Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetle Identification (Anthrenus verbasci)

What Are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet Beetle

Adult carpet beetles are a common sight in Snohomish. They are black with an irregular pattern of brown, white and dark yellow scales on their wings.  It is typically about 1/8  to 3/16 inch in length. They often resemble lady bugs, but with a black shell and yellow spots for coloration. Carpet beetle larvae are very small, appearing brownish in color and appear to be “hairy” or “bristly.”

Carpet beetles feed on natural fibers and particles to survive. They are known to chew on wool (including carpets, rugs, and other woolen goods), stuffed animals, silk products, leather book bindings, animal skins, and even human hair. They will also eat dried plant products and silk plants.

Carpet beetles are found inside homes, warehouses, museums and other buildings. Inside homes, these carpet beetles are often found on the floor or around baseboards, in closets, beneath upholstered furniture and on the undersides of carpeting. Once inside, they may cause serious damage to clothing, furs, carpets and other stored fabric items. Inside homes, carpet beetles typically deposit their eggs on or near wool carpet and rugs, after which they will hatch and start feasting on this delicious food source.

Carpet beetles usually appear in spring and early summer. Adult carpet beetles enter homes and buildings through small cracks and openings around windows, doors, and from underneath siding. They will also use electrical lines and above-ground pipes that lead into the home, and they can usually be detected by the presence of their shed skin, fecal pellets, and larvae.

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Are Carpet Beetles Dangerous?

Carpet beetles are not considered to be harmful to humans or pets as they do not bite or spread disease. However, the bristles on carpet beetle larvae can create skin irritations in rare cases, causing a sensation of being bitten.

While not harmful to humans, they are very harmful to carpets, furniture and clothing, making them a serious nuisance. Carpet Beetles are most damaging as larvae, during which time they will happily chew through any furniture, silk, or upholstered items they come into contact with.

Steps You Can Take To Prevent Carpet Beetles In Western Washington

If you want to protect your Snohomish home and valuables from destructive carpet beetles, you need to take steps to prevent them. Here are some effective strategies you can use to prevent carpet beetles from getting into your home:

  • Vacuum and steam clean carpets and storage spaces regularly, especially pet hair.
  • Annually steam-clean your home to prevent larvae from developing.
  • Keep storage areas clean and dust regularly.
  • Wash potentially infested clothes and other fabrics with hot, soapy water.
  • Wash and air out clothes immediately after they’re removed from storage.
  • Clean out your trash cans regularly, wiping the inside of your trash can lid with a disinfectant wipe.
  • Choose synthetic materials over organic fabrics when possible when purchasing furniture, rugs, and carpets.
  • Donate old clothes instead of keeping them in storage for months or years at a time.
  • Avoid keeping garments, bedding, wool rugs, or upholstered furniture in storage.
  • Keep fabrics stored in tightly sealed plastic.
  • Seal holes and cracks in storage containers, as well as in your home’s walls and siding, to give them fewer opportunities to get inside.
  • If you own natural fiber rugs affected by carpet beetles (such as wool, silk and sisal materials), send them to a professional rug cleaning company.
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