Pest File: Carpet Beetles

Pest File: Carpet Beetles

Adult varied carpet beetle on a white daisy.

Carpet beetle larvae are considered the number one textile pest in the UK. They create so much damage as they feed on proteins, known as keratin, in natural fibres of animal origin such as wool, hair, leather, feathers and silk. This can lead to ruined clothes, carpets, and soft furnishings.  Adult carpet beetles do not cause damage to property, as their diet consists of pollen and nectar.

Identification

There are several species of carpet beetle in the UK. The most common type is the Varied Carpet Beetle which are around 2 to 4mm in size, oval in shape, and blotchy brown, cream and grey in colour. Adults tend to be sighted more frequently around this time of year whilst searching for egg-laying sites, whilst carpet beetle larvae are most active before hibernation, in around October time.

Larvae are 4mm long with brown tufts of hair, which has gained them the colloquial name of, “woolly bears”. They often roll up if they are disturbed.

Closeup on the hairy brown larvae of the carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci or Varied Carpet Beetle.

Carpet Beetle Lifecycle

The lifecycle of carpet beetles takes around one year to complete. Females lay around 40 eggs which hatch around 14 days later. The larvae feed for around 7 to 10 months before turning into pupa, from which the adult emerges around 4 weeks later.  Adults live around 2 to 6 weeks.  Larvae are unfortunately quite resilient and can survive without food for several months.

To ensure the best chances of eradication, it is important to remove all stages of the lifecycle. At Avon Pest Control we use gentle yet effective treatments to ensure your pest problem is solved without damaging your textiles.

How Do I Know if I have a Carpet Beetle Infestation?

You may see an adult carpet beetle in your home or notice the cast off skins of carpet beetle larvae, which they moult as they mature. This is a red flag for a carpet beetle infestation.  The larvae tend to create round holes along the seams of your garments, which may be the first sign that you have a pest problem.

Prevention is Better than Cure

Carpet beetles often lay their eggs in bird nests, therefore it is important to check eaves, loft spaces and so on for any signs of bird activity. If you find you have birds on your property, Avon Pest Control recommend contacting a professional pest control service who can deal with your bird problem first, discuss options for bird proofing your property and also remove your carpet beetle pest problem.  It is also important to be vigilant with cleaning. Adult carpet beetles can lay their eggs in fluff that collects in the home, therefore it is vital to vacuum upholstery, cupboards, floorboards and shelves, as well as lifting rugs, carpets and underlay to clean your carpets meticulously. Of course, even the cleanest of homes can fall victim to these textile terrors, but fear not!  Help is at hand.

Are your garments and carpets under threat from carpet beetle larvae?

Call Avon Pest Control today for specialist advice, and treatment pricing.  Let our team sort your pest problem for you.