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Many businesses, warehouses, offices and homes can fall prey to infestations of different types of household pests.
One of the most common types of pests that business owners and homeowners complain about is the carpet beetle.
In today’s article, we’ll look at how to get rid of carpet beetles if they find their way into your home.
Before that, though, a little bit of essential background…
What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?
There are a few different kinds of carpet beetles and all can cause serious damage to your home or business.
The 3 most common species of carpet beetles are furniture carpet beetles, black carpet beetles and varied carpet beetles.
- Furniture Carpet Beetles in their larvae are covered in pointy brown hairs that stick straight up. Adult furniture carpet beetles typically sport a mottled coloring with black spots dotting their white, yellow and orange wing covers. These carpet beetles usually live within furniture and eat the upholstery and padding that is part of the furniture. Furniture carpet beetles will also eat leather, carpet, wool and fur
- Black Carpet Beetles are a bit different from other species of carpet beetle as they are much larger and feed on different sources. The larvae of the black carpet beetle is a shiny, smooth and hard black bug covered in short hairs. The adult black carpet beetle is black and shiny with brown legs. Black carpet beetles don’t often eat fibers and fabrics. Instead, these are the bugs you will find in your pantry and stashed winter clothing. Black carpet beetles are most commonly found in dry climates
- Varied Carpet Beetles are most often found in areas where the climate is cooler and more humid. The larvae of the varied carpet beetle is lined with black and brown stripes and they are covered with tufts of hair. Adult varied carpet beetles are typically solid black or brown. These carpet beetles are the least picky when it comes to food options and will eat everything in sight
You will usually only find carpet beetle larvae in your home, as adults do not generally stay indoors.
If an adult carpet beetle does gain entrance to your house, it will likely lay eggs. A carpet beetle can lay 50 eggs at a time and they will hatch in 6-16 days. Larvae can live up to 3 years and adults can live a few months. The more food your home or business provides, the longer the larvae and adult carpet beetles will survive.
What Do Carpet Beetles Eat?
When outdoors, carpet beetles typically thrive on a diet consisting of nectar and pollen. Carpet beetles naturally flourish outdoors but they have a habit of making their way into buildings. They can easily get in through gaps in windows or doors or through other small cracks around the building. They can even accidentally be brought in with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Carpet beetles are quite small so it can be nearly impossible to keep them out. If carpet beetles sense a food source, they will find their way in no matter what it takes.
As for what carpet beetles lay claim to as food, the answer is pretty much everything! Don’t let their name fool you… these critters will eat far more than just your flooring.
Carpet Beetles typically feast on anything animal-based. This includes items made with leather, wool, fur, silk and animal hair. Carpet beetles will ravage blankets, pillows, comforters, carpets, upholstered furniture and even clothing and coats. Carpet beetles really are not picky here either as they have been known to feast upon dead skin cells, the carcasses of dead rodents like rats and insects too.
The larvae of carpet beetles tend to eat seeds and animal food and can also be found eating other things in the kitchen and throughout the home.
Infestations of carpet beetles can quickly spread throughout your home or place of business as well.
How Do I Know If I Have Carpet Beetles?
If you find any carpet beetle larvae in your home or business, it’s highly likely that you have an unseen infestation gnawing away at your home.
To find the source of this problem, you’re going to have to do some detective work. Look for problems like holes in carpets and clothes or damage to animal hides and furs. You might find some carpet beetles in your stored food like cereals and pastas or in boxes and packed-away clothing.
Check under and behind furniture and in closets and other dark places for skins shed by the larvae. Also keep an eye out for fecal matter.
If you find evidence of an infestation of carpet beetles, you need to do something about dealing with the pests and you need to take action swiftly.
Now What Do I Do To Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?
Once you have found the source of the carpet beetle infestation, you need to stamp it out as quickly as possible.
First, you need to vacuum up all you can find. Just go ahead and vacuum the whole house or business because these nuisances spread all over the place before you even realize they’re in the building.
Be sure to suck up any pet hair as well since this makes a tasty snack for the larvae. Cut of their food source at all costs!
Any fabrics that can be washed need to be cleansed with hot, soapy water. You need to do this because the eggs from the carpet beetles are nearly invisible and you want to get rid of them so they cannot hatch and bring in more larvae to wreak havoc.
One preventive treatment option you can carry out yourself is using boric acid. Pour some of this powder in all the cracks and crevices surrounding your home and business and you will deter any carpet beetles from entering in the first place. Don’t worry, it’s almost harmless to humans but pests hate it.
Your best bet for ensuring these suckers are properly dealt with is to get the carpets steam cleaned or chemically cleaned. You can do this yourself by renting a carpet-cleaning machine or you can hire a professional who will have the experience and know-how to get rid of the carpet beetles without any fanfare.
If all else fails, you might need to consider calling a pest-control specialist. These are the people that know all there is to know about these annoying creatures and know exactly how to rid your home or business of the problem for good.
To prevent any further problems, be sure to vacuum and clean regularly and consider choosing furniture made with synthetic material.
Check all incoming flowers for bugs and be sure to seal up all those cracks around the building.
Don’t fret if you find evidence of a carpet beetle problem in your home. These pests are very common. They can be hard to get rid of sometimes, though, so be sure to take stock of all your options when deciding how best to handle them.
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Now go and eradicate those beetles!