Carpet beetles, sometimes called wool moths, are in the same family as clothes moths, which are well-known pests that feed on fabric, animal hair, and feathers. Carpet beetles may not be attracted to humans, but if you notice holes in your clothing or small balls of fluff around your home, it's possible you have an infestation of carpet beetles on your hands. Luckily, there are several measures you can take to protect your belongings from these pesky little bugs and get rid of carpet beetles permanently. First, though, you need to know how to identify them...
What Are Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles are a type of beetle in the family Dermestidae. Carpet beetles are small, furry, wingless insects that are attracted to organic material. These bugs can breed quickly and chew through clothing, blankets, furs, and carpets. A mature infestation can eat a significant amount of your household’s fabrics; finding out how to get rid of carpet beetles will also help you prevent them from coming back and further damaging your home.
Carpet beetles are found across North America and come in many different sizes and colors. Though they may look unassuming, these bugs play an important role in nature by feeding on dead organic matter.
Are Carpet Beetles Dangerous to Humans?
Though you might not like having them in your home, chances are good that you don’t have too much cause for concern when it comes to carpet beetles biting humans. You see, unlike most other species of fleas and ticks — which can be very dangerous if they bite — carpet beetles aren’t really interested in people; instead, these critters prefer to feed on dead mammals such as rodents. But let’s talk about whether or not these bugs actually bite in more detail.
No, carpet beetles are not dangerous to humans. They don’t bite or sting and are harmless; however, it is best to remove them if possible as their presence in your home could be a sign of bigger problems, such as mold and pest infestations. It’s also important to note that there can be many different species of carpet beetle, including those that prey on commercial products like wool fabrics; these varieties should not be confused with common household species.
How to Eliminate a Carpet Beetle Infestation
There are some things you can do to eliminate a small, local carpet beetle infestation. For example, make sure your carpets have been thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed. Vacuuming will attract all pests in your home into one area, so you can deal with them at once and won’t have to worry about them wandering around while they look for food or hiding spots. Make sure your vacuum is fitted with a HEPA filter to trap any bugs inside. The last thing you want is for bugs that may have made their way out of your rug to invade another part of your house! When disposing of old rugs or furniture afflicted by these tiny critters, don’t put it on an active pest strip—any leftover eggs could hatch! Also, be sure not to pile infested items on top of each other as eggs can often spread through contact between objects.
Most homeowners and DIYers find carpet beetles tricky to eliminate. It is often best to call a professional exterminator to eliminate a carpet beetle infestation.