovementioned household items. If you spot them on any furniture, immediate action must be done. Look for the presence of larvae, cast skins, or even damage. Practice good sanitation. Use your vacuum cleaner once or twice a week to remove human hair, pet hair, dead skin cells, and fibers from furnishings, carpets, and other similar items. When cleaning infested items, use steam cleaners with hot, soapy water to kill beetles in all stages. If the infestation becomes heavy, you may have to use pesticides. Also, treat cracks and crevices to stop them from entering through these openings.
Black carpet beetles – Scientific name is Attagenus unicolor. Adult black carpet beetles are about ⅛ inch to 3/16 inch long. They come in shiny black color, sometimes brown, with brownish legs. A full-sized larvae’s size is about 5/16 inch long. The larvae can be brown to almost black in color. Their heads are black and so are their wings. Just like the other carpet beetles, they feed on leather, silk, wool, feathers, and hair. They also eat dry stored foods, dried meat, plants, and other dead insects. Black carpet beetle larvae can live up to 640 days. Adults can live for as long as 2 months.
Just like with furniture carpet beetles, good sanitation should be practiced in order to prevent the spread of black carpet beetles. Use your vacuum cleaner to vacuum furniture, carpets, and other similar items. Inspect household items that are susceptible to black carpet infestation.
Carpet beetles go through complete metamorphosis all throughout their lives. To complete this lifecycle takes from about 4 months to 1 year, depending on the temperature.
Carpet beetles go through the egg stage, larvae, pupae, and adult stages. Eggs are .35 mm wide and .75 mm long. The adult females deposit this inside cracks and crevices that are near food sources. These eggs will hatch in 1 to 3 weeks.
The larvae stage is the stage wherein the carpet beetles create the most damage. A larva is 5 mm long, oval in shape, and with brown hair. After the larval stage follows the pupae stage. This stage lasts from 1 week to 3 weeks, depending on the temperature. Adults grow to about 2 mm to 3.5 mm long. Adults do not feed on fabrics but look for pollen and nectar outdoors. They like to be under the sun, so they always feed on flowers that produce abundant pollen. Carpet beetle resembles ladybugs in shape.
If you suspect carpet beetle infestation, do not hesitate to call the professionals in the local Raleigh exterminator for insects and flying pests if you need help.
Go-Forth is simply the best
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that has been serving customers in North and South Carolina since 1959. We provide modern pest control services and techniques, using state of the art technology, which makes our service to you more efficient, safer and more convenient.
We make sure to employ family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination that caters to your specific needs, assuring you of your family’s safety. Our expert experience in exterminating pests like beetles, cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders can really make you say goodbye to these pests in your home. You may check us on Facebook or Google us to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in the Carolinas for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.