Are carpet beetles causing irregular holes in your furniture, clothes and carpets? Find out what they are and what to do?
What is it?
Attagenus megatoma or anthrenus species insects which damage carpets, upholstery, and any other products of animal origin. They will damage blankets, clothing and other articles that are made of hide, feathers or fur.
What does it look like?
They are light brown to black grubs up to 1/8 inch long, which may be found crawling on damaged and undamaged items. They are sharply segmented and are covered with rows of stiff, dark hairs. Adult beetles are about 1/8 inch long and can be black, brown, mottled white or gray. Damage from carpet beetles will be in the form of irregular holes that have been chewed by them.
How does it manifest?
Usually carpet beetles are outdoor residents, feeding on nectar and pollen. However, they fly into homes in late spring and early summer and lay eggs in cracks and crevices or on clothes, carpets and other items. Emerging larvae look for dark, undisturbed locations where they can feed. As they develop, they shed their skins several times. Larvae hibernate in the winter and pupate in the spring.
What can you do about it?
Your best bet is to air infested clothes and blankets after carefully shaking them out. Items should be dry cleaned to kill any remaining grubs or, as an alternative you can clean the clothes with a tetramethrin chemical and then place the items in airtight containers or closets. This will keep the clothes in storage protected for up to 6 months. Infested rooms and furniture should be vaccuum paying attention to corners and under cushions. Make sure to destroy the vacuum cleaner bag immediately. As an added measure you can spray the previously infested area with pyrethrins, chlorpyrifos or diazinon.