We recently wrote a blog comparing carpet beetles to bed bugs because the reaction of the hairs of carpet beetle larvae can cause an allergic reaction in some people that is similar to bed bug bites. And while an allergic skin reaction is certainly not something we wish upon anyone, the good news is that mild cases of carpet beetles are generally easier to control than an infestation of bed bugs.
Carpet beetles are known for causing damage to fabrics and other natural fibers. As larvae, they feed on carpets, clothing, and even pet hair but since they stay hidden in dark areas, you may not know what is causing the damage to these materials. The adult carpet beetles are an oval shape and usually about 1/8 of an inch long. The larvae are elongate and reddish to brown in color with short hairs covering the body. Contrary to popular belief, carpet beetles do not actually bite but it is usually an allergic reaction to the hairs of larvae that cause welts on the skin commonly confused with bed bug bites.
The best way to help keep your home carpet beetle free is to clean and vacuum...a lot! Change all the bedding and wash, dry clean or air out fabrics including wool, furs, and blankets. Next, vacuum thoroughly from corner to corner of each room including under and on furniture to really get rid of carpet beetles or larvae. Make sure to keep up this rigid cleaning routine until you no longer notice any signs of carpet beetles. But keep in mind, severe infestations may require more than just a vacuum to control. Professional treatment may be required if your cleaning efforts are not cutting it.
To learn more about carpet beetles or get help in eradicating a severe carpet beetle infestation, please contact Sprague Pest Solutions today. Our pest control service area includes Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland as well as throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain region and Denver, Colorado.