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Carpet beetles are fabric pests who will come into your house and feed on your belongings – wool carpets, clothing, and leather book bindings, basically anything which is constructed from natural fibers – synthetic materials will remain untouched.

Truth be told, it is the larvae who do all the damage, adult carpet beetles will lay eggs on or close to a food source for the larvae once they have hatched (carpeting or rugs are often the favorite). The adults themselves prefer to feed on nectar and pollen. However, an extremely hungry larva can eat a pretty big hole in a piece of fabric as it fills up before entering the cocoon stage.

These pests can be extremely difficult to deal with because they can scatter throughout a property finding food in the weirdest of places, so knowing what to look for and how to get rid of carpet beetle problems could be invaluable information.

What do carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae look like?

A fully mature adult can measure up to 5 mm in length and vary in color from black (the black carpet beetle) to red or brown with patterned scales on their wing covers. Their bodies are made up of segments with the first part being a good deal shorter than the second.

Depending on how good the food source is carpet beetle larvae can reach up to 12.7 mm long. They will eat pretty much anything so long as it is from a natural source; meat, silk, leather, wool even hair. Larvae have bodies which are quite wide at the top then taper off towards the back with hair at the end and can vary in color from brown through to gold.

What kind of damage should you look for?

a. Firstly check out your carpets, rugs and even your clothing. If you find holes it is possible that they are infested with carpet beetle larvae that have had a feast. Carpet beetles tend to eat a larger hole out of fabrics, carpeting etc. as opposed to clothes moths who flit from place to place leaving smaller more scattered holes.

b. Have you noticed bits and pieces of dead insects such as spiders etc. around your home? If you have this could be another sure sign of a carpet beetle problem. Laval food will often include ticks, spiders, mites or any other type of insect found around your home is they alive or dead.

c. Carpet beetle larvae will shed their skin as they transform into adult beetles. Finding hard, brown colored molten skin or even fecal pellets (these are tiny – described as being the size of a grain of salt) around the floor or in closets etc. can signals carpet beetle infestations.

How can you get rid of and prevent the carpet beetle returning both adults and larvae?

The simplest way to do this is by eliminating any possible food sources for these pests. Remove accumulations of hair, dead insects, lint or anything else which carpet beetles may find tasty by cleaning and vacuuming.

It is essential that you vacuum and clean your home regularly and in particular any items such as carpeting, rugs, stuffed toys etc. which may have fallen victim to these tiny fabric guzzling pests as well as around and underneath any heavy furniture – Larva like dark secluded areas.

Removing dirt and spillages will mean less chance of attracting more carpet beetles and regular laundering or dry cleaning of clothing (they are attracted to perspiration stains as well as food spillage stains) and other fabrics will ensure that carpet beetle larvae are killed off, this should include all soft furnishings where possible.

If you have susceptible items made from natural fibers be it clothing, bedding, stuffed toys etc. which you want to store, it is wise to seal them away in plastic, pest proof containers (make sure the items are clean and pest free to start with!)

Lastly, remember carpet beetles will eat meat etc. so make sure that any left over dinner does not make an extra special treat for carpet beetle larvae. You can be sure if it is left sitting around and allowed to go “off” it will attract larvae.

Of course if all of these measures fail the use of products such as insecticides, or powders like diatomaceous earth or borax or even glue traps can all be used as effective measures for treating infestations if used around cracks and crevices at doors, windows, baseboards – anywhere that these pests can crawl through to enter your home. Or you can also hire a professional Pest Control Brisbane company to get rid of carpet beetles.

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