Are carpet beetles dangerous? In this article, we are going to look into that very question and answer it from different perspectives.
The dangers posed by carpet beetles are relative to certain factors and it’s these factors that we are going to be addressing here.
Carpet beetles are more of an annoyance than a real danger. This is true of course if you don’t have any known allergies. If you have sensitive skin, you can develop a rash and your skin can break out.
The beetles in adult form do not cause this but it is the larvae with their body hairs that are responsible for this.
The seasons are shifting. It’s getting more and chillier outside and as the days pass, you begin to see more and more that there are little beetles crawling about in your house.
You see them crawling up the wall but with the passage of time, you notice that your carpet is infested with them.
What are Carpet Beetles?
What are these little pests? They have the shape of ladybugs but the colours and the shape of the body markings are a little different. Well, my friend let me introduce you to the carpet beetle.
It’s a little critter that lives in and feeds on your carpet. In fact, this little bug feeds on natural fabrics and pet hairs. If your carpet is made of wool, cotton, or other natural fabric, the carpet beetle will feed on it.
They will also feed on your clothes including your silk garments. Beetles live outside and you may find them indoors on occasion during the course of the year but you will find them in increasing numbers in the home as the weather gets colder.
They move into the warmer environments of your home. Your carpet is the perfect habitat for carpet beetles to thrive in.
The beetles lay their eggs there which grow into larvae and eventually full-grown adult beetles. It’s at the larvae stage that the carpet beetle does its most damage.
How Do We Get Carpet Beetles?
The natural habitat of carpet beetles is outside in nature. How do these little critters get into your carpet in then? The most common way that they enter your home is through your pets.
When your pets go outside to play, the beetles get onto them because they feed on your pet’s hair. When your pet comes inside the house and onto the carpet, the beetles enter your home and begin to live and breed on your carpet. Another way they can come into your house is by simply flying in.
Can Carpet Beetles Harm Humans?
The next thing you would want to know is whether these little creatures are actually harmful or just a nuisance. Are you and your family safe with them in the house?
Carpet beetles are generally harmless in their adult state. It’s when they are larvae that they are very destructive to your carpets and clothes and pose some level of danger particularly if you have sensitive skin. Carpet beetle larvae have hairs all over their bodies.
If you have sensitive skin, these hairs can cause a rash on your skin and can also lead to some breakouts and redness all on your skin.
Outside of this, they really are just annoying and can breed really fast leaving you with hundreds of creepy crawlies all over your floors, walls, and window sills in particular. They love to play on window sills because it’s usually warm and sunny there.
Can Carpet Beetles Harm Pets?
Carpet beetles are not harmful to pets at all. They feed on your pet’s hair but there is no other known danger to your pets that is known to be caused by carpet beetles.
How to Avoid Carpet Beetles
As mentioned already, carpet beetles are usually brought in by your pets when they go outside. Short of keeping your pet indoors, there really is no way of avoiding your pets bringing carpet beetles into your house.
However, there is a lot that you can do to keep them from breeding in your home. The first thing is to wash your pets regularly.
Regularly washing your pets will minimize the risk of them spreading carpet beetles all over the house. Next, make sure to vacuum your carpets daily and shampoo them on a regular basis. Make sure to vacuum the dark, hard-to-reach spaces of your home.
Carpet beetles thrive in these places so even if you clean the whole house and neglect these places, they will still breed.
Steaming and washing your clothes and carpets is another known way of killing carpet beetles and keeping your house free from them.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
What do you do if your house is already infested by these little pests? The best thing is to call in the exterminators but if you are the DIY type, there are a few things that you can do.
Depending on the extent of the infestation, you may need a full-scale de-contamination. If the carpet beetles have gotten into your bedrooms and onto your clothes and beds, you will need to wash all your linen and dry them at a high temperature.
Next up, vacuum and wash your carpets. This will usually kill off any beetles, larvae and any eggs that haven’t hatched.
If you have a steamer, you could also steam your clothes and carpets. Make sure to also do the same for any couches as these also have natural fibers and are a good breeding ground for carpet beetles.
Once you’ve vacuumed and steamed your carpets, clothes, and furniture, you need to treat the house with insecticide or insecticide dust that is labeled for carpet beetles.
The best type of insecticide is one that has an insect growth regulator. Insect growth regulators stop any eggs that have been laid from hatching.
Make sure to also treat window and door frames plus any cracks and crevices that are around your home. Insecticide dust works best for these hidden places and will work for longer periods in comparison to most liquid insecticides. After treatment, make sure that you vacuum your house regularly to ensure that no new infestations arise.
Conclusion on Carpet Beetles
So, are carpet beetles dangerous? They do not pose any known dangers outside of causing some irritation if you have sensitive skin. Make sure to clean your house on a regular basis and you won’t have to worry much about these little critters.