Why make an odd reference to a Beatles song? Hopefully to get it out of our system, so we can focus on the topic of this post. Earlier, we discussed dust mites and how they affect your health. This time we will discuss the carpet beetle, and we’ll try to avoid making any further musical references. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Carpet beetles are small and oval-shaped, typically 1/16 to 1/8-inch long. Most versions have a speckled color combination including white, brown, black, orange, and yellow – like a submarine. Adult carpet beetles don’t damage most carpets because they feed on pollen from flowers, sometimes in strawberry fields. However, their larvae feed on keratin, a fibrous animal protein found in items composed of wool, fur, felt, skins, and leathers. Now, many of today’s carpets are made from synthetic materials, but some are blended with wool or other organic materials. What’s more, if your carpet has heavy food stains, accumulated body oils or pet hair, they become a veritable feeding ground, and beetle larvae come together.
Do you want to know a secret? It’s really the larvae that poses the threat. Female carpet beetles lay between 50 to 100 eggs near vulnerable materials. Once hatched, the larvae are tan or brownish in color and covered in hairs, or bristles. They move slowly as they graze across their food source, often leaving threadbare spots or irregular holes behind. Although they prefer dark, low-traffic areas like closets and wardrobes, they also hide under seldom-used areas of carpet. They also like places where organic debris accumulates, such as baseboards, floor vents, stair corners, or fabric folds. Some varieties feed on seeds, cereals, pet food, and plant-based materials, like rice where a wedding has been. This means they can be nearly anywhere in your home. If you see an accumulation of adult carpet beetles on your window, there likely was an infestation of larvae, and that typically means another is on the way.
Managing the Group
You might think that the best way to get rid of the larvae would be the same as clothes moths, so you might employ mothballs, dusts or insecticides. However, you could be in for a hard day’s night – most of those methods include using chemicals harmful to humans and pets. Cedar closets and chests prove ineffective, as their seals and odors deteriorate over time. Suddenly, they’re not half the deterrent they used to be. Instead, storing unused items in cold areas or in sealed plastic bags or containers is safer and usually more effective.
If you find larvae or shed skin in articles of clothing, don’t just let it be. Try dry cleaning or laundering them with high heat. If that isn’t an option, discarding the item might be the better choice. Remember: it’s important to find as many infested locations as you can, so they don’t keep getting back to where they once belonged. Inspect any and all clothing or fabric where you find larvae or molted skin.
When the Group Needs to Break Up
When it comes to carpet, thorough vacuuming will help tremendously, but these larvae get into tight corners and specialize in hiding where you and your removal equipment can’t get to them. That’s a great time to ask for a little help from your friends at Preferred Carpet Care. We can work it out. We have the equipment and experience to find those larvae and eliminate them. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online. Getting rid of beetle larvae in your carpet is just a day in the life for us.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On February 13, 2020