What are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are as annoying as they are varied. Technically, there are many different beetle species that can be considered carpet beetles or common house beetles. But you don’t need to talk to a variety of different pest control companies to get rid of them.

Come to Alta Pest Control in Washington, Kansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Texas. Our carpet beetle control specialists can create a plan to get rid of the beetles crawling around your home, regardless of their exact species. We are renowned for pest elimination methods that are safe for you, your family, and your pets, as well as for keeping our services competitively priced.

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?

As mentioned, carpet beetles can consist of a variety of different species. This might not be surprising since approximately 25% of all animal species are a type of beetle. However, “skin beetles” or Dermestidae are usually the most common carpet beetle that gets into homes in a number great enough to constitute an infestation.

What Kinds Of Carpet Beetles Are There?

Carpet beetles are small insects belonging to the family Dermestidae. There are several species of carpet beetles, and they are commonly known for their ability to infest and damage various household items, particularly those made of natural fibers. Some of the common species of carpet beetles include:

Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci):

This is one of the most widespread and common species of carpet beetles. Varied carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped insects with colorful scales on their bodies. They feed on a variety of items, including wool, fur, feathers, and dried plant materials.

Black Carpet Beetle (Attagenus unicolor):

These beetles are solid black and slightly larger than varied carpet beetles. They feed on animal products, such as wool, leather, and silk, as well as plant materials.

Furniture Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus flavipes):

Similar in appearance to the varied carpet beetle, the furniture carpet beetle is known for infesting upholstered furniture and carpets. They also feed on a range of natural fibers.

Common Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus scrophulariae):

These beetles are similar in appearance to the varied carpet beetle but have a distinct pattern of scales on their wings. They feed on a variety of materials, including carpets, clothing, and natural fibers.

Buffalo Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus buffaloensis):

This species is found in North America and is similar to the varied carpet beetle in appearance. They feed on a variety of items, including carpets, clothing, and stored food products.

Carpet beetles can be considered pests because their larvae feed on natural fibers, causing damage to carpets, clothing, upholstery, and other items. Controlling their populations often involves regular cleaning, proper storage of susceptible items, and, in some cases, the use of insecticides.

What causes carpet beetles?

We often find that carpet beetles are attracted to homes due to the presence of natural fibers and materials. Items such as wool, silk, fur, and feathers can draw them in. Infestations typically start when these pests make their way into your home through open windows, doors, or by being brought in on infested items.

How do I know if I have carpet beetles?

Signs of a carpet beetle infestation include the presence of small adult beetles, often found near windows. Additionally, damaged items such as carpets, clothing, and upholstery with irregular holes or patches can indicate larval feeding. Carpet beetle larvae, which are small, hairy, and carrot-shaped, may be found in dark, secluded areas. If you suspect an infestation, we recommend contacting Alta Pest Control for a thorough inspection and effective pest management strategies.

Are Carpet Beetles Harmful?

Carpet beetles are a common household pest that can cause significant damage to clothes and furniture. Their larvae feed on natural fibers, such as wool, silk, and cotton, leading to holes and other forms of damage. If left untreated, carpet beetle infestations can result in costly repairs and replacements.

The damage caused by carpet beetles can be particularly troublesome for those who own valuable clothing or furniture. Their feeding habits can result in irreparable damage to delicate fabrics and materials, making preservation and restoration difficult or impossible. Prevention and early detection are crucial in avoiding these costly and frustrating situations.

To prevent carpet beetle damage, it's essential to regularly clean and vacuum carpets, furniture, and clothing, especially in areas where the beetles are most likely to thrive. Early detection of an infestation can also help prevent further damage and reduce the need for expensive repairs or replacements.

Carpet Beetles Cause Health Problems

Carpet beetles can pose a significant health risk to people who are allergic to them. The allergens produced by carpet beetles can cause a range of health problems, including skin irritation, itching, and respiratory issues such as asthma. These allergic reactions are typically caused by the tiny hairs or bristles on the beetle's body, which can become airborne and inhaled by people in the vicinity.

