Causes of Carpet beetles

Carpet Beetle

Imagine having your lovely carpets being raided by pests. Imagine your favorite piece of furniture being the home to pests that will tear it down within a very short while. Just take a moment and imagine your favorite housewares are being devoured by meager pests. This is what carpet beetles could do to your favorite carpet that you might have spent a fortune on. They devour and destroy your favorite furniture as well as several household commodities, sometimes beyond repair. It is devastating and if not contained well, and on time, may bring about catastrophic damages to your household items. But what really is this Carpet Beetle?

Biologically referred to as A. verbasci, carpet beetles are household pests that are often also found in natural history museums. Like their name suggests, these pests are often found in carpets but are also frequently found in clothing and furniture. In natural history museums, these pests are found in natural fibers as well as specimen insects collections. This insect is often irregularly multi-patterned with shades of brown, white, orange or yellow. It grows to a length of up to 3.5mm although an adult carpet beetle is often around 2mm which translates to about 0.09 inches. This is an average length of insects within this particular biological family Dermestidae.


The carpet beetle goes through the standard insect life cycle within a period of 1-3 years. This time difference is majorly caused by environmental factors such as temperature. The eggs are often incubated by the adult female in bird nests and stored fabrics where larvae hatch majorly in the spring and early summer seasons. Afterward, the adults emerge more often towards the end of May but before early August where they go feed, mate and lay eggs. The location where the eggs will be laid often depends on the adult’s assessment of the access to food by the hatched larvae. The life expectancy of the beetle is around 4 weeks. The insect has high survival tactics.

What causes carpet beetles?

Now that we have biologically understood what the carpet beetle is, it is very vital we discuss what causes them. First of all, it is very vital to note that the larvae are the dangerous stage of the beetle as it is this stage where the species majorly feed on animal and plant material such as silk, wool, feathers and even fur as well as synthetic material such as synthetic fibers with sweat and oil. These larvae with thus damaging your carpets as well as clothing to very great extents before one realizes. This does not mean that the adult carpet beetles do not damage your household items, in
fact, it is just as bad. Though the adult carpet beetles spend most of its time outdoors feeding on flower nectar and such, the beetles still feed on what the larvae do, but just not as much.

  1. Poor housekeeping

Having a generally clean house is a repellant to almost all kinds of pests. Carpet beetles, however, thrive almost twice as much compared to other insects, in unhygienic places. Carpet beetles are known to like feeding on dust and lint. They will thus inhabit, thrive and reproduce in dusty surfaces. Therefore once you get rid of surfaces covered with dust and lint you will essentially be starving these persistence little creatures. Remember that Carpet beetles are a survivalist and thus random cleaning once in a while will not be effective to keep them at bay. Extremely clean surfaces are the only way to effectively keep off carpet beetles. Poor housekeeping is a rather broad term which involves several aspects of your house which you need to handle. These aspects include:

Surfaces such as the floor

Keeping surfaces clean is almost a live-or-die situation for carpet beetles. Surfaces within the house such as the floor, ceiling or even the frequently lonely and non-visited attic are some of the heaviest dust and lint accumulators in any given households. Once the carpet beetles detect that you generally have unclean surfaces they will come in and terrorize you to the core of your being. These surfaces need very frequent maintenance if they are to live up to the standards unfit for living and thriving of carpet beetles.

Household items such as bedding

These are other household areas that require frequent housekeeping. The bedding basically accumulates a lot of dust and are more often much the insect’s cup of tea. These items include the bedding, and as earlier stated; the furniture including other similar items that easily accumulate dirt and require frequent cleaning.

Electronic and electrical gadgets

Another place that requires frequent cleaning but is often ignored by many human beings is the electronic and electrical gadgets within the household. These items often accumulate a lot of dust very quickly and no housekeeper bothers to keep them clean. This acts as a breeding ground for these pests who adore the fact that they are rarely bothered when they choose to reside in this particular areas. When you go and open your favorite electronic gadget, say your unused television set, you will find accumulated dust that will probably make you ill. It is vital to note though, that as a layman, kindly do not open up your electronics on your own but rather seek the services of a professional. No need to fight two battles, one in the hospital and the other one against carpet beetles that have taken over your house.


