Tiny Fuzzy Bugs on Walls? Carpet Beetles on the Climb

Carpet beetle larvae look like very, very small fuzzy caterpillars; however they are far from harmless. They feed on fabric, clothing, and furnishings and leave damage behind. Carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae can also trigger rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma as indoor allergens in house dust.

Many people mistake the damage caused by carpet beetle larvae for that caused by clothes moths.

How to Identify a Carpet Beetle Problem

  • Small holes or shredded areas in natural fiber fabrics: cotton t-shirts and underwear; silk and linen garments and draperies
  • Areas on wool clothing or carpeting that look as though the nap has been shaved
  • Very small (1/8 in.) beetles: black, brown, or variegated brown and tan
  • Very small (3/8 in. or less) fuzzy caterpillar-like creatures on clothing, walls, or window sills.
carpet beetle larva Thrasher Termite & Pest Control

Actual Size: 3/8 in.

The black carpet, common carpet, furniture carpet, and varied carpet beetles usually infest fabrics and carpets and are the important pests in this group.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Eliminate a small infestation of carpet beetles, reduce the size of a carpet beetle infestation, and prevent carpet beetles by eliminating food sources.

Carpet beetle larvae feed on (be prepared to be disgusted) dust and lint, bodily fluids on soiled clothing, dead insects, pet kibble, fur, and natural fibers (wool, silk, cotton, linen, hemp).

To limit or prevent an infestation–

  • Frequently vacuum carpets, upholstered furniture, and curtains
  • Sweep floors
  • Dust window sills and anywhere dead insects (such as flies and moths) may collect
  • Vacuum pet bedding
  • Remove dust and lint from heating and air conditioning ducts
  • Regularly wash clothes and dry clean garments that cannot be cleaned in washing machines

Large infestations of carpet beetles should be treated by a licensed pest control company, such as Thrasher Termite & Pest Control.

 

About the Author:

Garrett Thrasher is Vice President and General Manager of Thrasher Termite & Pest Control of So Cal, Inc., Chairperson of the San Diego District of the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC), a member of the bedbugFREE network, and a member of the National Pest Management Association. Author of The Bed Bug Battle Plan: Field Tested Solutions for Bed Bug Extermination and Prevention (ISBN: 1500838209), Garrett’s solid understanding of bed bugs, their behavior, current outbreaks, and experience on camera has made him a leading contact for news and media outlets. He is also a sought after speaker on the topic of managing online reviews for positive impact. He has spoken at PestWorld and PestTech, and was featured in PCT Magazine and the PCT Podcast. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control of So Cal is accredited by QualityPro–the mark of excellence in pest management.

4 Comments

  1. Cheryl September 28, 2015 at 1:45 am - Reply

    Hi just found one on my wall never seen one before and I’m a ocd freak for cleaning will there be more? Worried now

    • Buzz September 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Cheryl: The fact that you clean a lot is a good. Sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and keeping your laundry clean are very helpful for controlling many pest problems. If you already do these activities on a regular basis, it is unlikely that you will see any more carpet beetle larvae. We hope it puts your mind at ease to know these bugs do not fly, bite, sting, or crawl on people.

  2. Chantelle October 19, 2017 at 2:34 am - Reply

    I too am an OCD I clean my house all day every day so I Hoover every room dust every room and always bleach all the kitchen and bathroom I change our bed linen once – twice a week in the winter but every day in summer and for the last year we have had lots of these bugs in the house, i first noticed one in my sons clothes draw about 3yrs ago I had pest control out and he used some powder under the carpet in his room and I didn’t see one in his room again but then I started noticing them a lot on the walls on the landing, stairs, hallway, and then I found one under the fridge and one crawled up the wall from behind the microwave! Iv recently found another one in my sons bedroom where they were near the carpet before and another last night (a shed skin of one) on his pj top when he got it out of his draw! Iv recently had a full house renovation and all brand new carpets I Hoover the carpets every single day 2-3x a day most days. I have never found more than one in the same place. Is it a best I need to kill? I’m clueless what else to do.?! Plz help. I also find them in the bathroom once in a while but they are getting on my nerves now I need help. 🙁

    • Buzz October 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Carpet beetles are common in the landscape. Because the adult beetles are so small, and fly, they gain entry through an open door or gap in a screen. In pest control, we don’t consider an occasional insect an infestation. Your housekeeping practices ARE keeping carpet beetles under control and it sounds as though you’re doing a really good job. A single carpet beetle larva causes very little damage and won’t harm your family. Although it rarely helps someone with a very low tolerance for pests to hear, “don’t worry,” what you have described is not a harmful, dangerous, or unusual situation. We wouldn’t advise treatment; however if you do wish to explore a treatment options, ask your pest control company about using a desiccant dust.

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