Do Carpet Beetles Bite?

There’s a reason we say ‘don’t let the bed bugs bite’ and not carpet beetles. Bed bugs bite and carpet beetles don’t. In fact, carpet beetles are more of a risk to your clothing, carpets, and rugs than they are to you. But that doesn’t mean they can’t cause problems.

Identifying carpet beetles

Think you have carpet beetles in your home? The only way you’ll know for sure is if you can identify them. Adult beetles grow up to 1.8 inches long and have oval-shaped bodies. They are usually either black or speckled with shades of white, brown, yellow, or orange.

Carpet beetle larvae (the culprits that cause the damage) are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, and are tan or brownish in colour. Their bodies are covered in bristles and they shed their skins as they mature.

How do I know where to look for carpet beetles?

They can be found anywhere in your home, but you’ll most likely spot them on carpets, inside of closets, in air vents, and in between floorboards.

What problems do carpet beetles cause?

Allergic reactions

Carpet beetles don’t bite humans. However, some people can be allergic to the bristles on the larvae or their shed skins. If you are, you’ll have:

  • red, itchy, and watery eyes
  • a runny nose
  • itchy skin
  • a rash, which looks like welts or bites, which is itchy and may burn
  • hives
  • digestive issues

Damage to possessions

Carpet beetle larvae love to feast on the natural protein in natural materials like wool, feathers, fur silk, and leather. They will also eat other human or animal debris like hair or pet fur. They don’t usually bother with synthetic fabrics unless they are stained with natural oils or sweat.

Damage caused by larvae is often mistaken for clothes or carpet moth damage. The way to tell the difference is that carpet beetle larvae cause damage that’s isolated to a particular area. Moth damage tends to be far more widespread. If carpet beetle larvae are to blame, you’ll see damage along the edges or in the folds of fabric, or on the underside of rugs.

Only larvae cause damage to fabrics. Adult beetles prefer to feast on nectar and pollen.

How did I get carpet beetles?

Carpet beetles are attracted to light and warmth, so they often either fly in to your home or hitch a ride in on pets or infested items.

How can I prevent an infestation?

· Don’t put dirty clothes back in to your wardrobe or drawers. Carpet beetles are attracted to food debris, natural oils, and sweat on clothing.

· Store vulnerable clothing in an airtight plastic box or vacuum pack.

· Keep your carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture squeaky clean.

· Check anything you bring into your home for carpet beetles including plants and second-hand furniture.

How to get rid of carpet beetles

· Wash infested items on a hot wash. Freezing infested fabrics for 2 weeks can also help to kill the beetles and their eggs and larvae.

· Vacuum floors and carpets thoroughly, and don’t forget upholstered furniture. Consider steam cleaning carpets.

Having trouble with carpet beetles?

While allergic reactions to carpet beetles are rare, suffering damage to your possessions because of them is all too common. If you’ve seen carpet beetles in your home, act fast and call us. Our expert technicians will locate the source of the infestation, treat it fast and effectively, and prevent any more damage to your treasured possessions.

Need help now?

Call Contego.

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