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Carpet Beetles 101

We are surrounded by bugs who like some of the same things we like. For example, we like our homes. Guess what? So do termites! We like our gardens. Guess what? So do leaf-eating beetles. We like our clothes. Guess what? So do clothes moths. But there’s one pest who isn’t picky and likes just about everything. Meet the carpet beetle.

Don’t let the name trick you. In addition to carpets (and rugs), these little guys love to snack on furniture, your pet’s food, silk, fur, clothes, blankets, upholstery, leather, lint, hair, feathers and dead insects & mice. (They prefer organic, animal-based materials but will snack on any synthetic materials that may be stained with food, body oil, hair and lint.)

Carpet beetle larvae are about 1/4″ in length. They are usually a shade of brown and look similar to a very furry, very hairy roly poly or small caterpillar. As they mature, they take on more characteristics of a ladybug — they get smaller (about 1/8″ in size) and develop a roundish body covered with irregular patches of white, brown and yellow. It’s these patches of “carpet color” that gave the carpet beetle its name. Carpet beetles can take up to 3 years to grow from an egg to an adult. The might seem like a long time until you learn that it’s during this larvae stage that they are the most harmful and do the most damage.

Carpet beetle larvae like dark, secluded areas so some of the areas where you might find  the most damage include areas that you might not notice right away — like the undersides of chairs, rugs and couches. Closets, drawers and basements are more of their favorite spots. Routine vacuuming removes carpet beetles as well as the lint & hair that attracts them. Proper cleaning of clothes, especially before storing them, not only removes sweat odors that attract these beetles but also helps kill larvae and eggs that may be present.

Carpet beetles are resilient pests and can be tricky to get rid of on your own; however, gaining control of carpet beetle infestations is something we can help you with. Our technicians are trained to find the source of the infestation and how to use the proper materials to rid your house of them. Give us a call at 636-343-7900 if you have any further questions about carpet beetles or if we can help you solve your carpet beetle issues.

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