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Carpet Beetles... and how to get rid of them!

Variegated Carpet Beetles

These invertebrates are extremely common textile pests – more common than the clothes moth in the UK.

Where do they live?

Commonly found in bird’s nests and domestic properties.

The female will lay its eggs on or in suitable larvae food -

The carpet beetle larvae feed on carpets, bedding, fabrics, clothing, & furs.

The eggs are whitish and around 100 are laid at a time. They hatch between 10 days to a month after being laid.

Once hatched, the now larvae, are around 4-5mm, brown, and are covered with short bristles, they are also known as “woolly bears”. (This is also the case for fur beetles)

The "woolly bear" sheds these hairs, which can cause a bite-like rash to the human body. Which can be mistaken for having fleas or bedbugs.

"woolly bear" carpet beetle larvae
"Woolly Bear" Carpet Beetle Larvae. - Image owned by Delta Pest Control

How do I know if I have carpet beetles?

Larvae moult 5 times before they develop into an adult beetle. The cast-off skins from this moulting may be the first signs of an infestation.

Also it is common that people only notice the infestation when they see the adult beetles.

Adult beetles, unlike the larvae, actually feed off pollen and nectar. So they are frequently found on window ledges as they attempt to fly to their food source.

Female Carpet beetles generally find egg laying sites between the months of April - June. The Larvae come more active in September/October time before they hibernate.

Close up of Carpet Beetle. Image owned by Delta Pest Control
Two Carpet Beetles on a window ledge. Image owned by Delta Pest Control

What should I do if I have carpet beetles?

First of all, please don’t worry! They are extremely common, and are easily eradicated if treated correctly.

It is advisable to remove and destroy any heavily infested materials, where there is serious infestation.

Otherwise, infested areas should be cleaned thoroughly using the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner - Paying particular attention to textile items and cracks and crevices of the infested area within the property.

Delta pest technicians will do a full survey of the property, also checking for old bird’s nests in the roof and attic space (if applicable). As mentioned above, disused nests can attract these pests.

The pest technician will then spray a residual insecticide to the affected areas. Please allow up to 10 days for the infestation to completely die off.

For serious infestations, a second treatment may be required. However in domestic properties we have had great success treating the infestation on the first treatment.

We hope you have found this information useful, if you would like any further help, advice, or to book an appointment, please give us a call or send an email.

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