Carpet beetles can be very destructive from damaging your furniture, clothes, and what they are most known for ruining your carpets and rugs.
And what’s even worst is if they develop into a full-blown infestation they can be very difficult to get rid of completely. (An infestation just means that they have spread throughout your house).
This is why it’s essential to quickly spot when you have an infestation in its early stages so that you can more easily get rid of them. So in this article, we are gonna share with you 5 signs that you can look for to spot if you have a carpet beetle problem.
Signs that You Have Carpet Beetles
1- Your Carpet or Rugs are Damaged
Adult Carpet Beetles don’t directly affect us you see they are mostly found outdoors where they feed on the pollen of plants. But the larvae that they lay will feed on almost any organic or natural material such as the natural fibers, like wool, used to make certain types of carpets and rugs.
Carpet Beetle larvae are especially attracted to carpets and rugs due to the fact that they tend to prefer dark and secluded areas like under or inside your carpet. This can potentially be a serious problem because carpet beetle larvae are voracious eaters and can cause significant and in most cases irreparable damage to your carpet.
Now to make matters worst carpet beetle’s larvae are very hard to spot by themselves. This is because they are extremely small being around 3 mm or 1/8 of an inch and they also tend to prefer to live in low visibility areas that are dark and secluded.
And because of this the first sign that you are probably gonna notice is the visible physical effects caused by the larvae.
You see once Carpet Beetle larvae have infested your carpet they would cause noticeable damages such as:
- First, your carpet and rug will start to feel thinner when you walk on it
- Secondly, you would notice that your carpet would start to loosen up, fray, and leave threadbare
- And finally, if your infestation has been left untreated for a long time it can even cause irregular holes and patches to develop on the carpet.
Now other insects such as clothes moths can also damage your carpet and rugs. But Moths tend to create one large localized hole whilst carpet beetles tend to make smaller holes that are grouped together in an area.
Even if you have a carpet that is made from synthetic materials it can still have a carpet beetle infestation – this is because the larvae can feed on any hair, animal fur, and dried up food found in the carpet.
2- Unexplained Damages to Certain Types of Materials
Carpet Beetle Larvae don’t only target carpet and rugs they can feed on almost any organic material such as;
- Stored food such as rice, flour, and dried dog or cat food
- Paper so books and documents that aren’t stored away properly are targeted.
- Anything made of Leather such as your sofa can be damaged by carpet beetle larvae.
- Clothing and Other Fabrics that are made of organic fibers, like wool, if stored poorly can be a prime source of food for the larvae.
- Carpet Beetle larvae prefer to eat at the fold of clothing so ensure you carefully examine the hems, collars, and cuffs for any damages.
- Dead Insects and evens animal carcasses
The larvae cannot eat through inorganic materials like plastic so if you know you have a carpet beetle problem and you want to protect your belongings that are at risk I would advise you to store them in plastic bags or containers.
3- Examine Common Hiding Areas
Once you have spotted any damages to your carpet or to your other belongings. The next thing you are gonna need to do is to actually locate and confirm the presence of carpet beetle larvae. To do so you need to conduct a closer examination of areas that carpet beetle larvae love to inhabit.
Carpet Beetle larvae prefer areas that are dark, secluded, and rich with their food source. These are some of the areas that you need to examine first:
- The Edges and Underside of your Carpet, Mats, and Rugs, also if you have a thick rug try to look inside the fibers of the rug,
- Inside Boxes, Chests, Cupboards, and Closets that you store food, clothes, and sheets.
- Taxidermy mounts
- Inside and Under your furniture
- Air vents and Ducts – where they can feed on human and pet hairs.
- In your attic, basement, and fireside looks for any abandoned dead insects and even bird’s nest which can have leftover feathers that the larvae can feed on.
Carpet beetle larvae tend to be a small, yet thick and hairy worm-like creature, you can watch the video below to see what one looks like.
4- Look For Adult Carpet Beetles
The Adult carpet beetles look like ladybugs except they tend to have a brownish-yellowish color, you can watch the video above to get an understanding of what one looks like.
Now if you notice any adult carpet beetles flying or crawling around it can potentially be a sign that you either have or will have an infestation. So you should try to exterminate any that you do see.
But just seeing one or two carpet beetles isn’t a reason to panic, remember it’s not the adults you have to worry about, sometimes what happens is that the adult carpet beetles just get accidentally trapped inside and haven’t laid any eggs yet.
Also, it’s important to note that you can have carpet beetle infestation without having any adult carpet beetle around. This is because carpet beetles tend to lay their eggs and then they would move back outdoors and your infestation won’t happen until their larvae hatch and start eating away at your carpets.
5- Watch for Droppings at Damaged Area
Carpet Beetle larvae tend to defecate small blackish-brown droppings or pellets about the size of a grain of sugar.
Additionally, the larvae would shed their skin and leave them around their feeding area. Now their discarded skin tends to have a brown-blackish color and have a very hairy texture.
So if you notice either their droppings or their molted skin you would know that you have a carpet beetle problem.
Now because Carpet Beetle larvae droppings and their molted skin are very tiny, I would recommend using a magnifying glass when examining the area. Plus you should take photos to show your pest control company.
6- Try to Draw the Carpet Beetle Larvae Out
My final tip to help you to identify whether you have a carpet beetle problem is to try to draw them out from their hiding areas. You should try doing this especially if you are struggling to locate them
The best way to draw the larvae out from their hiding spots is to set up sticky traps overnight in suspected infested areas.
Sticky traps will trap any larvae that crawls on it which allows you to confirm the presence of carpet beetles.
To learn more about sticky traps and how to use them – You can click here to read my guide on Carpet Beetle traps.
How Many Carpet Beetles is an Infestation
If you see one or more carpet beetle larvae is a sign that you may have a carpet beetle infestation.
You see a single adult carpet beetle can lay 50-100 eggs. And what this means is that once you have spotted one larva there is a high probability that there are a lot more larvae – meaning that you have an infestation. Citation.
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