Carpet Beetles

Facts, Identification & Control

Appearance

What Do They Look Like?

carpet beetle
  • Length: Most species of carpet beetle measure 1 to 4 mm in length as adults
  • Body: Their bodies are oval-shaped.
  • Color: black, white and yellow patterned coloration. Some species of carpet beetle may also exhibit orange coloration.
  • Larvae: Larvae typically are light brown to black and covered in dense, sometimes barbed, hairs. Three distinct golden hairs are located upon the abdomen at this stage of development. They usually are slightly larger than the adult beetles and measure approximately 2.5 cm in length.

Carpet Beetle Larva
Carpet Beetle Larva

How Did I Get Carpet Beetles?

Due to their diet of fabric and animal products, carpet beetle larvae can thrive in homes if left alone. Adults fly inside through open doors and windows to lay eggs on furniture, clothing, or rugs and often are introduced when infested items are brought inside a home. If homeowners don’t keep items clean and well maintained, a new carpet beetle brood may hatch and start the cycle again.

How Serious Are Carpet Beetles?

Most carpet beetle damage results from larvae eating holes into natural fiber items like wool, silk, feathers, dead insects, and leather. These immature pests also have bristly hairs that can irritate skin.

When carpet beetles mature into adults, they feed on pollen instead of fabric items. Adults are mostly a nuisance because they are attracted to light. However, the presence of carpet beetles indoors usually suggests that their eggs and larvae are somewhere in the house.

Signs of a Carpet Beetle Infestation

Carpet beetle infestations tend to go unnoticed for long periods of time, allowing them to cause severe damage to bedding, clothes, carpets, and upholstered furniture.

Identifying Adults
Infestations are often identified by the presence of adult carpet beetles, which gather around windows and lights. Adult carpet beetles may be seen flying to lights or crawling on surfaces.

Identifying Larvae
Larvae also may be seen crawling on surfaces. The most likely sign is their damage. The larvae can chew holes in infested items and will usually leave behind their shed skins. Heavily infested items can be riddled with holes and damage.

How Do I Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage carpet beetles and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep carpet beetles in their place…out of your home, or business.

For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact your local Orkin branch office.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

What Do They Eat?
Adult beetles feed on seeds, plants, and flowers. Larvae, however, feed on a variety of animal and plant-based materials, including:

  • Animal hair
  • Felt
  • Fur
  • Leather
  • Silk
  • Wool

Where Do They Live?
Adult carpet beetles can live both indoors and out, but females prefer to lay eggs where larval food sources are abundant. These pests enter homes through doors, windows, and similar entrances. They can also be brought in by way of cut plants and flowers. Some live inside the nests of birds or other animals and can live in walls or chimneys, feeding on dead insects and animals.

Reproduction

Life Cycle
In spring, female carpet beetles lay 25 to 100 eggs, which hatch into larvae within two weeks. Carpet beetle larvae are able to mature under a variety of humidity levels and temperatures, although they tend to avoid bright areas.

Depending on food sources and climate, larvae may take over a year to develop into adults. As they develop, they shed their brown skins.

More Information

Beetles – General Facts

Black Carpet Beetles

Boric Acid and Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetle Bites

Carpet Beetle Damage and Problems

Carpet Beetle Eggs

Carpet Beetle Infestation

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Carpet Beetle Larvae Around the House

Carpet Beetle Larvae in Furniture

Do Carpet Beetles Fly?

Life Cycle of Carpet Beetles

What Eats Carpet Beetle Larvae?