Are Carpet Beetles Dangerous?

Are you afraid of insects? Don’t worry, many people are. Besides being quite creepy, some insects can be a real pain in the neck. Among a great number of harmful insect species, one of the most dangerous ones are definitely carpet beetles.

So, why these little bugs are dangerous? These insects don’t bite people or animals. However, they may cause serious damage to the houseware. Carpet beetles are fed by wool, feather, hair, silk and leather. They gnaw those materials and make them unusable. Nibbling furnishings and clothes is not the only problem about carpet beetles though. As many insect species do, they also carry germs causing diseases to spread and bacteria to grow.



How do carpet beetles infect diseases? What harm can they cause to human beings? Which ways do they have a negative impact on human health? I am going to answer all these questions in the following paragraphs.

First of all, carpet beetles do not bite people, or feed on blood. But when these insects infest houses, they carry the risk of spreading diseases to people. If carpet beetles get in contact with the foods left open, because of the saliva and feces they left on these foods, they pose a threat to human health as well as causing foods to go bad and infected with bacteria. When those bacteria enter human body, they can cause infections and several serious diseases. Carpet beetles, which are small in size, easily reproduce and spread inside the house because they can hardly be noticed. They are dangerous for human health as they spread germs by contaminating foods as well as making them go bad. In this way, they can make healthy people infected and sick.



Another concern is whether carpet beetles are poisonous or not. Carpet beetles do NOT bite people and they are NOT poisonous. However, they contaminate the food you eat, and cause excessive damage to the carpet and fabric type materials in your house. Because they are hard to spot, they can be mixed with many other insect species like larder beetles or mites. For those who want to be able to distinguish the carpet beetle from the others, firstly let us explain what color and what kind of a body structure they have. Carpet beetles can have three different colors. They can be black, brown or yellow. Their body structure is tiny and when closely examined they have a long oval anatomy. There are rough hairs at their back, and they have an outer surface covered with chitin. The length is generally changes between 5 and 20 mm.

On the other hand, the damage they cause on materials is way bigger. They can make nearly anything made of wool, silk, linen, leather etc. unusuable. They feed on carpets, upholstered furniture, blankets, quilts, wool, pillows and clothing. Carpet beetles rarely attack synthetic fabrics. They feed on these substances only when synthetic fabrics are contaminated with sweat, oil or food. Infestations can spread rapidly.



Carpet beetles damage the animal based products which they like to eat with their sharp and strong mouth structures. That’s why they are mostly seen in garment workshops, leather factories and carpet shops.

Even though handling with carpet beetles is quite difficult, there are plenty of useful ways to get rid of them completely. You can combat them alone. However, if infestation spreads to a certain extent, you need to get help from professionals. I am going to explain those methods to you, but first, let’s see what causes carpet beetles in the first place. Don’t forget, prevention is the best solution!

What Is The Cause of Carpet Beetles?

Do you ever wonder why carpet beetles choose your home instead of anyone else? Well, as for any other living being in the planet, carpet beetles also attracted to certain things. And wooly materials are at the top of the list for these little trouble-makers. As the name implies, they love carpets as well.
These fellas are very harmful pest species that live in carpets, rugs,
clothes and almost any fabric type. They generally hide inside wooly and hairy materials and fed by them. They love eating materials like wool, leather, silk, hair and feather. So, if you have those kind of materials in your home (actually everyone do), yeah, you are under risk as well.



Carpet beetles generally live outdoors but they can reach into your home via plants or flowers. Thanks to their tiny size, they can easily scuttle through cracks in windows and doors as well as openings around plumbing systems, electrical conduits, vents and chimneys.



Another way for carpet beetles to get into your home is animals. They can hide on furs and hairs. Some species can feed on dry dog or cat food, noodles, flour or even your meals. Dried flowers also provide a food source for these guys.

How Do You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles may have a black, yellow or brown color according to their climate. Their size and structure vary according to the nutrients they consume. These bugs may reach up to 15 mm in length. The nutritional needs also vary according to the area in which they live. Although some species are fed with herbal products, most feed on silk, wool, hair, leather, animal goods and feathers.

They live in carpets, rugs, blankets, leather and feathered items, and feed on them. They can be found in carpets which are not used for a long time and kept in the house, and they lay their eggs in these materials. Carpet beetles that love humid environments are mostly found in leather workshops, garments, carpet-making factories and shops selling carpets. The black carpet beetle does not bite the living things, it only harms carpets and other similar houseware.

Combating carpet beetles is a work that requires patience and effort, but you may get rid of these insects without the need for professional pest control companies. Here’s what you need to know to get rid of these harmful creatures:

Sweep all of the carpets in your home. Focus on the source of the insect infestation, but sweep all of the carpets with a vacuum cleaner until you are sure that all insects are removed. At the same time, vacuum the furnitures or non-washable fabric coated houseware. If carpet beetles have infested your house, you should do cleaning at least once a day with a vacuum cleaner.



