Carpet Beetles (Identification, Prevention & 10 Control Tips)


As there are a number of different species of carpet beetles, they all have some things in common. They are all small in size and are oval shaped. They range in colors, but the main ones that will be mentioned in this post are black beetles and varied beetles.

They both feed on materials of carpet and clothing, feathers, wool, and furs. You can get carpet beetles from an animal that died in the attic or from bird nests located near or within your home such as the chimney or hole/crack in an exterior wall. 

Carpet beetles can damage to your flooring, clothing, upholstered furniture and anything with natural materials. They hardly ever attack synthetic fibers that include nylon, polyester and rayon.

The carpet beetle’s life cycle is similar to a butterfly as they produce an egg, turn to larvae, then a pupa, and an adult. The female will lay eggs within a two to three-week period. 

They are found in dark areas or where they are feeding. If there is a dead carcass that is causing the carpet beetles then there will be eggs laid there too. Once the eggs have hatched within 20 days, in their larvae stage they will eat.

They will hunt for food but can be without food for several weeks.They can become adults from two to 11 months depending on the amount of food taken in by the larvae.

These little carpet beetles can survive over a one year period so with an infestation they can become real pests. Carpet Beetles are most commonly seen during the Winter months and in early Spring.

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If you determine that you have carpet beetles, be sure to clean thoroughly throughout your home. Check all of the dark areas of your home including the attic, basement, and closets. Carpet beetles prefer to hide in undisturbed areas as well.

Make sure to clean under the furniture and bed and if there are any spills or accumulated food crumbs clean them up as well. Vacuum regularly and steam clean upholstered furniture and bed. Check the baseboards of each room as they may hide in there too just like bed bugs.

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Carpet beetles move very slowly and will turn on their backs when touched. Even though they seem harmless they can cause you a lot of problems as the infestation grows. Take steps in getting rid of the carpet beetles after doing a thorough cleaning.

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Use an insecticide that is aimed at killing carpet beetles. If a pesticide includes chlorpyrifos, allethrin, and/or bendicarbo then it should work on carpet beetles.

Spray any cracks and crevices you have in your home and all throughout the carpets, area rugs, upholstered furniture, under furniture, under beds, mattresses, closets and attics. Anywhere you think that the carpet beetles may hide spray there as well.

Upon finding the source of the problem you will need to have it removed. You can call upon a professional to do all of the dirty work and have them spray where they feel it is needed.

Having them remove any dead carcasses that may be around your home or sealing up areas that they may have gotten in from will also prevent you from having to do most of the work.

Upon finding a small carcass you will need to get rid of all of the larvae that is with the carcass. It is recommended to place the dead object in a freezer wrapped so that the larvae of carpet beetles cannot escape.

Or you will need to remove the carcass far away from the home. The area will need to be thoroughly cleaned up.

If you find clothing or an expensive fur coat for instance infested with carpet beetles and you don’t want to get rid of the item then wrap it in plastic and take it to get dry cleaned.

Extreme hot and cold temperatures will kill any larvae and existing adult carpet beetles that exist within the item you are trying to protect from any further damage by these insects.

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Despite the fact that Carpet Beetles can cause some damage in residential homes, they are very important in the life cycle as they eat up dead things.

These beetles are used during investigations when a person dies as it can help determine time of death. They also help remove dead organisms that rot and can stink up places.

There are 500 to 700 different species of carpet beetles throughout the world, but there are two main kinds in the United States including the black beetle and the varied carpet beetle.

As they manage to cause some damage in residential homes, you will also realize that the beetles exist for reason which is to eat up dead things. They can be beneficial but who wants to be infested by any type of insect in their home?

Categorized as Beetles

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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