Carpet beetles, as the name suggests, are beetles whose larvae destroy carpet and other fabric. They can survive anywhere and on any object in your home ranging from carpets and furniture to the places where the walls meet the ceiling.
Adult Carpet Beetles feed on plants and fly into your house through open windows and cracks during the summer season. They are of different colors like dark-colored, having colorful spots on solid color skin, which varies from species to species.
Female Carpet Beetles lay around 50 to 100 eggs at once and provide food rich in protein to the larvae. The larvae feed on carpets, clothes, human or animal hair, or on any natural material.
Types of Carpet Beetles
There are mainly 4 types of carpet beetles as mentioned below:
- Black carpet beetle.
- Varied carpet beetle.
- Common carpet beetle.
- Furniture carpet beetle
- Odd Beetles
- Hide Beetles
1. Black Carpet Beetle
Black Carpet Beetles are the most common and cause great damage to fabrics and products that contain ‘Keratin’.
The adults range from being 0.125 inches to 0.187 inches long and are found near flowers during spring and summer seasons. During their lifetime of three weeks, female black carpet beetles lay eggs that hatch into larvae within eleven days (in warm weather).
The larvae are carrot-shaped and their color ranges from light brown to dark black. They are found mostly near closets and carpets due to the presence of wool and other fabrics, and at other places as well like on walls and in kitchen sinks.
They are capable of creating large holes in food items as they feed on dead animals, fur, hair, hides, and horns and stay in the larvae stage for 9 months to 3 years depending on the environmental conditions.
2. Varied Carpet Beetle
Varied Carpet Beetles are smaller than Black Carpet Beetles and can be easily identified from their yellow scale body pattern.
They are widespread across the United States and are also known as ‘Scavenger Beetles’ as they feed on dead animals, bird nests, insect pupae, woolen clothes, carpets, horns, feathers, rye meal, corn, and red pepper.
Their eggs take up to 18 days to hatch and molt several times in the larvae stage. The larvae are 0.25 inches long and have three tufts with their hair shaped like arrow-heads at the back of their abdomen. If inhaled or got in contact with skin, they can cause irritation which might cause serious medical problems.
3. Common Carpet Beetle
Common Carpet Beetles are spherical, gray, or black colored beetles having an orange-red colored scale in the middle of their black, along with other white and orange scales. The adult beetles feed on pollen and flower nectar.
Female Common Carpet Beetles lay around 40 eggs which hatch into larvae within 20 days. The larvae are 0.25 inches long and reddish-brown colored with black or brown hair and feed on wool, fur, and skin. They molt six times and become pupae which transform into adult beetle after 15 days.
4. Furniture Carpet Beetle
Furniture Carpet Beetles, as the name suggests, damage your furniture as they feed on wool, feather, cotton, rayon, jute, padding, hair, and carpets.
The adult beetles are round, black colored with yellow and white scales on their back, and yellow scales on their legs.
Female Furniture Carpet Beetles lay 35 to 100 eggs that hatch in to larvae within three weeks. The larvae are covered with hair all over and molt multiple times over a period extending as much as to six months before transforming into pupae.
The pupae are white-colored and transform into adults within twenty days which stay in pupae’s skin for over ten weeks.
Apart from these, there are two other types of beetles that are closely related to Carpet Beetles. They are:
5. Odd Beetles
Odd Beetles are native to Asia but widespread across North America. They feed on woolen clothes or dry animal matter and don’t survive for a long period due to the absence of food, and a suitable environment.
Female Odd Beetles do not have wings, have bigger antennas, and are stronger as compared to male odd beetles.
6. Hide Beetles
Hide Beetles are known as ‘Fabric Pests’ as they are found in warehouses, tanneries, and feed on furs, animal skin, feathers, and cheese.
Hide Beetles are further divided in to 3 categories:
- Regular Hide Beetles
- Larder Beetles
- Black Larder Beetles
Are Carpet Beetles harmful?
Carpet beetles do not bite humans but can cause rashes as well as skin and respiratory tract irritation through their hair.
Larvae carpet battles can cause more damage as compared to adult carpet beetles as they are not easy to notice and hence, can easily damage food items.
Carpet Beetles vs Bed Bugs
Carpet Beetles and Bed Bugs breed at a quick rate and cause several problems if their population increases beyond a certain limit.
Both Carpet Beetles and Bes Bugs are small in size and can not be seen easily with the naked eyes as they come out during nighttime and hide during the day.
Carpet Beetles are multi-colored, feed on fabrics, and do not bite people and are multi-colored. Whereas, Bed Bugs are brownish-red colored, feed on blood, and leave bite marks on the torso, neck, or on any body part where they bite.
Natural ways to get rid of carpet beetles
You can get rid of carpet beetles through the following ways:
- Cleaning all the carpets present in your house
- Flipping the fabric products up-side-down so that all the beetles are removed
- Regularly vacuuming your house to avoid any larvae growing up
- Washing your clothes regularly in hot water
- Disposing of infected food immediately to avoid infestation
- Applying boric acid or powder on infested locations
- By using Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
It can be concluded that the various types of carpet beetles feed majorly on wool, fur, skin, and animal matter; therefore, are found near carpets and closets.
Each beetle type has a different duration for each stage of the life cycle and can be identified from their unique colors.
However, they can be removed with ease through regular cleaning of your house, especially carpets.
Also, when compared with bed bugs, carpet beetles seem to be less harmful as they do not harm humans by biting them and feeding on their blood.