In addition to respiratory problems, some people may experience more severe allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening condition that can occur when the immune system overreacts to the presence of an allergen, causing a rapid drop in blood pressure and difficulty breathing. If left untreated, anaphylactic shock can be fatal.

To avoid the health risks associated with carpet beetles, it's important to take steps to prevent infestations and seek treatment if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction. This may include using allergen-proof bedding and mattress covers, vacuuming regularly, and seeking professional pest control services if necessary. If you experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Carpet Beetles Contaminate Food

Carpet beetles are known to crawl into pantries in search of food. Once they find their way in, they can contaminate bags of cereal, pasta, crackers, and other dry goods. This can lead to a host of health problems, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important to take steps to prevent carpet beetles from entering your pantry to avoid these issues.

How do I get rid of carpet beetles?

Our approach to eliminating carpet beetles involves addressing both adult beetles and their larvae. We recommend regular vacuuming, especially in areas with natural fiber items, to remove eggs and larvae. Cleaning and laundering infested items is essential. In severe cases, our professional pest control services employ targeted treatments using insecticides to effectively eliminate the infestation. Contact us today if you're experiencing a carpet bug infestation!

Carpet Beetles FAQ

Are Carpet Beetles Dangerous?

The greatest risk of a carpet beetle infestation is an allergic reaction, which will usually be mild, such as skin irritation. Carpet beetles like to eat “dead” organic materials like wool fabrics, feathers, and dust, which is comprised mostly of shed skin cells. As a result, some of the most damage that carpet beetles can do in your home comes in the form of clothing and furniture damage. Although, if carpet beetles crawl into your pantry in search of food, then they can contaminate bags of cereal, pasta, crackers, etc., and make someone ill.

Do I have a carpet beetle problem?
  1. Visible adult beetles: Adult carpet beetles are small and usually black, white, or a combination of both. You may spot them crawling around your home, particularly near carpets or other fabrics.
  2. Shed skins: As carpet beetle larvae grow, they shed their skins, which can be found near areas where they are feeding.
  3. Damage to fabrics: Carpet beetle larvae feed on natural fibers like wool, silk, and cotton. If you notice small holes or damage to your carpets, clothing, or other fabrics, it may be a sign of carpet beetle activity.
  4. Presence of larvae: Carpet beetle larvae are small, brown, and covered in short hairs. They may be found crawling on carpets, in closets, or in other areas where fabrics are stored.

Where will I find carpet beetles?

You can find carpet beetles around carpets and other fabrics in your home, ie. drapes and clothing closets.

How do I get rid of Carpet Beetles?

Alta Pest Control and our carpet beetle control specialists are here to make sure that beetles stop bugging you and your family so much. You should have a comfortable home, free of little beetles crawling over your skin whenever you sit down. Let’s get to it and get rid of them quickly and efficiently.

How can I prevent Carpet Beetles in the future?

Having a frequently scheduled pest control schedule is the best way to keep any sort of recurring pest problem at bay.

How Alta Pest Control Protects Your Home From Pests

All of our treatment plans are customized to your home and yard. We do this to ensure that you get the exact coverage you need to keep your home safe. All of our technicians and inspectors are experts in their field, so you can be sure that you are getting top-tier protection.


One of our expert technicians will inspect every inch of your home and business for pest activity. Then they will create a custom plan based on their findings.

Initial Service

Once your custom plan is created, we will treat your home and yard to give you immediate relief from pests. Then, we will create a boundary around your property to prevent more pests from entering.

Follow Ups

After the initial service, we will conduct regular maintenance to ensure that your pest problems remain solved. We will also conduct free inspections for problem pests, such as termites.

Alta Guarantee

When it comes to pest control, we put our money where our mouth is. If we treat your home, and you're still seeing pests, we'll come back and retreat for free. We'll always have your back.


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