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How Do Carpet Beetles Get Into Indianapolis Homes?

a carpet beetle up close

Pests of all kinds are gross nuisances, but the worst infestations are the ones that end up damaging property and result in costly removals. Carpet beetles are common home invaders, and these seemingly innocent little bugs can prove to be a lot bigger problems than their appearance lets on. Here’s how you can spot them and take precautions to protect your property.

Carpet Beetles: Common Home Invaders

Carpet beetles are small, invasive pests that reproduce quickly. While adult beetles feed on pollen, their larvae offspring eat keratin - a fibrous animal product found in many common materials like fur, wool, and leather. As such, a carpet beetle infestation can result in irreparable damage to household items, including priceless heirlooms. Here’s what to look for when trying to inspect for carpet beetles or their signs:

  • Size & Shape: Adult carpet beetles are round, shell-topped insects that usually have brown and gray patterns on their backs. They are typically only a few centimeters in length.
  • Eggs & larvae: Carpet beetle eggs are tiny, peppery flakes that are barely even noticeable unless you know what to look for. They hatch into a hairy, brown pupa, which develops into ravenous, off-white larvae that feed on hairs and fibers.
  • Damage: Some carpet beetle damage is easy to spot, like on often-used blankets or furniture that collects human and pet hair. Mostly, though, carpet beetles lay their eggs in secluded areas with easy access to feeding. The undersides of rugs and carpets are common places to spot patches or holes, as well as in the folds of curtains and the hems or collars of clothing.

What Damage Do They Cause?

Obviously, carpet beetles get their name from the fact that their presence often means destroyed carpets and mats. But an infestation can mean more than just damaged carpeting. All of the following are common items that can be damaged by carpet beetle populations:

  • Curtains & drapes: Linens made out of wool or blended fibers can be a feasting grounds for carpet beetle larvae. Often, adult beetles will lay eggs near enough that a short crawl will provide easy access.
  • Closets: While most cotton and polyester blends aren’t appetizing to carpet beetles, coats, sweaters and some blended fibers can all be meals for larvae. Infestations in a closet are usually noticed by small holes in cuffs or hems of garments.
  • Leather: While larvae prefer easier to chew fibers like hair, even leather contains the keratin that carpet beetles so desperately crave. Leather furniture and upholstery can all fall victim to carpet beetle damage.

Carpet Beetle Prevention For Your Property

No matter what stage of life a carpet beetle is in, you don’t want them anywhere near your property. While the damaging larvae tend to take up most of the discussion surrounding these pests, adult carpet beetles can thrive right out in your yard and then lay their eggs inside. 

Knowing what you can do to prevent their ideal habitat and entry points into your home might just save you from an infestation:

  • Landscaping: Like all flying bugs, adult carpet beetles conserve energy by landing on tall grasses or vegetation. Keeping a well-trimmed yard can reduce these landing pads, particularly those that might be close to structures.
  • Access points: Not only can carpet beetles fly, making proper window and screen maintenance a must, but they can crawl through cracks and holes, too. Sealing up blemishes around the exterior of your home is a smart step, as well as installing door sweeps and weather stripping to limit entry through doors and thresholds. 
  • Inspections: While you can spend hours of your own time searching underneath furniture, inside coats, and in the folds of your curtains for signs of carpet beetle damage or larvae, it’s best to turn the task over to a trained pair of eyes. Partner with Indianapolis pest control professionals for routine inspections of your home to make sure infestations aren’t brewing.

Professional Assistance From Action Pest

The last thing anyone wants to see is a hole chewed straight through a festive pair of wool socks that nana sewed for Christmas. While the damage caused by carpet beetles can be severe, it’s the memories that these pests can destroy that makes them so frustrating. If left unchecked, an infestation can quickly grow out of hand. Rather than let that happen, turn to the professionals at Action Pest Control.

Reach out to us today to schedule your inspection and discuss all of our carpet beetle treatments that keep unwanted pests out of your Indianapolis home.