The short answer is, yes, carpet beetles can be harmful. But to protect your home and your family from these invading pests, it is important to look at the more detailed answer. Here's what you need to know about carpet beetles.
How carpet beetles harm people?
These insects don't bite humans, but they can cause a bumpy, itchy, rash that is sometimes mistaken for bed bug bites. This is due to prolonged contact with the hair fibers on the body of carpet beetle larvae. Airborne fibers from carpet beetles can also cause respiratory tract and eye irritation. However, it often takes years for most people to become sensitized to these fibers.
How do people come in contact with carpet beetle larvae?
Adult carpet beetles can fly, which makes them adept at getting into our homes. And since these are overwintering pests, they are motivated to get in every year. Homeowners who don't have pest service from a professional pest control company can have large numbers of these pests living inside their walls feeding on dead insects, dead birds, rodents, and wasps nests. But, these bugs become a real problem when they move beyond wall voids and get into living areas. They lay eggs in fertile areas where hatched larvae will have plenty of access to food--things like carpets, blankets, upholstered furniture, wool, silk sheets, clothing, or blankets. You won't typically find these creatures feeding on synthetic fabrics unless they have perspiration, oil, or foods soaked into them. If you have carpet beetles in any of these places it will bring them into contact with your skin, and all their hair fibers will become airborne.
Do they cause any other harm?
Yes. These pests are widely considered to be pantry pests. Since the adults are able to fly, they have an amazing ability to get into places, like your pantry. Once there, they will lay their eggs in places that will allow their larvae to have easy access to a food source. These larvae get into animal food, milled products, seeds, and more.
How do I protect myself from carpet beetles?
If you have not yet found them in your pantry, it is a good idea to store your food products in hard plastic sealable containers, especially if you've seen these beetles crawling around your home. This will prevent adult beetles from laying their eggs in these products.
It is not easy to protect yourself from exposure to carpet beetles without help from a professional pest controller. Carpet beetles can live and breed in places you just can't always get to. And, if these pests continue to get into your home year after year, they are going to cause damage to your belongings and eventually create health issues for you and your family. A professional pest plan will keep these, and a host of other pests, out as well. Get your home sealed up and keep these bugs out with a call to Witt. You'll be glad you did.