Beetles are tiny pesky insects that may be difficult to see with the naked eye. But, they sure leave noticeable damage to textiles around your home.
Carpet beetles are small insects and have become pests in warehouses, homes and other locations where suitable food exists. Of course, the adult carpet beetles feed on pollen and nectar. However, it is the larvae that are responsible for the serious damage in your home!
Carpet beetles may be found in the birds’ nests on the roof. From there, they crawl along the pipes and move into the upper areas of the house. Then, once inside, carpet beetles can infest your home and cause serious damage to the household items made of animal products.
To gain a better understanding, refer to the life cycle of these pests.
CARPET BEETLE: LIFE STAGES
So, it all starts with a female carpet beetle laying up to 100 eggs near the food source. Usually, it happens late summer and autumn. Then, when the eggs hatch, the destructive stage begins.
Next, the larvae, similar to a caterpillar, begin to feed in dark and undisturbed areas. Examples are under carpet edges and furniture.
Their diet consists of protein sources. Unfortunately, they find it in sources such as carpets, wool, fur, silk, felt, bedding, floor coverings, furniture, clothing, leather, and pet hair. Also, they feed on dead insects, feather dusters, hair brushes and stored food such as cereals and dried meat.
Furthermore, the larval stage may last up to a year depending on the food supply. The larvae shed their skins during the transition between stages. Specifically, the last larval skin is lost in the pupal stage before they emerge as adults.
Moreover, adult carpet beetles can live for up to 2 months. That is, after laying eggs, the female generally dies within a few days.
Apparently, the only damage the adult carpet beetles do is laying eggs, that hatch the larvae, which then feast on your fine items.
Damage occurs to carpets, rugs, underlay, furniture, wall hangings, and decorative needlework. They may also be in your clothing, wool insulation, insect collections, stuffed animals, drapery and antiques. Sometimes, felts and hammers in pianos also become infested. As a result, they become badly damaged that the tone and action of the instrument are seriously affected.
The presence of adult beetles, usually on the window sills, is simply an indication of an infestation in your home. So, the textile and other food sources to this pest should be inspected.
MANAGEMENT & PREVENTION OF CARPET BEETLES
HELPFUL TIPS TO PREVENT CARPET BEETLES
- Regularly inspect areas at risk. For examples are under the furniture, along with carpet edges, and mattresses
- Regularly clean furniture.
- Vacuum regularly. Especially in areas under furniture, heaters, or at the skirting junction.
- Check for old bird nests and spider webs. Immediately remove if found.
- Eliminate food sources such as dead insects and hair.
- Inspect flowers brought from the garden for adult beetles.
- Keep blankets and linen clean by washing in hot water or dry cleaning.
- Any animal specimens should be regularly checked and may need to be placed in the freezer for 2 weeks
- Store clean items in protective plastic bag or containers
- Seal cracks near windows, ceilings, in walls.
- Most importantly, call the pest control experts for advice and service
DIFFERENT SPECIES OF CARPET BEETLE
There are 4 species of carpet beetle in Australia. The 2 common species are the variegated and the black carpet beetle. In particular, the other species and the brief description of each are:
- Variegated carpet beetle: body length 2 – 3 mm, yellow/black/white colours
- Black carpet beetle: 3 – 5 mm long, elliptical black body,
- Furniture carpet beetle: body length 2 – 3 mm, yellow/black/white colours
- Australian carpet beetle: 2- 3 mm in body length, dark with light markings