Carpet beetles are small, often no larger than a grain of rice, but left unchecked these little beetles can be very destructive to natural fibers. Beetle larvae feed in dark, undisturbed locations on a variety of dead animals and animal products, such as wool, silk, leather, fur, hair brushes with natural bristles, pet hair, and feathers; occasionally they feed on stored products such as certain spices and grains. They do not feed on synthetic fibers.

carpet beetle larva Thrasher Termite & Pest Control

Carpet Beetle Larva

 

It is not always possible to tell from the damage whether it was caused by clothes moths or carpet beetles, but in general, the beetles are more likely to damage a large area on one portion of a garment or carpet while moth damage more often appears as scattered holes. Also, carpet beetle larvae leave brown, shell-like, bristly looking cast skins when they molt. These skins and the lack of webbing are usually good clues that the culprits are carpet beetles.

Carpet Beetle Anthrenus verbasci

Mature Carpet Beetle. Actual size– 0.07 to 0.14 in

If carpet beetles are found indoors, look for flowering plants outdoors. In particular, adult carpet beetles are attractive to: Buckwheat Daisy, Cleanothus, Crepe Myrtle, Dogwood, Pyracantha, Spirea, Wild Aster.

Prevent carpet beetles by regular and thorough cleaning of rugs, draperies, upholstered furniture, closets, and other locations where carpet beetles congregate; frequent, thorough vacuuming, and then disposing of the vacuum  bag promptly because it may contain eggs, larvae, or adult insects.

Protect fabrics by keeping them clean: food and perspiration stains on fabrics attract carpet beetles. Dry cleaning or thoroughly laundering items in hot water kills all stages of these insects.

If you need additional assistance controlling carpet beetles, contact a pest control professional.