Our furry little friends can make the world go round for us, but also remember an unkempt pet will often bring a lot of uncleanliness in your house and this is where carpet beetles will thrive. Take for instance a cat, or a dog, or even a hamster are three furry animals that are often very disorganized and leave a trail of fur all over the house. Remember, this fur is what keeps carpet beetles going. Also to note is that furry animals shed their fur often and it is thus even beyond them to control their fur shading. These animals are also pretty messy and carry a lot of dirt and dust especially if there are outdoor animals on top of living within the premise. The pets as well may pass urine or other similar bodily processes that often stain the house making it a favorable place for carpet beetles to live and thrive

  1. Stained clothing

Like we initially stated, carpet beetles favorite meal is plant and animal material such as wool, silk or even fur. So imagine spicing up for these tiny creatures their meal by staining it with oil, sweat, and even other food stains. It is like getting a piece of dough for pizza and having it sprinkled for you with your dream toppings. It is these kinds of stains that make the beetles devour certain clothes faster than others. The stain does not have to be a shirt soaked in sweat or a trouser filled with oil; tiny stains that are not immediately handled bring about the environment where these carpet beetles thrive. Even from the tiny stained kitchen towel, or the small dirty handkerchief, the smallest pieces of stained clothes need to be cleaned. This circles back to the concept of
cleanliness. Cleaning dirty clothes often is another way to get rid of carpet beetle’s favorite source of food.

  1. Careless storage

Careless storage is just basically serving the food for these beetles. Visualize the difference between having your food set up on the table and just having it in the marketplace. Carelessly keeping your clothes, furniture, and other household commodities is like taking the food for the insects, setting up the dining table for them and calling them out from their hiding places to eat up your items. It gets even worse if you are storing a lot of items in an enclosed space or worse if you are storing dirty materials in a dirty storage place. From the cleanliness of your storage space, to even how dirty items are stored and even how clean items are stored, the state of cleanliness must be maintained if these little pests are to be effectively avoided or curbed. These three practices complement themselves. Poor storage, stained clothes, and even poor housekeeping are all together factors tying around each other in an attempt to encourage carpet beetles to infest your lovely home and devour your precious items.

Why is it hard to detect carpet beetles?

There is minimal interaction between human beings and the beetles These beetles do not affect human beings in any way and are thus not harmful to the wellbeing of the human but the same cannot be said about your items. In fact, the exact opposite happens to your items in the hands of carpet beetles; they are annihilated. The carpet beetle will often destroy your stored clothes or carpets from areas that are rarely accessed. They will start eating on your carpet from below. The beetle will as well feed on your furniture from areas that are rarely moved or accessed. This minimal interaction will make the cunning insect infest you to great extents before one realizes. Also, human beings often realize the pests’ infestations only after their personal carpets, clothes or furniture are damaged.

The larvae move very slowly but damage chronically

The larvae, which are more distractive that the adult carpet beetle, move at a very slow pace which is basically unnoticeable to the human eye. This makes it hard to point out their exact area of infestation when countermeasures are being implemented.

They infest together and at once

The larvae hatch at almost the same time. This makes their infestation sudden and chronic. It will take a short while and majority of the household items will be affected by the infestation. A place where one carpet beetle can survive, a million carpet beetles can survive and that is the concept that keeps them going. If there is dirt, then that is the place they will be. This makes it a ticking pest time bomb. When they unleash terror, they will leave some heavy destruction in their trail.

How to identify an invasion?

Although it is severely hard to find out if you have been attacked by these pests, there are some tale-tell signs that show you that you might be the victim of these atrocious pests. These signs will mean you will have to quickly spring into action and handle this situation before it becomes catastrophic. They include:

Noticing weird insects around your house that resemble the carpet beetles. As describe earlier, these insects are about 0.9 inches long and are circular (or oval) in shape with a color scheme of white, brown, yellow or orange, or a combination of these colors. Once you notice such insects, know that there is a problem and you need to handle it as soon as possible. Having small holes on your clothes, of course, that is not part of the design. When you notice tiny holes on your clothes that are often stored together, know that you have been infested by the carpet beetles. These
holes follow no major pattern but occur in several of your clothes. Once you notice this, gear up for your ultimate battle with the carpet beetles.

Jagged carpet edges

When your carpet edges become porous or jagged for no apparent reason, know that you have been attacked by these pests. This only means that the pests are munching on your carpet from below. This is proof that you need to arm yourself, you are going to war.

Small eggs in your food or your pet’s food

When you notice tiny eggs that are not part of your cereal or are in the food of your pet cat, then know that you are up against these six-legged creatures. Carpet beetles often lay their eggs in cereals and in pet food thereby making it risky to not only eat that food but also live in that house. A health hazard to your body and this can only mean it is time to gear up and prepare for battle with this insects.

