Carpet beetles are a family of bugs referred to as dermestids, that reside in homes, warehouses, or any other similar location with a sufficient food source. Although there are several types of carpet beetles, they have a number of similarities in feeding patterns, causing damage, and resilience. They feed on fabrics, furs, carpets, preserved specimen, and stored food; causing considerable damage. Some of the notable carpet beetle species include the varied beetle, the black beetle, and the furniture beetle. They all have similar life cycles; eggs hatch after a few weeks into the larvae, and later pupate depending on the conditions they live in.
These beetles feed on different foods during their different life stages. The larvae and the pupa stages are when they cause most damage to fabric or any stored food materials. The individual species and the environmental conditions that these developing beetles are in determine the period they will take to attain the adult stage. Regardless of the species, all adult carpet beetles feed on pollen and nectar; but this is after a prolonged period where they can cause a lot of damage to fabric, fur, and stored food. It is difficult to manage them because they are tiny, and prefer to reside in secluded and dark places.
The larval stage is the most destructive. They feed in dark, secluded locations on products such as wool, silk, leather, and fur. They have also been known to feed on deal animals. They are very shy, and opt to reside in undisturbed locations. This makes them hard to detect before the damage is already extensive. One of the ways to tell carpet beetles apart from other bugs such as clothe moths is that they generally cause more damage to one part of a carpet or garment while moths make scattered damage; the larvae stage is not very mobile.
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Controlling Carpet Beetles
The menace of carpet beetles is not easy to manage because of various reasons. They are able to find sources of food in shrouded places and rapidly scatter within a shelter. Studies into the nature and behavior of these bugs has recommended a blend of proper sanitation and exclusion for effective management. A popular approach to control bugs has been the use of insecticides, but there is no need for chemical control where sanitation and exclusion are successful. The only concern in managing these beetles is when they are at the larvae stage because that is when they cause all the damage. The three most effective approaches are; elimination, protection, and use of chemicals.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles
Dead insects, hair, lint, and other similar debris make up the vast food source for carpet beetles. Spider webs, and nests of animals like birds, wasps and rodents also attract these beetles. Elimination means that there is no food source to support a population of beetles. Although the adults do not cause any damage, they are responsible for laying eggs that develop into the destructive larvae. It is imperative to keep windows, doors and other vents secure from the outside when the adults reside.
Another approach to elimination is to keep fabric clean, and therefore straining the existence of carpet beetles. They thrive under isolation; preventing this means that they can be controlled. It is imperative to inspect and warehouses where there might be stored wool, linen, or fur. A recommendation in such an instance is to place such stored product in direct sunlight from time to time. Some forms of furniture such as mattresses and pillows may be stuffed with feathers or hair. It is difficult to control the beetles in such a case, and recommended to seek the assistance of licensed pest control officers.
Protection as a form of control refers to the proper storage of items that are vulnerable to carpet beetles. Storage of items that can easily harbor the beetles should be entail a measured process where they are free of pest at the time of storage, and the containers where are kept are resistant to an infestation. The most susceptible storage items are those that can provide a food source for the bugs such as animal products; hair, fur, and skins.
Some appropriate containers include trunks, chests, and garment boxes because they are mostly airtight. Closets are not recommended because air circulation is possible, and also because they can provide sufficient food for the destructive larvae. The use of heating and freezing is recommended where possible. For instance, stored objects in plastic bags can be frozen. However, the use of this approach is limited because not all products can be heated or frozen.
The utilization of chemical is a popular strategy because of the accessibility of different insecticides to kill the larvae. Because of the various products available for use, you should find one that itemizes carpet beetles as one of its use. Some insecticides may not be viable because they are not engineered to kill the bugs. Chemical control relies on an understanding of the functioning and development of each species. Chemicals meant to control carpet beetles will inhibits their life-cycle, and consequently kill them.
The utilization of chemicals introduces the issue of safety; some of the chemicals to be used may be harmful to both the bugs and the people using them. It is recommended to clearly read all the instructions provided by their manufacturers before use. Some may suggest the most effective way to use their products. It is not advisable to spray or apply insecticides to clothing and bedding. Chemical control officers may come in handy when the problem is in large-scale, or then a user does not have any experience using such products. This limits the potential for any adverse outcomes, and increases the odds of success in controlling the beetles.
Although these three approaches are the most established, they are extensive on an individual level. For instance, there are many chemical products to deal with the beetles in addition to there being many ways to use such products.