The BPCA report the Carpet Beetle has surpassed the clothes moth as the UK’s number one textile pest. Adult Carpet Beetles feed on pollen and nectar, and do not pose a risk to your clothing and soft furnishings. However, they lay their eggs in natural, animal-based fabrics. When the larvae hatch, they feed on these fabrics, causing damage.
Carpet Beetles lay white eggs which are smaller than 1mm in length. When hatched, the Carpet Beetle larvae, or “woolly bears” are around 4mm long, and have the appearance of tiny furry caterpillars, with brown bands around their bristly bodies.
There are 3 known species of Carpet Beetle in the UK; The Varied Carpet Beetle, The Furniture Carpet Beetle and the Black Carpet Beetle.
- The Varied Carpet Beetle are typically brown/black, with flecks of white are oval shaped, and measure around 2 to 4mm in length.
- The Furniture Beetle is slightly larger than the Varied Carpet Beetle, with a more rounded shell
- The Black Carpet Beetle have solid brown or shiny black shells and are not as rounded as the other two species
Signs of Infestation
Whilst their name suggests these bugs dwell in carpets alone, the young beetles and larvae are more of a general textile pest. If you have found relatively precise holes in your carpet, upholstery or in your clothes, especially along the fabric seams, it could be that you have a Carpet Beetle infestation. Carpet Beetle larvae feed on natural, animal-based fabrics as opposed to plant-based cottons, or synthetic man-made fibres, so be sure to check items made of leather, wool, feathers, silk and fur for tell-tale signs of infestation. As Carpet Beetle larvae develop, they shed their skins, which can be the first sign of infestation
When to Spot Them
Adult Carpet Beetles are most often seen between April to June when they are active in search of a place to lay their eggs. The larvae are typically most active in October prior to hibernation.
The lifespan of the Carpet Beetle is around one year. Over 100 eggs can be laid at a time and take from 10 to 30 days to hatch. The larvae are reasonably resilient and can endure starvation for several months
Why are Carpet Beetles considered a Pest?
Aside from damage caused to your belongings, Carpet Beetles can pose a health risk. Whilst Carpet Beetles do not bite, some people can develop an allergic reaction. Symptoms of such a reaction to Carpet Beetles include:
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Irritated, itchy skin
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
Prevention is Better than Cure
To help prevent Carpet Beetles from settling into your home:
- Wash or dry clean seasonal clothing before storing for long periods
- Store clothes in airtight plastic bins
- Use mothballs or cedar chips to deter pests
- Check and refold your clothing every few months
- Regularly vacuum fluff and pet hairs from carpets, rugs, and soft furnishings, as well as floorboards, shelves and airing cupboards
- Check in your loft for abandoned birds’ nests, where the Carpet Beetles may lay their eggs
If you have a Carpet Beetle infestation, get those bugs out of your rugs today! Call Avon Pest Control on 01789 293 463 or 01926 632 929, or click here; let our fast and effective service resolve your pest problem for you.
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