Carpet beetles are a common type of flying insect which we frequently spot indoors, as well as in the garden. Before we discuss whether these bugs bite or not, let's try to understand some basics about them.
What are Carpet Beetles?
The names carpet beetle and carpet bug mean one and same insect. There are different species of these insects, of which the black carpet beetle is the one most commonly responsible for home infestation. In general, these are black or dark reddish-brown in color. Their body length measures about 3-5 mm, and it is covered in minute hair. The males differ from the females in their antennae, with the former having longer antennae. Carpet beetle larvae are about 12 mm or more in length, and are characterized by presence of hair tuff.
Do They Bite?
Fortunately, these bugs are harmless to pets and humans, as far as health is concerned. Nevertheless, these are included under destructive household pests because of their diet. Their food includes all sorts of organic matter and processed organic products, such as wool, fur, animal hair, carpet fabric, clothes, leather, plant remains, and vegetable waste. In short, they feed on nearly all kinds of household objects that are organic.
Full-grown carpet beetles visit flowering plants during spring, after the vibrant flowers are in full bloom. Infestation is expected when the females enter house for egg laying after mating. About 90 whitish eggs are laid at a time, which hatch into larvae or buffalo moths within 2 weeks. With these beetles, you don't have to worry about the painful insect bites, but living is houses infested by them may trigger allergies, especially amongs those who have a hypersensitive immune system.
If you notice one or two carpet beetles in carpets or old wooden rags, that doesn't mean that your home is heavily infested with this insect. Before you conclude the same, search for the site of infestation in carpets, mattress, kitchen cabinets, cupboard, etc. And in the process, chances are high that you will come across the hairy larvae of this insect. If such is the case, you need to take prompt action for controlling these nasty pests.
Listed below are some easy steps on how to get rid of carpet beetles effectively.
- Rule out the factors that invite these bugs in your house. Even though they don't bite, you should consider controlling these pests as soon as possible by removing their food sources.
- When the spring arrives, clean outdoor trash bins and fill wall cracks (if any) that may serve as entry points for these household pests. Also, check for any dead insects in pipes and fissures, which are ideal foods for carpet beetles. Consider removal by using a vacuum cleaner. Also, look out for the larvae in soiled fabrics and proceed with the same technique of sucking up with a vacuum cleaner.
- In case of a severe infestation, you may need to apply borax or diatomaceous earth for controlling these pests. These options are much safer than the commercially sold pesticides.
Carpet beetles not only cause serious damages to household supplies, but are serious horticultural pests too. So, act early with effective pest control methods so that you can save your garden plants, and more importantly, your clothes and carpets.