The carpet beetle is a small light brown beetle with grey and black markings on its back.
- Carpet beetles perform a useful role in nature by eating refuse matter such as feathers, hides, fur, beaks and horn, not eaten by other animals or insects. These insects become pests only when they enter homes, where they feed on textile products derived from animal fibres such as wool, mohair and fur, sometimes causing serious damage. Carpet beetles are widely distributed and more likely to be found inland. Carpet beetles can also attack clothes.
- Carpet beetles have four stages to their life cycle: Egg – Larva – Pupa – Adult
- Only the larval stage of carpet beetles feed on animal fibre products. When not eating household goods, the larvae feed on spider webs, dried animal skins and other protein rich material. The larvae of carpet beetles appear more like beetles than caterpillars and have numerous stiff red-brown bristles.
- The droppings of carpet beetle larvae are brittle, resembling course sand. Carpet beetle larvae moult several times as they grow and their cast skins accumulate in infested areas. They feed on organic material and fibres and can cause great damage to carpets, blankets, furs, clothing and furniture.
- Adult carpet beetles usually emerge in spring or early summer. They often attempt to migrate outside to feed on pollen and may often be found on window sills. The females commonly lay their eggs in closets, under furniture and in air conditioning ducts.
- In carpets, because carpet beetles larvae feed deep in the carpet pile in dark and undisturbed areas, infestations may go undetected for years, particularly if the areas are not regularly cleaned. Significant damage usually only results if a population is able to breed and multiply over at least two generations. If detected at an early stage, the infestation is likely to be confined to a few isolated areas in one room. A serious infestation would be one in which areas of carpet pile have been visibly damaged, extending along skirtings and over larger areas, even to other rooms.
- Unlike carpets, fabrics and blankets and knitted goods can be visibly damaged by migration of a relatively few larvae, or by the larvae hatching from eggs laid by a single adult female. Damage to fabrics and knitted goods usually takes the form of irregular shaped holes, much like the damage small caterpillars can do to leaves of plants. Evidence that your home is infested includes obvious damage to household items, finding moulted skins in dark areas, and the presence of many adult beetles near window.
A PEST-ZAP specialist is a skilled, trained and experienced professional who is certified and licensed with an understanding and knowledge of carpet beetles and the control methods required.
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