Common pests

Carpet beetles

There are two species of common household pest known as carpet beetles.

Facts about carpet beetles

The two species of beetles known as carpet beetles are the varied carpet beetle and fur beetle. The two species are easily distinguished by size and colour. The varied carpet beetle being approximately 3mm in length and the fur beetle being 5mm.

How do they affect me?

Carpet beetles are often found in domestic situations where they will feed on vegetable matter outdoors and natural fibres indoors. Larvae, known as `woolly bears`, will feed on any natural fibres, especially carpets made of wool and mixed fibres. The larvae are very distinguishable by their brown, yellow and black bands and hairy body.  Adults tend to be attracted by light and may appear outdoors between March and June whilst larvae are found indoors throughout the year in the dark, usually under carpets or skirting boards.

How do you control them?

The first step in carpet beetle control is to trace the source of the infestation. This may be an old carpet, item of clothing, a new carpet from an infested store or warehouse or possibly a bird's nest in the loft area or chimneystack. Once the source and extent of the infestation is established one can take the necessary action to alleviate the problem. Sources of infestations should be removed where appropriate or treated. Small infestations may be treated using a general crawling insect spray or powder available from local chemists, hardware stores or garden centres. More extensive infestations may require a professional treatment to be carried out.

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