Carpet beetles are a destructive household pest because carpet beetle larvae eat holes in clothes, furniture fabrics, and many other items commonly found in the home. In fact, carpet beetle larvae feed upon any organic material, meaning anything made from a natural animal source which they can digest. This includes fur, leather, carpets, etc. any synthetic material that is non-organic is safe from the destruction.
If you have an infestation of carpet beetles, it is important to determine where the larvae is located in order to eradicate the problem. This is often a difficult endeavor because carpet beetle larvae are drawn to dark places that are inaccessible. A good way to locate the source of the problem is to place carpet beetle traps throughout the domicile to narrow down the range of the infestation.
The larvae are likely to feed on dead insects that are often located in windowsills or in light fixtures. They have even been known to feed on the bait inside of mousetraps. While adult carpet beetles are drawn to sunlight, carpet beetle larvae are attracted to darkness and can be found in virtually any darkened or dim space.
It is often difficult to tell the difference between the destruction caused by moths and that caused by carpet beetle larvae. But carpet beetles usually eat a large hole in one section of the fabric, while moths make smaller holes over a larger range of fabric. Carpet beetles enter the home by flying through open doors and windows, by sliding through cracks and crevices, or coming in unnoticed on clothing or other items.
Once inside, the carpet beetle looks for any organic material on which to lay its eggs. Each female carpet beetle can lay up to 100 eggs and the eggs take approximately one to two weeks to hatch. The larvae feed for up to nine months before entering the adult stage. The adults feed on nectar and pollen and are attracted to sunlight in order to seek out these food sources.
Carpet beetles are some of the most difficult indoor pests to control because they are very good at finding hiding places and remaining undetected. Eliminate any sources of organic material within an infested area that can be used as food sources by the larvae. This can include dead insects, hair, and other materials that they feed on.
Thoroughly clean and vacuum all rugs, draperies, and the fabric of any furniture in the area. Also, closets and other dark secluded locations where carpet beetle larvae tends to feed should be thoroughly cleaned. If needed, insecticide may be used to treat the larvae infestation. Always store your clothes and other items that are susceptible to carpet beetle larvae in an airtight container to protect them from damage.