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Carpet Beetle Damage and Problems

Immature carpet beetles, called larvae, cause damage to human clothing, furnishings, and other products. These larvae feed on natural fibers, while adults feed primarily on plant nectar and pollen. Larvae scavenge for food in dark and hidden areas. Infestations occur swiftly and often go unnoticed until damage is widespread.

The larvae of carpet beetles feed primarily on animal and plant materials such as fur, dander, silk, wool and feathers. As a result, they damage clothing, furniture and other household materials. While larvae prefer organic materials, they will consume synthetic fibers with oil, perspiration and food stains. They sometimes feed on grains and spices, as well as nuts, cereals and other milled products. Larvae may also consume animal hair, dead animals and insects.

Larvae can be found living under floors, behind baseboards, inside air ducts, under heavy furniture and in other hidden areas. Although carpet beetle larvae move slowly, they infest entire homes and cause considerable damage within weeks.

Adult carpet beetles feed on plant-based foods outside and can be found scavenging in gardens, where they cause damage to ornamental flora with light petals. While adult carpet beetles do not cause damage to fiber, they are also considered indoor pests.

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