Carpet Beetle Bites | Infestation Treatment and Prevention

Do you know about carpet beetle? What are carpet beetle bites? Actually, these are important questions that you need to know first. This is one sort of pest that commonly found in your home. Actually, the larvae have hair-like bristles on their body and the tail and these bristles can cause a bumpy, itchy, allergic reaction which is sometimes mistaken for carpet beetle bites. And they feed on fabrics.

One the other hand, adult beetles never bite and don't feed on fabrics also. Basically, they are not equipped with mandibles and are not interested in biting humans or pets to get their foods. Are you curious to know more about this insect? Through this content, we will discuss the possible locations of this insect that is to say infestation, carpet beetle allergy or other harmful sides, treatment, and the way to get rid of it. Just stay with us.

Carpet beetle infestation in your home

Normally, tiny adult carpet beetle crawls on the floors or you may see them to fly toward lights. However, any dark corners, under heavy furniture, especially carpet holes are cozy places for them. Before you know the infestation or where to look for this insect in your house, let's look at what it is broadly.

This is one kind of insect that is very small. The adults are 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and oval or round-shaped. They have brownish-black wings and black heads. Sometimes, it can be speckled with yellow, white, and orange. Larvae are 1/8 inch long and young beetles are 1/4 inch long, brownish color.

Carpet beetle larvae feed on fabrics made from woolens, silks, furs, leather, and natural cotton as well as items around the home like hair, lint, spilled food crumbs, dead insects, and such. But they don't feed on fabrics which are made of 100% synthetic fibers. They always choose any dark or undisturbed areas in your home during feeding. One the other hand, the adults feed on nectar as well as pollen from outdoor flower plants and flowers.

The beetle reproduces 1 to 4 times in a year depending on their species. In the usual case, female beetles lay their eggs inside the house where they can get sufficient food and can develop faster. And the eggs of the beetle can be white or cream color.

Though there are various beetle species are available that can be found, but the most common species are black carpet beetle, varied carpet beetle, and furniture carpet beetle. In the larvae stage, all the species of these beetles cause most damage like a potential allergic reaction or chewing animal-based fabrics. Let us know about these three types of beetles shortly:

  • Varied carpet beetle: The scientific name of this beetle is " Anthrenus verbasci" these are very small insect measuring in about 0.25 cm. They have spherical shaped body that is covered with slightly rounded shell. And the color of these beetles is a mixture of white, dark and light brown spots, and the older specimen can be grayish colored also. They can survive from 1 to 3 years depending on the situation that is to say environmental conditions.
  • Furniture carpet beetle: Its scientific name is " Anthrenus flavipes" and you can say, these are cousins of first one. The size of these beetles is slightly larger than the first one measuring in at approximately 0.3-0.5cm. They have light brown shell speckled with white and black markings.
  • Black carpet beetle: The scientific name of this beetle is "Attagenus unicolor" those are the final member of the beetle family on this list and they are the largest at around 0.3-1 cm in length. And the shells of these beetles are usually either solid brown or shiny black And black carpet beetle infestation is relatively more noticeable than the others.

Signs of carpet beetle infestation

Carpet beetle infestation sign

Most of the time, you may have seen them in carpets, air vents, closets, and even baseboards. Not only these specific areas, but they can also be seen under furniture or any dark places in your home. There are some signs that point to the infestation of beetle somewhere in your house. Here we are discussing 5 most common signs of carpet beetle infestation below;

  • Check near the windows for adult beetles: As adults take flower pollen or nectar, in spring or early summer, they try to go outside to obtain their food. And that's why, during this season, you will notice them near the windows. And this is a sure sign of beetle infestation in your home.
  • Check for furry skins in under furniture or any dark corner: Like other insects, the larvae moult a number of times in their nine-month life cycle. So if you notice small collections of furry skins in the bottom of the wardrobe, on the carpet, or any dark corners this is another significant sign that these insects are present in your home.
  • Larvae are shy, so get around them during daylight: Normally, the larvae feed at night so it's not possible to spot them. But you will see them in your home where are shown a bit of sunlight such as near the curtain, behind the furniture, or any corner as they feel shy
  • The beetle likes to feed in concentrated places: The larvae like to munch away under or behind heavy furniture like wardrobe, almirah, any dark corner, and such where nobody can see them. So you will find those larvae in that concentrated areas during feeding on. Therefore, if you notice numerous small holes in your favorite sweater, this is another important sign you have a beetle infestation
  • Check for droppings: Although it's disgusting, it's true that the larvae leave droppings. And these droppings can be black or brown as well as its size can be small like a grain of sand. So, if you find that black or brown droppings on the hard floor or clothes as well as at the bottom of the wardrobe then it would be the other sign of the beetle infestation in your home.

