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Carpet Beetles: Habits, Infections and How to Control?

December 11, 2018

A dark brown or pale yellow insect around the house which is round in shape and mongers on fabrics like carpet!

From the Dermestidae family, the varied carpet beetle is a 3mm long that is commonly found in households. This beetle is termed as a pest in a biological specimen and is considered to be dangerous for the other biological specimen.

The carpet beetle larvae are feeders of the carpets, rugs, furniture etc. while the adults are mostly pollen grazing. The larvae are the most dangerous as they do the most damage to the household items. The adult body of the varied carpet beetle is covered with short bristle-like things which are brown coloured brushes.

What are the Habits of Carried Carpet Beetles?

Varied carpet beetle grazes on the carpet and the couple mates in search of suitable materials to lay their eggs on. They generally lay their eggs on the singular basis on the carpets, rugs, fur etc. These tend to be cream tinged and lay eggs of almost 0.05mm length. The eggs hatch after a couple of weeks and the larvae formed feeds on the carpet during the hot days. In winter these larvae go into hibernation.

The larvae pupate when they are 5mm long and are done for almost 30 days. The adult carried carpet beetle thrives for almost two weeks.

What Do Varied Carpet Beetles Eat?

macro shot of a varied carpet beetle on a white daisy

Common and varied carpet beetles feed on woollen fabric, carpet bristles, insect, the feather of birds, human hair, silk threads, bones and even fur. These beetles start eating after they hatch and keep in hiding until they feed themselves enough to grow as an adult. It almost takes a year for the eggs to hatch and these pests to grow into adults.

Some of the food items that beetles feed on are fish, seeds, grains, corn, spices, potato, cereals, etc.

Do Varied Carpet Beetles Bite Humans?

The varied carpet beetles do feed on dead insects and human hair. But they don’t necessarily bite the humans. What is actually considered as a bite by people when they feel a varied carpet beetle on their skin is actually the long spiky hair of these insects which puncture their skin! The spiky nodes penetrate the skin instantly which feels a little harsh on the skin.

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It should be noted that these hair although ticklish and sometimes painful are really infectious especially for the children. For people with sensitive skin, these can cause rashes and harmful infections on the skin.

Do Varied Carpet Beetles Fly?

Most of the varied carpet beetles do fly and generally are the reason for infected homes and spread of bacteria. An adult beetle is known to have wings which render them the ability to fly. These are seen flying during spring to the early fall. They infest homes and are responsible for the dried carcasses, dead insects and even contamination of infection in food and furniture surfaces.

Is Varied Carpet Beetle Considered Ground Beetles?

There are majorly four species of varied carpet beetles found. These are common beetle, furniture beetle, carpet beetle, black carpet beetle. All of them feed on rugs, fabrics and carpet. These all go through four phases in their lifetime, i.e. egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. During the egg and larva phase, these are ground beetles mongering on the ground only and feeding themselves on fabrics like carpets, rugs, feathers, silk, hair etc. But as soon as they hit the pupa stage, they start developing wings just like a butterfly and thus starts their journey of flying.

These fly during their pupation and adult stage and infest inside the house and outdoors. They monger on the fabric and food around the house and even feed on pollen.

What Infections can be Caused by These Beetles?

Macro picture of a varied carpet beetle walking on a old sponge

The varied carpet beetles are so small that they might be in your house and still be unnoticed for years. These lay hidden in the carpets, and as a result, their effect is unnoticed on you when they accidentally rub on your skin. However, the contact with the bug is known to be infectious to human skin. They can cause rashes, serious infections, skin redness and sometimes polluted food can cause a lot of digestive problems or stomach infections too.

How to Find the Varied Carpet Beetles Infestation?

Identifying the presence of carpet beetles around the house is not a big riddle. You can easily spot a few near a light source, i.e. a bulb or a curtain near the bulbs. They also tend to sit near the windows and wooden furniture that is exposed to light or air. These can be found flying or sometimes crawling on the floor or furniture.

However, the larvae are not so easy to spot. These lay hidden in fabric and can be very tiny in size. Although the larva tends to chew on the rugs, carpets and fabrics and you shall find fibre of these clustered and broken on these. Additionally, you can leave a few food items on the most likely infected areas and after a few hours trying to look for holes in the food. If there exist holes in the fruit with the skin of the fruit left out, it is mostly beetles at work.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Generally, people take the help of pest control and the local medicines available to control the growth and incoming of the varied carpet beetles. However, there are a lot of things you can practice to prevent the growth of these insects around the house. Make sure that the fabric, roof, rugs, curtains etc. of the house is cleaned with a good herbal cleanser and the remains like bird nests, and dirty strings etc. are removed from the house to prevent varied carpet beetles inside the house.

The cleanliest of people might not clean their carpets regularly, but they tend to be the homes of these beetles and need specific cleaning. For a healthy and safe environment free from these beetles take care of the fabrics around the house and safeguard the family from any routine infections caused by them.

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