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How to get rid of carpet beetles

Finding holes in your carpet, clothes and general upholstery in and around your home is the number one sign of carpet beetles. Although the name suggests they live within your carpet, they will also feast upon all sorts of fabric, clothing, furs, stuffed specimens – the damage is done by the larvae as opposed to the adults – as they are not fussy or scared when it comes to variety. If you have bugs in your carpet and suspect carpet beetles, your next step is knowing how to get rid of them.

What does a carpet beetle look like

What do carpet beetles look like? What types of carpet beetles are there?

So, what actually are carpet beetles? Carpet beetle larvae, known as ‘woolly bear’, are banded in appearance and covered in short bristles – up to 5mm. They look like small, furry caterpillars. Once woolly bears turn into grown beetles, they are a round shape with six legs and antennae, and there are a couple of different types. Varied or variegated carpet beetles can be a variety of colours: orange, black or with a white speckled appearance, and around 2 to 4mm long. Black carpet beetles look a little different, being all-black in colour as their name suggests.

How do you get carpet beetles – where do they come from?

Carpet beetles come from a variety of sources. They can find their way into your home in all sorts of ways, through shopping, bunches of flowers, animal furs and skins (including stuffed specimens) and already contaminated fabrics and furnishings.

What causes carpet beetles?

Having carpet beetles is generally just bad luck; however, if the problem persists it’s because they’re able to thrive off a dirty carpet. They will eat hair, dead insects and dead skin – so if you don’t regularly vacuum, your floor can provide the most delicious banquet for these carpet beetles.

vacuuming carpet for carpet beetles

How do carpet beetles spread?

Carpet beetles like to lay eggs on larval food of animal origin including woollen carpets, clothing, furs and museum specimens where food is abundant and they lay more than 100 eggs in one go. These eggs can take 10 days to a month to hatch.

Where are carpet beetles found?

Carpet beetles infest all types of furnishings including your carpet – hence the name – curtains, cushions and even inside your potpourri! You may also find carpet beetles in dried pasta and pet biscuits too – if you can’t find the root of the cause, you will want to contact a professional pest controller who will be able to put to stop to your infestation.

Can carpet beetles harm humans?

Carpet beetles are not harmful to us humans but they can cause rashes and bumpy skin from their airborne fibres.

Do carpet beetles bite – or their larvae?

Carpet beetles don’t bite people, and their woolly bear larvae won’t bite either. However, the rashes caused by carpet bugs as explained above can give the appearance of a rash, with the rough hairs of carpet beetle larvae causing irritation. If you’re getting proper bites from something, the culprit is likely not carpet beetles or their larvae but a different pest altogether.

carpet beetle infestation

Are carpet beetles harmful/dangerous or safe?

Carpet beetles are not poisonous but they can affect some people’s respiratory tract and cause eye irritation – this can take years to become a problem – so once you spot carpet beetles, simply start treating the issue.

How do you prevent carpet beetles?

  • Clean regularly and thoroughly
  • Keep food in well-sealed containers
  • Install bug nets over windows and doors
  • Inspect plants and flowers before bringing them indoors
  • Seal any cracks and gaps around doors and windows

How to get rid of carpet beetles

So you have carpet beetles and naturally, you want to get rid of them. To get rid of carpet beetles you can clean infested areas using a nozzle vacuum cleaner, concentrating on removing debris and larvae from cracks and crevices. An application of a residual insecticide should then be made to the area, concentrating on treating cracks and crevices. Dust formulations, including desiccant dusts, will be effective but may be vacuumed away in subsequent cleaning.

To get rid of carpet beetles permanently, it is always most effective to call in a licensed pest control expert like Pest Defence for a professional carpet beetles treatment. Professional pest control companies will assess the carpet beetle infestation and use the safest and most effective treatment available to kill carpet beetles and their woolly bear larvae fast.

vacuum carpet beetles

Can carpet beetles fly?

Yes, carpet beetles can fly and they can enter your home through open windows – this is how you can get carpet beetles in the first place. Their ability to fly unfortunately makes carpet bugs more of a nuisance and helps them to spread further around your house.

Do carpet beetles have wings?

Carpet beetles that have reached full maturity have wings and can fly.

What do carpet beetles eat?

The question really is, what will carpet beetles not eat? But since we’re here…

  • Can carpet beetles eat wood? Yes
  • Do carpet beetles eat clothes? Yes
  • Do carpet beetles eat cotton? Yes
  • Do carpet beetles eat books? Yes
  • Do carpet beetles eat leather? Yes

Basically, carpet beetles will eat most organic materials and, because they can fly, there’s no surprise that they can be found on all fabrics around the home. The one thing that carpet beetles are unlikely to eat are synthetic materials.

varied carpet beetle

Where do carpet beetles lay their eggs?

Carpet beetles lay eggs indoors, usually in corners and around the skirting board of your carpets.

What is the life cycle of a carpet beetle?

An adult carpet beetle life cycle will be somewhere between 3-4 weeks. Freshly laid eggs will take between 7 and 28 days, and once they hatch, they look like hairy worms. Later they will turn into pupae – their beetle-like state – and will live between 2 to 3 weeks at their last stage.

How long do carpet beetles live?

Carpet beetles have a life expectancy of 3-4 weeks as an adult.

Can you freeze carpet beetles?

Carpet beetles will die from shock if taken from a warm environment to a cold one. You can place an infested item into a freezer bag and yes, you can freeze carpet beetles in order to remove them from your furnishings.

Will carpet beetles die in the washing machine?

Washing your clothes that are contaminated with carpet beetles at a high temperature will kill them.

killing carpet beetles in washing machine

Do carpet beetles die in winter?

Eggs that have been laid late summer will hatch in winter and the larvae will stay indoors to keep warm.

What colour are carpet beetle eggs?

Carpet beetle eggs are white or cream in colour and measure around ¼ to ½ millimeters in length.

Do carpet beetles shed their skin?

Yes, they will leave their casing behind as they grow.

Why are carpet beetles in my bed?

Most people mistake bed bugs for carpet beetles, generally carpet beetles do not live in beds.

Why are carpet beetles in my kitchen?

It’s likely that carpet beetles are in your kitchen because they are feasting upon flour and dried pasta. It’s always important to keep your food in airtight containers to avoid pest problems.

Carpet beetles in my car

Just like the home, your car is likely to have tasty materials that are very enticing to carpet beetles such as leather seats, car mats and, not to mention, a dusty and unvacuumed floor. If you notice carpet beetles in your car, treat it like you would if you were to find them at home: vacuum, use boric acid on your mats and steam clean your seats.

For complete peace of mind, contact your local pest professionals who have a wealth of experience removing all sorts of pests. Call our fully qualified team today, we can provide you with a same day response, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We provide our services throughout a number of locations including: Basildon, Billericay, Braintree, Brentwood, Central London, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping, Halstead, Harlow, Maldon, Outer London, Romford, Southend and Stansted.


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