carpet beetles

Asked October 16, 2019, 3:39 PM EDT

Hi, believe I have black carpet beetles. Found an isolated larvae infestation on small fabric item (China import) in closet. ~ 1yr after in adjacent bedroom found larvae crawling on edges of wall-to-wall carpet and places where they ate wool blend carpet. Assume adults flew around, hit walls, landed and settled in. Dusted all wall edges with dichotomous dust. ~6 months later found more evidence so removed all carpet (wanted to anyway), removed everything from room, vacuumed all and baseboard edges thoroughly then and continue to. In March painted the plywood sub-floor white, had extra paint plus to watch for more insects. The paint also somewhat sealed the space between the floor and baseboard. Almost weekly since ~June I have found a larvae or beetle. Usually close to or coming from under baseboard. QUESTION- how long should I wait until putting down (non-wool content) new carpet? How long do the eggs stay viable? If the larvae stage can be ~1yr long, that means that larvae may continue to show up for that long? If adults last 2wks, and the majority of what I'm seeing is adults, how long can this go on- before they all DIE! Thank you.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia pest control carpet beetles

1 Response

Carpet beetles are common pests of fabrics and often feed on dead insects, accumulated hair, or lint. It is the adult beetles that you see but the larvae does the damage. We cannot say what your chances are of the beetles coming back. You will just have to be vigilant about checking and prevention - cleaning and properly storing woolens, etc.

Your vacuum cleaner is the best defense against these insects. After using it, dispose of the bag contents promptly; they may include eggs, larvae, or adult insects. Regularly clean baseboards, hard to reach areas behind furniture, corners, cracks, woolen rugs, upholstered furniture, etc. Pay attention to woolens. Make sure to properly clean wool clothing before storage. Soiled wool is particularly attractive to carpet beetles. You should be able to tackle this on your own. No insecticides are recommended. See our website for more information http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/carpet-beetles

Also, take a look at the link from Rutgers for more information on the life cycle. We recommend the nonchemical control methods. https://njaes.rutgers.edu/fs1181/

Marian