We live on a planet with an amazing biodiversity, and while some organisms are beneficial to us, others come in the form of annoying pests. The carpet beetle is one of those insects that we would rather not have around us, although things far worse than it can find shelter in our homes. In this article we will be talking about how to recognize a carpet beetle infestation and how to get rid of these bugs, with eco-friendly methods such as NYC steam cleaning.
What Are Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles are a type of skin beetles, which feed on materials that contain keratin, a fibrous animal protein. These insects are similar to clothes moths and feed on items composed of wool, fur, silk, feathers, skins, and leather.
Having carpets made from synthetic fibers such as polyester and rayon does not necessarily mean you will never be affected by carpet beetles. Carpet beetles will also enjoy carpets that are heavily soiled with food and body oils.
But let’s see how these little intruders look like.
Adult carpet beetles’ size ranges between 2 mm to 5 mm in length and are equipped with short clubbed antennae and chewing mouth parts. They can easily be recognized by the unique, colored scales that cover their thorax and body in various patterns. Orange and red scales can be observed on their midline.
Larvae are elongated and have hairs on their bodies, which range in color from dark to light brown. Black carpet beetle larvae also have a bristle-like tail.
Carpet beetles have four distinct stages of metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Females lay eggs near food sources such as carpets, furs, leather, or animal carcasses; eggs hatch within two weeks. The duration of the larval stage depends on the carpet beetle species and the ambient temperature.
Signs That Your Home Has Carpet Beetles
Until you can observe a carpet beetle and check the identification elements presented above, you will most likely notice around your home obvious signs that carpet beetles are present:
- Irregular holes in carpets and fabric as they eat through chunks of wool, leather, silk and feathers. If moths create tiny holes all over garments, carpet beetles like to eat one single, larger area of fabric.
- Skin irritation and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals due to dead skin of carpet beetle larvae;
- Spotting adult carpet beetles around your windows;
- Signs of fecal pellets and shed larva skin near sources of food, which can be anything from wool garments (concealed areas) to accumulation of pet hair in vents. Look in dark and hidden areas, such as basements, closets, areas between walls and insulation, and storage boxes. Also inspect the areas beneath your carpets and rugs, under couches and other furniture pieces.
What Should You Do If You Have Carpet Beetles
Have you identified carpet beetle larvae in your home? Keep in mind that they are very harmful to your fabrics and will eat into them in order to grow. Here’s what you should do immediately if you have just found out your home is a restaurant for carpet beetles:
Reducing the population of carpet beetles definitely helps to eliminate the pest.
Discard heavily infested items
Some items such as garments with holes in them are no longer suitable for use, anyway.
Freeze items that are difficult to wash
Pests can often hide in places where insecticide sprays cannot penetrate, and solutions that kills insects can be harmful for health and stain items. A reliable thermal disinfestation method is holding infested items at a minimum temperature of 0 degrees F for at least one week. Freezers capable of reaching minus 20 degrees F will kill all carpet beetle life stages within 72 hours. Place items in plastic bags and seal them with tape to prevent ice from forming on objects.
Wash with hot water
Hot water and soap are very effective at eliminating carpet beetles and all their life stages. Eggs are the most resilient, so monitor treated items for months after applying the thermal treatment.
If the contaminated item is a carpet and you can’t remove it for washing, consider NYC Steam Cleaning as an alternative.
Reasons To Hire Professional Carpet Cleaners to Eliminate Carpet Beetles in Your Home
Identifying a pest in your home is never a pleasant moment. After the initial shock, you will most likely start thinking about solutions. A carpet beetle exterminator New York is possibly the best solution in the following situations:
- The infestation is too severe to handle it yourself;
- You want to be 100 percent sure that carpet beetles are gone for good;
- You do not have the time and equipment needed to treat your infested items;
- You have mobility issues or are unable to engage in strenuous physical activity;
- You just want to do away with the carpet beetles as soon as possible and enjoy peace of mind.
PristineGreen Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning is a reliable and professional NYC Steam Cleaning company also providing other related services. We’ve seen it all when it comes to pests and contamination in New York, so rest assured that we will also be able to get rid of carpet beetles in your home, one by one!