How do I handle carpet beetles?

It is very vital that once you have confirmed the infestation is happening you take countermeasures. Also, if your house has had previous carpet beetles infestations, you must take measures before a re-infestation occurs.

Before infestation

The following are measures one should take to ensure you do not get an infestation in your house or a re-infestation:

  1. Proper housekeeping

Getting a nice housekeeper is very key to ensuring your house never hears of the horrifying story of carpet beetles. Proper housekeeping involves a lot of processes including:

Vacuuming and dusting

This involves getting rid of dust on surfaces that easily accumulate dust. These surfaces include floors and even the carpets as well. Vacuuming is very vital and should be done at least once a day depending on the dust concentration of your area of residence. Some environments are minimally dusty and therefore do not require as much vacuuming. Vacuuming gets rid of the
dust and dirt and in turn, creates a very unfavorable environment for the pests to thrive. This, in turn, chokes the carpet beetles starve from lack of food.

Also, the air filters within the window should be regularly changed, especially those in front of vents to prevent the accumulated dust from the filters from blowing into the vents. This will beat the entire purpose of the vents by blowing back accumulated dust into the vents. Also, keep other surfaces clean and without any form of dirt by regularly dusting them as well as and wiping them with soap and water. This will seal all loopholes through which the carpet beetles can make a home from your home.

Keep your pets clean

Home-based pets are usually furry animals such as cats and dogs that often make your home a haven for pests such as the carpet beetles. This is achieved y the untidiness of the pets. With this in mind, it is vital to keep your animal as clean as possible. Take them for medical check-ups as well as feeding them on healthy diets. Clean the areas where they hang out as well as sleep to ensure they do not accumulate a lot of fur or dirt that will be a nice breeding ground for the carpet beetles. Also, litter-train your pet to ensure the pets do not make the house dirty through their natural processes such as passing urine.

  1. Wash your clothes regularly

As earlier mentioned, stained clothes are like a special and luscious cuisine to carpet beetles. They literally have their best moment s in life when they find stained clothes to feast on. It is with this in mind that it is very vital to keep your clothes as clean as possible. To keep your clothes clean, you need to focus on these 3 areas:

Wash often

Dirty clothes should be washed often to prevent accumulation of dirty clothes. This will get rid of the stains such as oil and sweat that are a good breeding ground for carpet beetles. Dirty stained clothes should not stay out for long. A week is usually the longest duration stained clothes should be kept to prevent their storage place from being favorable for carpet beetles. Any stained clothes that stay more than a week before being washed should be properly stored. The storage should create an unsuitable environment for carpet beetles to survive in. This can be achieved by placing the clothes in an airtight container or a zipper bag that will effectively keep away the pests.

Wash properly

Wash the clothes properly to ensure the stains are gotten rid of. Washing the clothes in hot water is even better especially if the clothes are oily. Also, important to note is that proper washing requires the right kind of detergent. Alternatively, dry cleaning is a good way to ensure the cleaning is done effectively and professionally. This will ensure the stains do not get the chance to mature’ enough to be a perfect home for the carpet beetles.

  1. Proper storage

As earlier mentioned, carpet beetles have a craving for wool, fur, silk and other animal-based and plant-based products. Improper storage of these materials, or of products made of these materials creates a favorable environment for the carpet beetles to thrive in. Therefore, such materials should be stored in their proper states that will ensure they do not appeal to carpet beetles. The following are key points to note while storing the items include:

Store them while clean

It is advisable to ensure the clothes are stored in their cleanest state possible. Storing them in any other state will beat the logic of storage. Wash them or dry clean them depending on the requirement of the material. This will create an environment too clean for the pest.

Store them without scent

It is best to try and minimize the scent of the items to prevent them from attracting carpet beetles. These beetles are attracted to these materials such as silk, due to their scent. Therefore, if you plan to store them, especially for long periods, it is very vital to minimize these scenes by washing them clean or even dry cleaning them.

Store them while dry

Wet items are known to be a good breeding ground for not only microbial but are also very favorable for pests which prefer moist places. Therefore, while storing your items, ensure they are as dry as they get. This ensures that if you washed them using soap and water, they need to properly dry up. Alternatively, dry cleaning leaves out the hectic procedure of drying up. If you want to beat carpet beetles, ensure all your items are kept with minimal moisture.

