Too often, once a homeowner notices the signs of a pest infestation, it can already be too late. That’s certainly true of carpet beetles because once you see the flying adults, you almost certainly have their more dangerous larvae to worry about.
Identifying Carpet Beetles
There are two different life cycles of carpet beetle to watch out for:
Adults: Small, flat, and oval-shaped; these winged insects eat pollen and are attracted to light and heat sources. They have gray or brown, zig-zag patterns on their backs and typically only grow to a few millimeters in length. They fly in from outside and lay eggs immediately, hoping to find hidden spaces for their larvae to feed and develop into adults.
Larvae: Light or dark brown with worm-like bodies, these baby beetles are actually bigger than their parents. They have barb-like hairs and, as they feed and grow, develop distinct golden-colored hairs along their torsos.
How They Get In
Since the adults have wings, they can fly in from outside whenever a door or window is open. They can also crawl through holes in window screens or exterior walls to find spaces to lay their eggs. Often, carpet beetles get into a home carried in on already-infested items of clothing or other items brought inside. The adults, which typically live for only a few weeks, spawn dozens of larvae quickly so they can create a new wave of adults to start the process all over again.
Why They’re A Bother
Adult carpet beetles eat pollen and don’t generally bite humans, but they can be a nuisance by fluttering around light fixtures and lay eggs in furniture or under carpet fibers. It’s the larvae that can really cause some damage, though.
They’re the reason these pests got their name. They can chew through natural fibers and seek out animal fur trapped on furniture, fabrics, or clothing. As they feed, they leave behind holes in precious home goods, not to mention their waste can smell and cause stains. Homes with pets can be hit hard since the larvae gravitate to surfaces covered in hair and lingering animal smells. However, even human hair is delicious to these little chompers.
Preventing The Pests From Entering
You may be wondering what you can do to keep populations under control or prevent them from coming in in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Clean regularly. Since the bugs are attracted to dusty, hairy surfaces, regular cleaning is a must. Frequent vacuuming can keep pet and human hair off of carpets and furniture, leaving larvae with too little food to thrive.
- Perform proper window and door maintenance. Holes in window screens or cracks near the hinges on doors provide easy access points for bugs to enter your home. Replace or fix these problems.
Don’t Let The Problem Get Out Of Hand
Since the first sign you see of these bugs typically means that the damage has already started, it’s better to turn to ways to eradicate the problem rather than bother with prevention tips.
The experts at Russell’s Pest Control can provide peace of mind knowing that pest infestations are a thing of the past. Our experts have decades of experience dealing with carpet beetles, and we’ll also work with homeowners to prevent future problems from arising. Call Russell’s Pest Control the moment you notice bugs in your home. We’ll get it sorted out in the quickest, cheapest way possible.