Carpet beetles, from the family of beetles known as dermestids, are pests often found in warehouses, homes, museums, and other locations where suitable food exists. Adults like to feed on flowering, pollinating plants and often get into the home via cut flowers. Their larvae do the most damage as they feed on carpets, wool, skins, furs, leather book bindings, hair and silk items, and feathers.
Identify Carpet Beetles
There are 3 species of carpet beetles often found in California. Adults are easy to see and are usually heading towards the sunlight from windows. It's the larvae that cause the most damage.
Adult Carpet Beetles are easy to spot
- Varied Carpet Beetle - these are about 1/10 of an inch long and black with irregular pattern of white, brown, and dark yellow scales on the wing covers. As they get older, the colored scales wear off so they will appear solid brown or black. If indoors, you will probably find them near windows.
- Furniture Carpet Beetle - these look like the Varied Carpet Beetle except slightly larger and rounder and thanks to some black spots they can appear to be solid black.
- Black Carpet Beetle - these look different from the other two beetles... they are shiny black and dark brown (with brown legs) and larger ( 1/8 inch to 3/16 inch long.) These beetles tend to be stored-product pests as opposed to fabric pests.
How to identify Carpet Beetle larvae
- Varied Carpet Beetle larvae - longer than adults and broader in rear / narrow in front with alternating light brown / dark brown stripes.
- Furniture Carpet Beetle larvae - white at first but darken to chestnut brown as they mature. Broader in front / narrow in rear.
- Black Carpet Beetle larvae - full-sized, they can be up to 5/16 inch long and light brown to black. They are shiny, smooth, and hard with little hairs spiking off their back.
Managing Carpet Beetles
Once they make it inside, Carpet Beetles can be hard to control as they find food in obscure places.
Cut Carpet Beetles off at the source
Here is a good argument for cleaning your rugs, curtains, drapes, upholstered furniture, closets etc. Check your cut flowers before you bring them inside because they like to fly off of there
and find a place to nest. Beware of anything like mattresses that are stuffed with hair or feathers.
Treating Carpet Beetles with chemicals
If you have an infestation it really is best to call a professional like Omega Termite & Pest Control. There is expertise needed in treating Carpet Beetles effectively and safely. If you have any questions, please just call us!