Carpet Beetles

What do carpet beetles look like? 

  • Color: The backside exoskeleton of adults is spotted with gray-yellow, brown, and white scales which form two bands across the top. The underside of their bodies is gray to yellow. The larvae are covered with a series of light ¬and dark-brown stripes that run across its body.
  • Size: Adults are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and the larvae are 3/16 to 1/4 inch long.
  • Adults are oval; the wing covers meet at the rear end of the body in a smoothly rounded fashion with no apparent cleft.
  • Larvae are wider at the end of the body than at the head and have three dense tufts of bristles at the rear-end of the body that extends outward when they are disturbed.

What are the habits of carpet beetles?

  • Females lay approximately 40 eggs in their lifetime.
  • Developmental time (egg to adult): 242 to 356 days.
  • Carpet beetles produce one generation per year.
  • The life span of adult carpet beetles is: 14 to 44 days.
  • Favorite larval food: dead insects and spiders; favorite adult food: pollen.
  • Adult beetles are good fliers who enter homes through open windows or emerge (into the living spaces) from old attics or wall voids where food stores may have dried up. 

What kind of damage is caused by carpet beetles?

  • Larvae feed upon a wide variety of foods, including carpets, woolens, skins, furs, stuffed animals, leather bindings on books, feathers, silk, and plant products, (e.g., cacao, corn, and red pepper).

What should I look for?  

  • Damage to the products listed above.
  • Larvae crawling around baseboards and on walls (to some homeowners, larvae appear like “tiny caterpillars.” 
  • Typically, infestations develop in items that have been stored and “forgotten about” so look for the oldest items first and work toward newer items).

How do I get rid of carpet beetles?

  • Remediation of the problem should begin with a very detailed inspection (which can take hours if the origin is unknown), removal and/or treatment of infested material, which, including infested food, should be discarded. Carpets, rugs, and clothing should be dry-cleaned or discarded. 
  • Carpet beetle infestations are persistent and often require several treatments to resolve the problem.
  • Residual insecticide treatments are often necessary including crack/crevice and baseboard applications near infestation sites.  

If you have searched for a carpet beetle infestation and are coming up short, reach out to the pest pros at Innotech Pest Management to schedule an appointment now.