Carpet Beetles

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What do carpet beetles look like?

carpet beetle in tucson home

Small, oval insects normally less than 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. The larvae are usually half the size of the adult and are covered with bristles. Some species are a solid black while others can be mottled in color. Some possess scales on their bodies.

Life cycle of the carpet beetle

Complete metamorphosis

Females lay 30 to100 eggs in secluded, dark areas near food sources. Eggs hatch in 1-3 weeks. Larvae molt 5-12 times over a 3-36 month period. Pupa stage lasts 6 to 24 days. The adult takes up to 3 weeks to emerge.

Habits of carpet beetles

  • Diet: Animal based materials like wool, insects in stored products, seeds. Adults feed on pollen.
  • Activity: Dark Areas
  • Preferred Climate: Temperate climates
  • Defense: Small unnoticeable size
  • Cautions: Larval stage causes damage to fabrics and stored food sources/products.
  • Home Invasion: Mainly found indoors hidden in carpet fibers, stored products, by baseboards or windows. Small irregular holes will be a sign of feeding.

Are carpet beetles dangerous?

Carpet beetles do not pose a danger to humans. They are annoyance and may eat through fabrics. 

Where do carpet beetle infestations develop?

Infestation levels develop in collections of household lint, woolen fabrics, feathers and other items of animal origin.

Helpful hints about carpet beetles

To prevent a carpet beetle infestation in your structure, we recommend:

  • Vacuuming regularly
  • Cleaning fabrics and use moth crystals or balls when storing
  • Storing fabrics and food in tightly sealed containers
  • Discarding all infested material
  • Having your home or business treated regularly by a pest control company

Interesting facts about the carpet beetle

Larvae can grow backward if deprived of food. This process is called retrogressive molting.

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