What are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are members of the Dermestidae family of beetles, which also includes the larder beetle, hide or leather beetles and khapra beetles. There are two common Carpet beetles, the Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) and the Two-spotted Carpet Beetle or Fur Beetle (Attagenus pellio). Carpet Beetles can cause serious damage to your fabrics as well as other materials that contain keratin.  There is varied carpet beetle; however, the adult carpet beetles have brownish legs and they are also so black, they are shiny.  These adult beetles will grow to be 1/8 to 3/16th inches in length and they can easily be found outside amongst flowers, which mean that they are very common during early summer and spring.

Varied Carpet Beetle

image by Dendroica cerulea

2 Spot Carpet Beetle

image by gbohne

The larvae from these beetles are normally pests of insects and due to the fact that they are drawn to flowers it is very easy for them to get into your house during spring and lay their eggs.  The carpet beetle will begin laying their eggs anywhere from four to eight days after they have entered their adult life.  A female carpet beetle will lay roughly 50 eggs during a 3 week period and after she has laid her eggs she will die.  In your homes, these eggs will be deposited in places such as air ducts, where there is lint accumulated, and under baseboards and other areas such as this.
After the eggs have been laid, they will hatch within 6 to 11 days during warm periods.  However, these eggs can be developed in various different temperatures and can therefore survive in temperature changes better than the clothes moths.  Carpet beetles tend to like the dark; therefore, you are unlikely to find them in areas that are well lit.  You will find them more in the lower areas of your closets and they can be easily found in woollen materials, in your upholstered furniture such as couch, and they can easily be found on the edge of carpeting underneath your baseboards.
Due to the fact that the larger larvae tend to like to wander, they can easily be found all over your house in areas such as: your kitchen, your bathroom, and you will be able to see them crawling on the ceilings and the walls as well. The carpet beetles are as annoying as the fur beetle due to the fact that once you have them; they can be very hard to get rid of.

How To Treat Them?

Any residual insecticide sprayed thoroughly throughout your home should do the trick.  Make sure your home is cleaned first of all, paying particular attention to the areas beneath and behind furniture and remove as much clutter from wardrobes and closets as possible.  When applying your insecticide, pay attention to skirting boards and other places were dust and fibers can accumulate.

Alternatively, Boric Acid powder can be used.  This is very effective but be careful not to over-apply it.  As always with pesticides – read the label before using.

A video explaining What Are Carpet Beetles?

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