Are you noticing worn areas on your carpets that look like they have been chewed? Are you seeing holes in woolen sweaters, blankets, or even upholstered furniture. If so, you might have clothes moths in your Dallas home. But this damage could also be the work of carpet beetles. Here's how you can tell if you're dealing with carpet beetles, what damage they cause, and what you can do about them.
Carpet Beetles 101
Carpet beetles in Texas are tiny insects that come in a variety of colors. Some are solid black. Some are a mottled mix of white, brown and black. They are round to oval in shape and are very tiny. If you are seeing these beetles crawling around, it doesn't necessarily mean that damage has already begun happening because it is the larvae of these beetles that damage fabrics. If you have these beetles dealt with quickly, you may not have to worry about their larvae damaging your property.
Carpet beetle larvae are tiny, caterpillar-like bugs that look slimy. They hide under carpets, between floorboards, and may even get into bed with you. Don't be surprised if you pull your bed sheets down and find masses of these creepy creatures on your mattress. And if your carpets are being eaten by these larvae, you will see a fine dust between your carpet and the floor if you pull the carpet up. The dust will be the same color as the fibers in your carpet. You may also see shed skins attached to the carpet. As larvae develop, they shed their skins 5 to 12 times. (Keep in mind, if you see shed skins, there are other bugs, such as bed bugs, that also shed their skin as they grow.)
How Do Carpet Beetles Get Into Homes?
Since adult carpet beetles are pretty good flyers, they can sometimes get inside homes simply by flying in when a door or window is opened. This is most likely to happen at night when outside lights are on since carpet beetles are attracted to light. They can also get in through broken or damaged screens. Another way they get in is by hitching a ride on flowers. This may sound strange but adult carpet beetles feed on nectar and pollen. So, if you bring potted plants in from outside, you may be bringing carpet beetles in with them.
Carpet Beetle Prevention Tips
If you are not already dealing with a carpet beetle infestation, these tips may help you to keep them out of your home:
- Make sure all of your screens are present and in good condition.
- Seal all gaps and cracks in your home's foundation and outer walls. Look for gaps around doors and windows as these are notorious entry points for carpet beetles and other house-invading pests.
- Check plants and flowers before bringing them inside.
- If possible, keep exterior lights off at night, or replace outdoor bulbs with yellow, insect-resistant lights.
- Keep your curtains drawn at night to keep light in so carpet beetles and other light-seeking pests do not fly up close to your home.
How All-Safe Can Help!
While there are some DIY tips to getting rid of carpet beetles, such as using diatomaceous earth, these strategies rarely work to totally get rid of them. Since carpet beetle larvae and eggs are usually tucked away under carpeting and other hidden places, trying to remove them all is something best left to the professionals. If you need help getting rid of carpet beetles, reach out to All-Safe Pest & Termites. We can help.