Well, before we answer that question let’s start by taking a closer look at the carpet beetle. Carpet beetles have 6 legs, a pair of wings, and antennae. They are black oval with red-orange stripes and scales and grow to be around 1/8” in size. Their head is hidden, and they have round bulgy eyes. The carpet beetle gets its name from its attraction to carpets. Inside, they love attics, basements, and inside walls where there are leftover old nests and carcasses of dead insects and spiders. Outside, they will find old bird and rodent nests to live in, and they will feed on pollen and nectar while mating. They will also feed on a variety of plants, flowers, fabrics, hair, and furs. Carpet beetles will gain entry to your home on plants and flowers that are brought in from outside or through cracks and crevices in foundations, small holes in or around doors and windows, or in gaps around utility entrances.
Humans can be allergic to their larval hairs, which when inhaled can cause lung irritations. That is only one reason not to want them in your home. Carpet beetle larvae feed on plant and animal materials and can do a lot of damage to furs, feathers, and fabric. This means they could be feeding on your curtains, carpets, clothing, furniture, and other household items. The adult beetles do not typically cause damage.
So back to the question at hand, ‘do carpet beetles live in beds?’ While their larvae can and will feed on the fabrics in and around your bed, they do not typically ‘live’ in your bed like bed bugs can; and people will often confuse carpet beetles and bed bugs. Knowing this, it is important to be able to distinguish between the two.
Carpet beetles don’t bite, but they will cause a red, itchy rash due to their prickly larval hairs. Bed bugs do bite to feed on your blood and give you red, itchy welts. They are both very small, but the carpet beetle is smaller. Carpet beetles have scales, prickly hairs, and compound eyes. Bed bugs do not, but look similar to an apple seed with legs. Also, Carpet beetles feed on fabric type substances and bed bugs feed on blood.
Both the bed bug and the carpet beetle are problematic. Bed bugs will hide in bedding, in ribbing around mattresses, in the cracks of hardwood floors, behind electrical outlets, behind wall coverings, in carpets and furniture, in wall voids, and behind baseboards. Usually wherever humans are is where you will find bed bugs. Carpet beetles generally live outdoors and can be found anywhere in buildings where there is a place to lay their eggs and where the larvae can feed.
The only sure way to get rid of either of these problematic pests is to have a professional pest technician inspect your home and administer safe, effective professional solutions. In the Pittsburgh area, you can give Witt Pest Management a call. Our highly trained and trusted professionals know exactly how to safely eliminate carpet beetles and bed bugs from your home and can help you eliminate the entry points that carpet beetles use to access your home. To see which of our industry leading solutions are right for you, simply give us a call today.