In addition, the damaged photos, and paperwork, and book cover can be used by the beetle to hide.

Carpet beetle allergy

carpet beetle allergy

we already mentioned above that this beetle never bite but the larvae are covered with small hair-like bristles which cause a red itchy welt like allergy, especially when these larvae come into contact with the human body. And it normally occurs when people are asleep and the larvae move around those areas such as under the bed or behind another furniture.

These red bumps on your skin are also called carpet beetle rash. This rash will often itch as well as may create a burning sensation. And if you scratch this, it will not go away. Moreover, this itchy and burning sensation will spread to other parts of the human body like shoulder, hands, and even legs. So people will be disturbed because of that painful itching.

Apart from that, you can also notice other symptoms of an allergic reaction like red, watery, and itchy eyes, hives, runny nose, and such. And the worst-case scenario- that anybody can suffer from breathing difficulties – is a much rarer symptom.

Carpet beetle allergy treatment

If you suffer from the beetle allergy that is to say carpet beetle bites, then these are some primary treatments that can reduce the symptoms as well as help to cure your overall troubles. And hopefully, this carpet beetle bites treatment is very simple and feasible also. Here are 3 treatments that you can take;

  • First of all, to relieve itching and sore skin, you can apply the most natural way "Cold Compress". It will give you several hours of relief from the burning and itching.
  • You can use the special lotion like Calamine Lotion. It is virtually an anti-itching lotion that will help to remove your itching sensation. After using this lotion, your feeling will be soothed and minimize the heal of the allergy too.
  • Benadryl Cream is the next best treatment after the calamine lotion. It is actually an anti-histamine cream that should work great to reduce the symptoms of itching.

If it does not work properly or allergies trigger a life-threatening reaction like breathing difficulties, then go to the dermatologist. Then he will check and prescribe medicine that will battle your allergy.

How to get rid of carpet beetle

Since we have seen the signs of carpet beetle infestation, allergy, and possible harmful sides, now you must be thinking of how to get rid of these persistent pests from your home effectively. Don't worry; we are here to help you eliminate this insect, taking fast action with proper tools as well as practices.

Clean your home thoroughly

1. Find the source

Looking for the primary source of an infestation should be very first concern in this situation. Check undisturbed, dark areas like under/behind heavy furniture, basements, and under carpet or rugs for signs such as:

  • Brown, bristle, furry skins from those larvae.
  • Black/brown larvae fecal pellets or droppings which are small as a grain of sand.
  • Oval shaped adult beetles are generally live in outside and fly, but they tend to lay eggs indoors in dark, hidden places.
2. Vacuum your entire home properly
vacuum your home thoroughly

With the best vacuum, you will vacuum well all the areas of your home such as carpet, sofas, mattresses, couches, various floors, and other soft furnishings also. It would be the best and quickest way to get rid of the adults and larvae from the carpet. On positive note: during vacuuming, focus on the most infested areas and source of the house, but vacuum another places to make sure you remove all larvae and beetles nicely.

  • For the first one week, vacuum your carpet every day. Depending on the level of infestation, you may need to do it a number of times.
  • Vacuum your upholstered furniture and other places of your home also minimum once a day for a week.
  • Do hot water extraction cleaning or steam cleaning and to do this, you can use your home steam cleaner or hire a steam cleaner if needed.

When the infestation is gone, clean your carpet as well as low-traffic and dusty places, or the possible nooks and crannies using crevice tool regularly.

3. Throw out infested clothing

If you find the evidence of extensive beetle damage on some pieces of clothing, just throw them away into the outdoor dustbin. It would be difficult to vanish the infestation if you keep this type of garment in your home.

