The carpet beetle is a very common insect in homes and has world-wide distribution. The larvae of carpet beetles may cause serious damage to materials of animal origin such as wool, fur, hair and feathers. Carpet beetles also feed on dead insects and are often found in homes that have had cluster fly infestations. Carpet beetles will live outside and have been found feeding on plant pollen.
Carpet Beetle Identification
Adult carpet beetles are easy to identify by their shape and colour. The body is oval to almost circular (2.8 to 5 mm long), and the colours range from all black to black with a pattern of yellow and white scales on the head and wings. The larvae of carpet beetles have may visible hairs along their body and may vary from pale to dark in colour depending on the species.
Carpet Beetle Habitat
Carpet beetles can cause damage. Products such as fabrics exhibit various holes from the adult and irregular holes in material from the larvae. Furs and brushes may have tips of hairs damaged, leaving uneven areas.
Carpet Beetle Life Cycle
The female black carpet beetle lays 90 eggs in lint which has accumulated in dark and secluded places such as behind and under baseboards. It usually takes 177 to 370 days for a larva to emerge into an adult. The adult lives for 30 to 60 days. The female varied carpet beetle does not always lay her eggs on larval food material. It usually takes 222 to 323 days for a larva to reach adulthood. The adult male lives 13 days whereas the females live 14 to 44 days.
Carpet Beetle Prevention
Regular inspection of the home should take place. As well, good housekeeping practices will limit likelihood of infestation.
Abell Pest Control can use special products that have been developed for the control of carpet beetles. Depending on the severity of infestation, a single control measure may not be effective and an integrated program conducted by an Abell service technician will be required.
Preparation Steps for Carpet Beetle Treatment
1. Vacuum all rugs, carpet and upholstered furniture. Vacuum bag should be discarded upon completion.
2. Any unlaundered wool, or natural fibre clothing should be laundered or at least placed in a hot dryer for one hour.
3. Furniture should be pulled away from the edges of rooms. Closet floors and shelves where insect activity has been seen should be cleared, so that your Abell service technician will have access to all areas.
4. Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatment. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible.
Before service, infants, pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory ailments or allergies should consult a medical doctor.
Download the Prep Sheet for Carpet Beetle (PDF)