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.
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.