October 20th, 2009 by BugGuy
We’ve talked about a lot of pests on this blog but I just noticed that we’ve never mentioned ANY beetles. So let’s talk about carpet beetles in California.
Carpet beetles do not bite or sting but they can cause serious damage to any natural fibers. These beetles are common pests in homes, warehouses and even museums; carpet, fur and fabric are just a few of the carpet beetles’ favorite foods.
The majority of the damage by this pest is caused by the larvae. Moths can cause similar damage and it can be difficult to tell the difference but the carpet beetles usually damage one large spot and moths will create scattered holes.
There are three species of carpet beetles in California:
As with most pest control, prevention (in this case housekeeping) is most beneficial. On a regular basis, vacuum carpets, remove hair and lint from carpet and shelves; avoid storing useless clothes, animal furs, etc… The goal is to remove all food sources for carpet beetles and the carpet beetle larvae.
Properly storing items is another way to prevent damage to important belongings. When possible, store items in an air tight container layered with paper. Moth balls and crystals can also be used for extra protection. There is some debate about cedar chests. Some believe the chests are effective against the beetles but others believe the cedar oil disappears as the chest ages and will only affect the smaller larvae.
Carpet beetles can be one of the most difficult indoor pests to control since they can be found all over the building in odd places. For washable items such as clothing and blankets, a thorough wash will kill all three cycles of the carpet beetle. There are carpet beetle pesticides for consumer use but professional pest control companies are typically more successful with eliminating carpet beetles.