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All You Need to Know About Carpet Beetles

All You Need to Know About Carpet Beetles

Posted by Muzi On 07 Dec, 2020

Among the various types of beetles, the one that is commonly found inside your house is the carpet beetle. Just like cloth moths, these bugs are attracted and feed on materials such as fur, wool, silk, felt, leather, feathers, etc. that is why they are often found in your carpets, baseboards, air vents and closets among your clothes.

An adult's length varies between 2.5mm to 3.8mm, they are oval, and their color ranges from speckled with brown, white, orange, or yellow and black. Their larvae are tanned or brownish and are 5mm long. They are covered in dense bristles and as they grow they shed their skin.

If you find your home infested with carpet beetles, you should first learn more about them before taking any further steps.

Do They Bite?

They are attracted to fabrics and are called scavengers, meaning they mainly feed on debris, dry substances, and dead animal products. Therefore, they do not bite humans.

Carpet Beetle Allergies:

Although most people are not allergic to them, there is a small percentage of individuals who are allergic to them. The allergy is caused due to molted skin or bristles.

You Can Get an Allergic Reaction if They Comes in Contact with Your

  • Airways
  • Eyes
  • Skin
  • Digestive tract

A Few Symptoms if You have an Allergic Reaction are:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red, and watery eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Rash that looks similar to bites or welts with a burning sensation.
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Usually, these symptoms may go away if the beetles or the larvae's shed skin is removed from your home. There is evidence that long-term exposure to their larvae, makes people desensitized. However, the best option is to remove them at once as soon as you have learned of their presence.

Additional Harmful Risks:

Even though they do not pose a threat to humans and pets besides an allergic reaction, they cause a lot of damage to your carpets and other fabric items by chewing on them. The damage that they cause is similar to clothe moths which is why the signs of a carpet beetle infestation are often misunderstood as a moth infestation.

Generally, They Eat Natural Animal-based Materials Such as,

  • Fur
  • Felt
  • Leather
  • Silk
  • Feathers
  • Wool

They also eat hair brushes with natural hair fibers along with animal and human debris found around your home. They do not go for synthetic fabrics, cotton, linen or plant-based fabrics. However, they may eat fabrics stained with animal products or with a blend. Often you will find bite marks in the folds of the fabric, along the edges or under the carpet. It is only the larvae that consume fabrics, the adults feed on pollen or nectar.

What Attracts Them?

Carpet Beetles are attracted to the warmth indoor and the light. They can either enter by flying inside or through your pets. They may even enter your property through infected pet food, cereals, plant-based items, or seeds. After they enter your property what prevents them from leaving is the odour from your clothes.

To Prevent Them from Entering Your Property, You should:

  • Install bug screens on your doors and windows
  • Use mothballs in your storage bags and closets
  • Eliminate any animal nests, dead insects, and spiders webs inside your home
  • Wash & dry clean your clothes before storing them
  • Use airtight containers to store your garments
  • Clean upholstered furniture, air vents, carpets, rugs, and baseboards regularly.
  • Before bringing flowers inside, inspect them for carpet beetles.

How to Remove Carpet Beetles?

Once you are aware of an infestation, inspect your clothes, fabric items and carpets to find out where they are inhabiting or reproducing. 

  • Wash and dry clean the infected items with hot water or freeze them for 2 weeks.
  • If you are unable to clean the item, spray insecticides (that are for indoor use) on the item. Avoid spraying insecticide on your clothes or bedding.
  • Vacuum your heating vents, carpets, and floors including the edges. 

If you have an infestation, you should get your property fumigated by a professional.

Carpet Beetles or Bed Bugs?

The difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs is that the rashes caused by carpet beetles are due to an allergic reaction whereas the rashes caused by bed bugs are from their bites. If you notice any red stains on your sheets, it is a sign of bed bugs, but if you find shed skin, it is of a carpet beetle. You can also differentiate between them based on the size of the larvae, the larvae of a carpet beetle are bigger than that of bed bugs.


Carpet Beetles do not bite humans. However, they damage your clothing and other fabric items. Therefore, you should eliminate them quickly.

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