When it comes to household invaders, carpet beetles are one of the most misunderstood. If you’ve ever typed “carpet beetle” into an image search, you know what we’re talking about. These bugs are confusing! It probably doesn’t help that there are over 500 species of insect in the family Dermestidae, which is the family carpet beetles belong to. Nor is it helpful that there are several species of carpet beetle that can become household pests such as the varied carpet beetle, furniture carpet beetle, and the black carpet beetle, all of which have a different appearance. And if that wasn’t enough to confuse you, carpet beetles are often mistaken for bed bugs, even though they don’t look anything like a bed bug. Here are a few things that will help you figure out what bug you’re dealing with, and a few prevention tips every New Jersey resident should know.
Varied Carpet Beetle
In its larval stage, this species of carpet beetle has a chestnut coloring and many hairs sticking out from it. While its shape is somewhat like a football, it is broader in the rear than it is in the front. Adults of this species have a mixture of tan, dark brown, orange, and white coloration. Set next to a furniture carpet beetle, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two if you don’t know what to look for. While the colors are the same, this species is less white. The more noticeable distinction is the lack of prominent antennae on the varied carpet beetle.
Furniture Carpet Beetle
In its larval stage, this species it broader at the front than it is at the back and it is longer than the larvae of the varied carpet beetle. It is covered in dark brown hairs and has a banded coloration that shifts between brown, pale, and light orange. Adults of this species have a mix of white, black, tan, and orange; white being the prominent color. When compared with varied carpet beetles, furniture carpet beetles have noticeable antennae that are bulbous on the ends.
Black Carpet Beetle
In its larval stage, this species is much thinner and far less hairy than the other two. Adults of this species are black, as their name suggests, and they are more of a pill-shape than the other two.
Carpet Beetle Prevention
- These insects come in from the outside, therefore, exclusion is the most important deterrent. Do a detailed inspection of your interior walls and seal any entry point you find. Repair any damaged screens. Cover any vents that could give access. And make sure all of your sliding glass doors have working weather-stripping.
- Carpet beetles can fly, so it is important to not leave any doors open, even the door that goes from your home into a garage.
- Carpet beetles can be brought into a home on flowers and plants. Be sure to give a close look and a quick shake before you bring these items inside.
- Carpet beetles feed on lint, hair and other debris. For this reason, sanitation can be a deterrent. Routinely clean your carpets thoroughly and keep dust to a minimum. This can also remove larvae and eggs in the process.
- If you have dead insects in your home, carpet beetles will take notice. When they’re not feeding on your curtains, your clothing, and other items in your home, they feed on dead insects. This makes ongoing pest control helpful in more than one way. While pest control directly stops carpet beetles from getting into your home, it also works to deter them as well.
Professional Pest Control
If you’re already dealing with an infestation, it may be necessary to have ongoing inspections, monitoring, and reduction services to get those carpet beetles under control. These pests are extraordinarily difficult to get rid of with DIY methods.
If you have not had an invasion of these insects yet, management of these insects is accomplished with careful inspections, appropriate preventative measures, ongoing reports, and free emergency response if these insects ever appear in your home.
Reach out to ChemTec and ask us about our PestGuard Home Protection Plan. When it comes to protecting your family and your property from damaging bugs, such as carpet beetles, you can trust ChemTec Pest Control. In fact, we guarantee it.