You should wash all clothes that come into contact with air with hot and soapy water. Linen, towels or other fabrics should be washed in the washing machine using hot water and soapy water. You may need to clean your carpets and furniture with steam, especially if the insects are seriously infested your house. Carpet beetles are strong. Hot water is more effective than cold water against these insects, and the use of soap can help kill these pests because it has a lethal effect on them.

If a piece of cloth is eaten, it is best to throw it away. If you do not throw clothes that are contaminated with carpet beetles, you cannot stop the insect infestation. On the contrary, you would help them to spread. Even if you don’t see any insect on any object in the house, this doesn’t mean you’re totally free of carpet beetles.

If you suspect the presence of insects in cracks, crevices or other places, apply hormone-based glue to those areas.Glue traps kill bugs and also give you insight about how bad the problem is.



In particular, you must use a liquid or spray insecticide that can be applied to carpet beetles, and you must strictly follow the instructions on the label during the application. Insecticides are used to eliminate carpet insects are chlorpyrifos, bendiocarb, and alletrin. Apart from the widespread method to kill carpet insects, spot treatments can be applied to the insects that hide in cracks and crevices. The insect growth regulators IGR, which are found in insecticides, can control the reproduction of carpet insects. You can use boric acid in areas where beetles live and breed. It has no poisonous effect on humans. Almost every beetle approaching this dust will die. But it is important not to use it with heavy metals.

Take the necessary precautions when applying insecticides. Wear gloves and protective clothing and stay away from the area for a while since the pesticide will be dispersed by air. Make sure to wash your hands after application is done.


Female gardener with knapsack garden spray

If you cannot handle carpet beetles alone, you need to consult pest control companies. Long term individual carpet beetle spraying can be dangerous. Spraying is the most effective way to destroy these pests and prevent property damage. Dont’t forget, if the measures are not taken at the beginning, they can become more harmful by increasing in numbers.



The use of the right pest control method is particularly important to get rid of the carpet beetles. Using wrong methods will not only cause the carpet beetle problem to be unsolved but also pose a threat to the health of the family members. Carpet beetles are among the pest types which are non-resistant to the chemical insecticides. Still, it is not possible to get rid of these creatures by using powder or gel spraying. You should use liquid insecticides to get rid of these bugs completely.

When dealing with pests, it is important to use the most appropriate spraying technique. As I mentioned above, generally liquid spraying methods are used for pests like carpet beetles. But in the areas where carpet beetles are really dense, the application of gel spraying may be involved. Application of the pesticides on the right places is of great importance in order to obtain lasting results.

Do Carpet Beetles Live In Beds?

Many people wonder if carpet beetles live in beds or not. Well, if you have bedspreads made of linen, silk or a similar material, yes they can come to your bed. If your bed is infested, you need to throw away the bedspread, quilt cover etc. immediately. Otherwise, infestation will spread really fast.



Since they can be very hard to spot, if you suspect your bed is infested, you need to perform a serious visual examination. Even if you see only 1 bug, it means there are others. In the case of an infestation, get rid of all of the infested bed clothing and clean (and disinfect with pesticides if necessary) the room.

Can Carpet Beetles Spread?

Can carpet beetles spread? Yes, they can. And they do it really fast. In the spring, the female carpet beetle lay between 25 – 100 eggs. It takes about 2 weeks for these eggs to hatch and become larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are brown and covered with coarse hairs. Although they do not like light environments, the carpet beetle larvae can develop at various temperature and humidity conditions. Depending on climatic conditions and food sources, it can be up to 1 year for larvae to reach adulthood. As carpet beetles develop, they cast their brown skin. They are really good flyers.

Adults gather at the window sills and enlighted areas. This shows that there is a potential carpet beetle invasion. They can breed and spread very quickly. Because of that, they need to be taken care of as fast as possible.

How long do carpet beetles live?

So, how long do carpet beetles live? Let’s start with egg laying process to answer this question. Carpet beetles may lay eggs both indoors and outdoors. Females lay nearly 60 eggs over a period of 2-3 weeks and then die. These eggs are stored in accumulations of hair and wool, in ventilation ducts, underneath closets and other similar places. Eggs hatch in 6 – 11 days in warm weathers. Carpet beetles may live between 9 months and 3 years depending on their diet characteristics and environmental conditions. Larvae pupate in the last larval skin, and the pupal stage lasts 6 – 24 days.

Does vinegar kill carpet beetles?

Does vinegar kill carpet beetles? Well, even if boric acid and strong pesticides are better, rubbing or spraying surfaces with vinegar may also work for killing carpet beetles. A mixture of water and white (or apple) cider vinegar can be applied to hangers, shelves, window ledges, drawers and closets to remove the dirt or food residues.

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