Carpet beetles also known as ‘wooly bears’ are small, oval shaped beetles that grow to around 2 – 4mm long. The adult carpet beetles feed on pollen and nectar found in the garden, however the larvae causes the damage indoors by feeding on fur, hair, wool and carpets!
Knowing how to get rid of carpet beetles is important as if left untreated the size of the larvae can grow causing significant damage to household furniture and interiors.
Types of carpet beetles
There are many types of carpet beetles but three in particular are commonly found throughout the UK. These are the varied carpet beetle, the two spot carpet beetles and the brown carpet beetle.
Varied carpet beetle
The varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) is one of the smaller types of carpet beetles measuring between 1.5 – 3.5mm. This round beetle has a unique appearance with it’s varied pattern of black, white and orange patches.
Two spot carpet beetle
The two spot carpet beetle (Attagenus pellio) is one of the most common species found throughout the UK. This type has an elongated body measuring between 4 – 5.5mm making it much larger than the varied carpet beetle. The appearance of this beetle is very dark brown with two small white spots found near the centre of its body.
Brown carpet beetle
The brown carpet beetle (attagenus smirnovi) started to appear across the UK in the 1970s and is becoming more of a household pest as time progresses. The size of an adult ranges from 2.5mm long and 2.5mm wide with a black base colour and dense hairs giving it the brown appearance.
What causes carpet beetles?
Carpet beetle infestations are usually caused from the insects desire to feed on dust, debris, food remains, wool and other textiles. These sources of food are commonly found in homes throughout the UK making them a target for carpet beetles to infiltrate.
How to prevent carpet beetles
There are several preventative steps you can take to try and keep carpet beetles out of your home such as…
- Clean your home thoroughly and regularly
- Store food in containers and wipe down preparation surfaces
- Seal up any cracks and crevices around your home
How to get rid of carpet beetles
- Begin by vacuuming the area where there have been signs of carpet beetles. Pay particular attention to cracks and crevices. Once you have finished hoovering dispose of the hoover bag.
- Next, apply an insecticide bed bug powder such as Rentokil Carpet Beetle and Moth Killer Powder around the carpet edges and into cracks and crevices. Leave for 30 mins and hoover up the area. This powder will directly target the larvae for effective control.
- To ensure most effective results we recommend using a carpet beetle smoke bomb. Place the smoke bomb in the target area and once ignited insecticide fumes will be released around the room killing larvae and infiltrating cracks and crevices.
Signs of a carpet beetle infestation
Carpet beetles can be very difficult to spot so it’s important to look for other signs of a carpet beetle infestation such as…
- Damage to fabric – Carpet beetles are renowned for the damage they causes to homes and upholstery. Pay close attention to rugs, carpets, book bindings and other areas for signs of damage or distress. The larvae will leave behind small holes where they have been.
- Shedded skin – As the carpet beetle larvae develops they will start to shed their skin leaving behind light brown empty cases. Also they will often leave behind faecal pellets in the same areas.
- Visible signs – As the carpet beetles grow up to 4mm they will be visible to the naked eye. As an infestation grows you may start to notice small dark dots appearing around walls and windows.
Carpet Beetle FAQs
Below are a list of frequently asked questions we get surrounding carpet beetles.
Are carpet beetles dangerous?
Carpet beetles are not particularly dangerous pests and won’t bite humans or animals. However, like most crawling insects they can carry diseases and germs so it’s best to deal with them.
How long do carpet beetles live?
Carpet beetles typically live between 9 months and 2 years and their larvae can survive for up to 4 weeks without a food source.
What do carpet beetles eat?
Carpet beetles have a fairly varied diet and tend to feed on furniture, fur, clothing, different types of upholstery and of course carpets.
Recommended Carpet Beetle Products
Below is a handpicked list of recommend products for dealing with a carpet beetle infestation. There are different types of products available including carpet beetle sprays, carpet beetle powders and carpet beetle smoke bombs to suit your needs.