Are Carpet Beetles in Oregon Harmful & Dangerous?

carpet beetles oregon

One of the most common types of beetles found in Oregon homes is the carpet beetle. Similar to cloth moths, carpet beetles enjoy chewing on materials such as feathers, felt, silk, wool, fur, and leather, among many others. This is why they are commonly found on baseboards, closets, clothes, and carpets. While these pests don’t pose a direct threat to humans, they can cause damage to property.

Knowing the basic facts about carpet beetles in Oregon is vital if you have these pests in your home.

Adult carpet beetles are between 2.5 mm to 3.8 mm long. They are oval-shaped and can have shades of white, brown, and orange or black and yellow. Their larvae are brownish or tanned and measure about 5 mm long. Also, they have a dense coating of bristles which they shed as they grow.

carpet beetle vs bed bug

Carpet Beetles vs. Bed Bugs

The difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs is the rash they leave on human skin. Rashes from carpet beetles are due to an allergy while the rashes from bed bugs are from bites. If you see red stains on your bed, these are caused by bed bugs. But if you see skin shedding, this is from carpet beetles. You can also differentiate them from the size of their larvae. Compared to bed bugs, carpet beetle larvae are bigger.

Carpet Beetle Infestation

Carpet beetles don’t pose serious health risks. However, they still need to be eliminated if you detect their presence in your Oregon home. These pests cause damage to the items they chew on, such as feathers, wool, silk, felt, fur, and leather.

When they go unnoticed for a long time, carpet beetles can severely damage upholstered furniture, clothes, carpets, and beddings. Since a carpet beetle infestation is similar to that of common cloth moths, many think they have a moth infestation instead of a carpet beetle infestation.

Carpet beetles also like feeding on hair brushes that have natural hair fibers and debris from humans and animals. They don’t like cotton linen, plant-based cloths, and synthetic fabrics, but they can attack blended fabrics, especially those stained by animal products.

carpet beetle larvae

If there is an infestation, you will see bites in or under fabric folds and along the edges of your carpet. Carpet beetle larvae feed on these, while the adults consume nectar or pollen. You can see the former crawling on damaged surfaces where they shed their skin. Items heavily infested with carpet beetle larvae will have a lot of holes.

For adult carpet beetles, you can identify them around your lights and windows since they are likely to converge in these areas.

Carpet Beetle Allergies

Even though many people don’t have allergies to carpet beetles, a small number do. A carpet beetle’s bristles or molted skin can trigger this allergy and a reaction can happen if these come into contact with the eyes, skin, digestive tract, and airways.

Some of the symptoms of a carpet beetle allergy include itchy, watery, and red eyes, hives, irritated skin, burning rash similar to welts or bites, runny nose, and gastrointestinal problems. These symptoms are resolved when the skin or bristles of these pests are removed from your home. There is also proof showing that people are desensitized after being exposed to the larvae for a long time.

carpet beetle rash

Here are some methods on how to remove carpet beetles:

  • After you have confirmed the presence of carpet beetles, you check your carpets, clothes, and other fabrics to find out where they reproduce or inhabit.
  • For the infested items, wash and dry clean them using hot water. You can also freeze them for 2 weeks.
  • As much as possible, do not spray insecticide on your beddings and clothes.
  • Vacuum your carpets, floors, corners, and heating vents.
  • Seek help from pest control professionals in Oregon to have your home fumigated properly if there is an infestation.

How to Treat for Carpet Beetles

The best way to deal with carpet beetles is to clean your house thoroughly. However, you need to use treatments for areas you can’t wash. When picking treatment solutions, you should use those that are specifically formulated for carpet beetles.

It is also best to do spot treatment by limiting application under the rugs, edges of floor covering, and furniture. You can also spray your shelves where the infested items were kept. Be sure to include closet walls as well as cracks, crevices, and any part where lint accumulates.

Keep in mind that you should never use chemical treatment on clothes and beddings. For your attic and other hard-to-reach places, you can use dust formulations and boric acid instead.

Here are some ways you can prevent a carpet beetle infestation at home:

  • Place bug screens on your windows and doors.
  • Put mothballs inside your closets and storage bags.
  • Clean up all the spider webs, animal nests, and dead insects in your house.
  • Before you store your clothes, wash and dry-clean them.
  • Keep your clothes in airtight storage containers.
  • Regularly clean your air vents, rugs, furniture, baseboards, and carpets.
  • Check flowers you bring indoors—they may be carrying carpet beetles.

Carpet Beetle FAQs

What time of year do carpet beetles come out?

Adult carpet beetles emerge during late spring and early summer. They will usually look for a warm and safe location to lay their eggs and this could mean your carpet corners, storage areas, loft, wardrobes, and cabinets.

What do the eggs and larvae of carpet beetles look like?

Carpet beetle eggs have a creamy white color and measure less than 1 mm. Adults can lay more than 100 eggs at the same time and will take about 10 days to a month to hatch. The larvae are bigger compared to an adult beetle. 

What attracts carpet beetles?

The warmth of lights and the indoor environment attract this particular beetle species. They can enter your home by flying or they can attach themselves to your pets. These pests can also use infected cereals, foods, seeds, and plant-based products to enter. What makes them want to stay longer in your house is the scent of your clothes.

Do carpet beetles bite?

Carpet beetles do not bite people. However, they are drawn to fabrics. Since they are also considered scavengers, they consume dry substances, dead animals, and debris.

Do I need to be worried if there are carpet beetles in my house?

The natural fibers of anything eaten by carpet beetle larvae can be damaged. You will see holes in clothes, fabrics, beddings, carpets, and upholstery. Their hair can also irritate the skin when attached to these materials.

How did carpet beetles enter my home?

An open window or door is usually the main culprit. Carpet beetles lay their eggs on carpets, clothes, furniture, and rugs; they’ll also find their way indoors when an infested item such as plants, furniture, or fur is brought inside. If you have a taxidermy animal, you may run the risk of an infestation as adult carpet beetles are highly attracted to them.

Organic Pest Control for Carpet Beetles in Oregon

cockroach pest control beaverton

Even though carpet beetles do not bite people, they cause allergies and damage clothes and fabrics. That is why it is important to employ regular pest control treatments to prevent their presence in your Oregon home.

Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control in Beaverton, Oregon provides year-round protection against carpet beetles and other common household pests like ants, pantry moths, spiders, and rodents. Drop us a message for a FREE consultation and inspection.