Carpet beetles are an often overlooked pest that can cause a range of problems.
The greatest impact that carpet beetles have is on products of animal origin such as furs, woolens, and feathers. Overall, in most cases they are much more common and more damaging to fabrics than clothes moths.
Carpet beetles also can infest dried food products in your pantry. They are generally less damaging than many other pests in this area because they reproduce slowly (about one generation per year), they can nevertheless be a recurring problem since annual migrations can bring them back year after year.
Carpet beetles can also cause red bite-like welts on your skin. Since the beetles are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, they are often found in beds, particularly feather pillows. Unlike bed bugs, carpet beetles do not bite. The reason for the welts is that some people are allergic to carpet beetles. In particular, the long hairs on carpet beetle larvae can penetrate into the skin and trigger the allergic reaction. These hairs can even go through fabric. If other people live in your house and they are not experiencing these welts, this is a good indication that the problem could be carpet beetles rather than bed bugs, since bed bugs would tend to bite everyone indiscriminately.
- Discard clothing items that have been heavily damaged
- Wash clothing in hot soapy water
- Steam clean your carpets
For more information on pests that can live in your carpet, read our article on What’s Living In Your Carpet?