Carpet Beetle Identification
Carpet beetles are not easily identified because they are only about 1/8th of an inch long and often blend in with their surroundings. The adult carpet beetle is oval shaped. There are two species of carpet beetle commonly found in New Jersey: the black carpet beetle and the varied carpet beetle. The carpet beetle in the larva stage is about twice as long as the adult beetle.
The black carpet beetle ranges in color from black to a dark reddish brown. The larva of the black carpet beetle is elongated or carrot shaped and ranges in color from golden to chocolate brown. You will find a tuft of long, curled brown hair at the tail end of the body of the larvae.
The varied carpet beetle is covered with colored scales, patterned somewhat like a mosaic tile arrangement. The coloring is a combination of white, yellow and black scales neatly arranged. The larvae of the varied carpet beetle are cream to tan in color and covered with hairs.
One unique feature of the carpet beetle is the development timeframe. It can take anywhere from a few months to a year and sometimes longer for a larvae to develop into an adult beetle. The larvae are the greatest threat to a household. Their life stage lasts longer than the adult. The larvae feed on natural fibers throughout their development while the adult feeds outdoors on pollen. The carpet beetle larvae can damage a variety of household items including upholstered furniture, clothing, blankets, furs and carpets.
Carpet beetles can be found in living quarters of all types, warehouses and museums. They have been known to cause considerable damage to taxidermy mounts stored in museums.
Dangers Associated With Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles in New Jersey are not a threat to people, pets or structures. They are considered a nuisance pest. They can however cause damage to clothing and fabrics. Therefore, treatment is sometimes necessary.
Prevention Of Carpet Beetles
It is not always easy to prevent carpet beetles from entering your home. They can even be brought in on flowers and plants. Always inspect new plants and flowers prior to bringing them inside the house.
Another way to prevent carpet beetles from populating inside the home is cleanliness. Regular dusting and vacuuming of all carpets and upholstered furniture will certainly help prevent an infestation of carpet beetles. Vacuuming will remove lint, hair, dead insects and any other debris that may serve as food for carpet beetles. Any items of clothing or small area rugs that are found to be infected should be washed in hot water or dry cleaned to kill any additional larvae.