A carpet beetle infestation is a terrible thing. Not only does it mean that you have an unwelcome guest in your home, but it also means that there is a potential health risk. You need to know how to recognize carpet beetle larvae so that you can take the right steps to treat your carpets from it.
In this article, I will be talking about what carpet beetles look like and their telltale signs of infestation. After reading this article, you will be able to answer the question ‘Do I have carpet beetles?’
What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?
The best way to identify carpet beetles is to look for their small size (approximately 1/8 inch long) with a shiny black oval body and two large red spots on each side of the thorax. The antennae may be quite long as well, which can help you tell them apart from other types of insects.
You will also recognize them by their dark-colored droppings; however, if you look closely at the bottom of your carpets (or underneath furniture), these beetles may have many different colors in their dung because they consume green to mauve fungi which give off fluorescent chemical compounds when injured.
In rare cases, these beetles leave their droppings behind on your carpet but also walk around with a clump of dirt that they have ingested–this feces can sometimes give you another clue as to what insect it came from (mugwort specifically).
If they poop while walking over a dark area like wood planks covered in urine stains, you may see a second red coloration of feces or feel the rough surface underneath your carpet.
7 Early Signs of Carpet Beetles Infestation
1. Spotting a Single Carpet Beetle
If you spot just one carpet beetle, it means the pest infestation has already begun.
If you see just one long white worm moving around on your carpet, this is a sign that there are some eggs nearby; however, the carpet beetle larvae will not be visible to the naked eye until they have formed.
If you find more than one crawling beetle (or four or five), then it means their population has grown and could significantly damage your carpets over time. The fact that multiple beetles live in your home indicates a good chance of getting their eggs as well.
2. Damage to Wool, Rugs, and Garments
Carpet beetles can cause significant damage to your wool rugs and other knitted items like sweaters, socks (if you wear them to bed), gloves, and scarves.
If you see a discolored spot on your rug, then chances are high the larvae have been lurking in that area for quite some time now. It’s likely there has not just been one or two but many carpet beetles living underneath your carpets.
3. Beetle Larvae Skins (Exoskeletons)
Carpet beetles have an odd way of leaving their dead skin behind. When they are done feeding on your wool rug or furniture, they leave behind empty white to brown husks that resemble cocoons.
They will often crawl back out of the exit hole, and you may not be able to find it until after the damage is done.
As they mature, carpenter beetle larvae molt or shed their skins several times. These pale brown, dead skins can appear in areas where larvae are feeding.
Watch out for shed skins on the underside of rugs, in folds, or buried areas on clothing or wool blankets. You may also want to check under furniture or in corners where lint, pet hair, and dead insects collect.
4. Bald Areas of the Carpet
When carpet beetles feed on wool carpeting, bald spots will start appearing all over the carpet. These spots will be narrow and often look like a series of holes or tunnels going along with parallel edges straight across the entire floor area.
Adult beetles are quite small, and the spots can be easily missed.
This is one of the worst tell-tale signs that carpet beetles have been in your home. Any damage to a rug or clothing indicates they are present, not only as adults but also developing larvae underground/under furniture, etc.
5. Irregular Holes in the Carpet
If you see small and unidentified holes in your carpets, make sure you check every square inch to identify where the bugs have been.
As a pest control expert, I’ve discovered this one myself on many occasions when looking for evidence of carpet beetles; it can be an extremely difficult process due to their small size.
6. Fecal Pellets (Carpet Beetle Poop)
Adult beetles leave fecal pellets as they move forward. Their poop is usually white and resembles small grains of corn or flour but is actually fecal pellets (wax-filled egg capsules).
These pellets are often difficult to see on a carpet. They resemble dandruff in appearance, being smaller than the larvae’s feeding specks.
Proper cleaning is required for your carpet, upholstery, and other infested items to remove these fecal pellets.
Professional cleaning is the best way to ensure there are no leftover eggs in your furniture or carpets waiting for you.
7. Adult Carpet Beetle Climbing on a Wall or Windowsills
The most obvious sign of a carpet beetle infestation is that the adults are actively moving over the floor and walls. They are, of course, unable to move up a vertical surface.
In fact, they can only climb sideways, but in many cases, you will find them resting or jumping on horizontal surfaces like walls and windows.
Adult beetles choose a particularly low spot on the wall to rest while it waits for food-getters such as other carpet beetles or mice to walk nearby and collect their prey’s droppings.
If you find an adult carpet beetle on a wall, it’s not unusual for them to climb up and then back down alternately.
Carpet beetle is a pest feeding on animal hair, wool, feathers, and other dead organic matter. They feed by puncturing the carpet fibers with their mouthparts and sucking up the contents of a rug or carpet to feed on. It’s difficult to identify carpet beetle infestation – but not impossible.
I hope you get rid of these solid black pests soon!
Read more: 9 Reasons Why Ants Are Present in Your Room