Have you ever seen tiny insects in your wardrobe or under the carpets that make a hole in your clothes? These are carpet beetles and can cause severe damage to your possessions. Keep an eye on such pests and know how they can cause damage. If the issue is getting out of hand, it may be time to seek the assistance of a professional.
What are carpet beetles?
Carpet beetles, also known as dermestid beetles, are among the most common insects found in homes where they can find suitable food. They are small oval-shaped beetles ranging in color from black to white, brown, yellow, or orange. Adult beetles lay eggs that hatch in about 14-15 days under indoor temperature 25-26°C. As the name indicates, they infest carpets and other materials like fur, feathers, silk, leather, pet hair, or woolen objects. The reason for this is most carpet beetles are scavengers and feed on animal-based products. Woolen materials or furs contain keratin, which is fibrous animal protein, which their larvae can feed on.
There are three well-known species of carpet beetles in Ontario:
Varied carpet beetles
Varied carpet beetles are long and black beetles with irregular patterns of brown, white, or dark yellow scales on the wings. When mature, the pattern wears off and appears wholly brown or black. They usually appear in early summer or spring, and if you see insects near window sills or other hidden places, chances are varied carpet beetles are now residing with you.
Number of eggs: 4O
Furniture carpet beetles
If you see beetles with a white underside, they might be furniture carpet beetles. They are longer and rounder than varied beetles. The wing covers have white and dark yellow to orange scales with black spots on the body. As the pattern wears off in varied beetles, they take on a solid black appearance.
Number of eggs: 6O
Black carpet beetles
Next is the black carpet beetles, and as the name suggests, they have a shiny black exoskeleton.These beetles are the longest of the three and have brownish legs. A very distinct feature of black carpet beetles is that they feed on stored products like cereals, flours, or grains in addition to fabrics or woolen materials. So, you can also find these beetles in your kitchen or food storage area.
Number of eggs: 9O
What causes carpet beetles?
If you want to keep your home free from pests and insects, you must be aware of the fact that most of your habits and conditions invite them. Here are some common causes of carpet beetle infestation:
Carpet beetles love dark places, and if you habitually have dim lighting in your home, it is more vulnerable to beetle infestations, most notably in storerooms or lofts. Carpet beetles lay their eggs wherever it is dark, and the setup is not changed often. Open the curtains during the daytime and keep proper ventilation in your lofts.
Poor cleaning and maintenance
Improper cleaning and maintenance are one of the two most significant causes of carpet beetles. When the floor is not cleaned under carpets or rugs, they find it ideal for laying eggs and destroying your expensive textile collection. Make sure you are regularly cleaning and vacuuming the dust from hidden places. When you expose such areas, the chance of insects nesting there is diminished.
Food remains and stained fabrics
What could be more tempting for carpet beetles than delicious food remains on carpets or clothes? When oil spills or any other food stains the clothes, carpet beetles feed and make holes. They are experts at finding places that the ordinary human cannot and using them as feeding grounds.
How to identify carpet beetle infestation?
The identification of carpet beetles is not a difficult task, and you can observe their presence easily. Just seeing large numbers of beetles in your home is the most obvious way of identifying the issue, but there are other signs of an infestation.
Here are some ways of identifying carpet beetles quickly.
- As the life cycle of carpet beetles has larval, pupal, and adult stages, the larvae shed their skin and leave behind shells. These shells are bristly, translucent, and can be seen easily. If you notice any shell or insect skin, you may have an infestation.
- In addition to the shed skin, the second sign is fecal pellets. They are extremely small but often clustered where beetles would usually feed or nest.
- The third and last sign is holes in carpets, rugs, curtains, or any other fabric. It is mostly during late spring or early summer when adult beetles are spotted in warm, secluded areas. If the holes are now too big, it means it is too late to wait. Immediately call a pest control professional and discuss the whole matter to get the best solution.
Carpet beetle extermination – Final thoughts
Now that you know how to spot the signs of an infestation, remain diligent. If you are seeing beetle activity, do not hesitate to call Vanquish Pest Control. We will pay a comprehensive visit to your place and help eliminate these pests.