After infestation

The following are measures you should take once you realize your house has had a carpet beetles infestation:

  1. Use insecticides

Insecticides are developed for the sole purpose of getting rid of insecticides like the carpet beetles. Therefore, many insecticides have been produced, some effective, others not. A good way to go about this is through the renowned company operation in Omaha, Quality Pest Control. The company offers some of the best insecticides and mitigation measures on pests that affect our everyday life including the use of insecticides as well as policies that affect our everyday pest mitigation techniques.

It is vital for the insecticides to meet certain thresholds for it to be effective without damaging the environment. For starters, the insecticides should have low toxicity levels and be environmentally friendly. This is the greatest desire for Quality Pest Control, Omaha and that is why it stands out in controlling of carpet beetles.

  1. Maintain cleanliness

When you have noticed you have carpet beetles in your house you need to maintain some levels of cleanliness that will ensure the carpet beetles just walk out of your house in protest. First, ensure your floor carpet and rags are as clean as they could possibly be. Once you notice you have carpet beetles, take out all your carpets and floor rugs, soak and wash them in hot water with detergent. Air them for long periods to ensure you expose the carpet beetles to elements that will make them flee or die.

Also, constantly keep your clothes and other household commodities as clean as they could possibly be. This will create an unsuitable habitat for the carpet beetles thereby effectively making them shift to other places due to starvation as well as other contributing factors. Also of vitality is to ensure that if you notice carpet beetles and you keep a pet, you need to up your pet’s hygiene game by ensuring it is constantly washed. Also, the pet ought to have its bedding changed and cleaned often. Then if your pet is not litter-trained, seek help to ensure it becomes litter trained. This will greatly improve the war against carpet beetles in your house.

  1. Keep birds’ nests away from your house

Bird’s nests are a good harbor for carpet beetles which thrive in these particular environments. When you have such a nest near your home such as in your attic or near your window, then you need to get rid of it. Often, native animal habitats that are near or in your home can be a nice place for carpet beetles to breed and thrive in. This includes the hamster cage that I often covered with sawdust. This, in fact, is a powerful habitat for carpet beetles. It is very vital to often change this litter, even for other pets to ensure that the carpet beetles do not get chance to thrive.

  1. Seal cracks and crevices

Carpet beetles are cunning creatures that often hide in the most strategic places where they can still feed. You will thus often find them in cracks and crevices on walls, within the floor, in the furniture, cabinets and even kitchen shelves. It is these places where the carpet beetles have made a home that blockage needs to be done. Once the cracks and crevices have been sealed the carpet beetles will have nowhere to hide. This will leave them with no option than to migrate or they will die.

  1. Use Carpet beetle traps

Due to the nuisance nature of these pests, traps have been developed to ensure that the carpet beetles are effectively handled even during infestation. One, however, needs to understand how to use the traps to ensure that they are effective. Three points to note about these traps before using these traps are:

Know the source of infestation

Only use the trap from the point of entrance of the pests. It would beat logic to fight pests that are already in the house without knowing where they have come from. Often, the carpet beetles will look for tiny entrances that are hidden and will lead them straight to where they can access the food they want to steal from you. These entrances include the general ones such as windows and doors and the less common ones such as chimneys, air bricks, and even floorboards. Set these traps in such regions to ensure you get to these pests and effectively get rid of them.

Clean up

Before setting up the trap, do your research and know their probable source of food. Once you have found this out get rid of this source of food by cleaning up their pathway as well as the destination. All through the house, using different possible routes, clean up and ensure that the route the carpet beetles could use does not have any enticing thing that could make the
beetles come back using that route. Clean up, and clean up pretty good. Anything from dead insects, to food crumbs, to pet hair to anything natural and even synthetic that is in the menu of the carpet beetles. Effectively getting rid of their food source is getting rid of them.


While using traps, it is vital to use pesticides and other similar treatments to effectively put down these pests. Place these treatments on the pathway of these carpet beetles with bait to ensure they are actually effective in attracting and curbing carpet beetles. The pests are known to be very curious and can thus be easily eliminated by using glue boards and sticky traps that have pheromones added to them.

Well, it is no doubt that these pests can be a pain in the neck destroying properties of high value after such a short time. Therefore it is very vital to develop measures to mitigate them. It is better to prevent than to cure therefore if you can, and at all costs, avoid this infestation by majorly maintaining a clean and organized lifestyle. If you are, however, unfortunate enough to go through the terrible experience of a carpet beetles infestation worry not. Just follow the advice highlighted and you should go through it seamlessly. It is one of the most disgusting and destructive pests
but if you put your things in order, carpet beetles will not be a part of your household.