4. Wash all your clothes at hottest temperature setting

Give all infested clothing, blankets, towel, linens, cushion covers, curtains, and such a good wash, unless these insects have been totally ruined. Keep in mind; of course, you will wash your clothing at the hottest water temperature in your washing machine as the beetles, eggs, and larvae are very irrepressible. So this type of hottest soapy water would be best to kill them. And dry clean another garments item that cannot be cleaned with soapy water or detergent.

5. Throw away infested food

Throw all the foods away which show signs of beetle activity and try to keep dry food in air tight pots that is to say sealed containers.

Utilize special treatments for getting rid of beetle

Use special insecticides

Search any insecticide product which is especially for carpet beetles like Zenprox EC. And before using this, read and follow its directions cautiously. Of course, never spray bedding or clothing. Spray only closet walls, cracks, and crevices, under or around the edges of rugs or carpets that areas collect lint. After applying that insecticide, leave that area because when it spread in the air and it would be harmful for you. And wash your hands immediately.

First things first, always put on gloves when you are dealing with this spray.

Sprinkle boric acid

Sprinkle boric acid that places where you can't get into easily such as wall voids or attics. Apart from that, you can also spray this boric acid with a spray bottle by mixing it with hot water.

Use hormone-based glue traps

Place sticky traps all over the house to catch or attract the beetles if you notice serious beetle's infestation, especially various entry points such as doors, windows, every possible nook and cranny and in restricted places as well. And after putting the traps check those at least 2 times in a week.

How to prevent carpet beetles

Apart from getting rid of these insects, you should try to prevent their infestation in your home, taking some important initiatives with the right tools and practices. We have laid out that method step by step on how to prevent them from coming back.

1. Seal holes and cracks and remove any outdoor source of beetle

First, look for the holes and cracks which exist around the doorway, in your wall and floors and seal them as much as you can. And if you find old spider webs or nest of bird, bees, and rats around your home, then throw away as quickly as possible.

2. Keep your windows closed or install window screens

It would be best if you keep your windows closed. But if you don't do that, then at least install window screens to protect the beetles destruction from entering your house.

3. Clean your entire home frequently

Cleaning all over the house at least once every two weeks including carpet and upholstery as well as washing your fabrics or clothing regularly would best way to prevent the infestation of the beetle.

At the same time, you should also aware of spills and stains on your carpet and fabrics because the beetle can attract them easily. Try to clean lint, hair, and dust bunnies properly as the beetles like them to feed on.

And it can be used natural insecticides for your furniture like peppermint oil and olive oil. Actually, the smell of these oils will help keep the beetles or larvae away from it.

4. Store your unused clothes in plastic box or container

Store clothes in the plastic box

Reserve all the off season fabrics in a plastic container and you will air those clothes out in the sun minimum once a year to look over an infestation. It can be used crystals, moth balls, and flakes for extra care. However, periodically you will check those items and if you notice an infestation of beetle, then clean and store them again.

5. Choose synthetic materials instead of organic ones

As the larvae eat organic that is to say non-synthetic materials so try to choose synthetic products, especially rugs, carpets, and upholstery. As a result, it would be possible to lessen the chances of getting an infestation in your home.

And to prevent recurring infestation or specific stubborn, spray liquid insecticide near entry points of your residence and surroundings as well.

6. Carefully check the plants or flower out before bringing them in your home

As the adults feed on flower pollen or nectar and they can hide into that flower. So carefully inspect those flowers before bringing them inside of your apartment.

Verdict

We already know that carpet beetle is annoying, sometimes harmful that means it can cause allergic reactions, rash, or more than that but they never bite. Virtually, these allergic reactions are known as carpet beetle bites. And the good news is that it's very easy to treat . Moreover, you can get rid of their infestation by cleaning thoroughly your home and you can also prevent those insects easily and nicely by following the measures which are already mentioned above. However, if you notice sever infestations which spread out all around your home that is not possible to control by yourself, then you can take help from any professional pest controller. Finally, keep in mind, prevention is better than cure so you should do that earlier.

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