carpet beetle on gray beetle

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Carpet beetles, like their name infers, are beetles that feed on carpets; but that is not where the trouble stops.  These pests love any kind of animal product such as: leather, wool, yarns, silk, furs, skins, hair, dead insects, and even cotton.  These pests will invade kitchen cupboards, carpets, and clothes storage areas in search of a meal.  It is the larva stage of the carpet beetle that has this ferocious appetite, and the larval stage lasts anywhere from 258 to 639 days – that can mean over a year of feeding frenzy in your closet!  They love to hang out in dark, undisturbed or rarely disturbed areas, which means costly damages to your personal belongings before you even realize you have a problem. Once the larvae become adult beetles they are able to fly and are attracted to light.  They are drawn to windows and typically try to find their way outside; in fact, finding adults on your window sills is usually the first sign of an infestation – and by then, there is plenty of damage already done.
 
So what do carpet beetles look like anyway?
 
The adult beetle is a 6 legged beetle that is usually black to reddish/brown with a reddish stripe down the middle between the two wing covers. They range in size from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch, and have oval bodies.  Their heads are tiny compared to their other body segment.  The larvae are usually around ¼ inch long with a striped appearance.  They have short hairs extending from their bodies, and the black carpet beetle larvae have a long tuft of hair on the end of their abdomen.  
Are carpet beetles dangerous?
 
Yes, they can be.  Besides causing extensive damage to clothes, carpets, and such, some people can become ill from the larva.  This happens when the hairs from the larvae become airborne and are inhaled by people.  The result is typically pulmonary difficulty resembling a cold.  These hairs have also been known to cause allergic reactions in some people that resemble itchy bed bug bites.
 
Where do I find carpet beetles?
 
Carpet beetles can be found worldwide, but are most common in the northern United States and northeast in particular.  When indoors, they can be found in wall voids, attics, crawlspaces, old wasp or hornet nests, or any other place where dead insects or spiders can be found.  The larvae can be found in dark places wherever their food source is and along or under the edges of baseboards on carpeted floors.
 
How do I get rid of carpet beetles?
 
In order to get rid of the carpet beetles, you must first find the primary source of your infestation.  This is a very difficult thing to do because they have been known to be in heating ducts, inside walls, old rat bait containers, chimneys, and even inside a piano feeding on the felts!  The most effective way to get rid of carpet beetles is by contacting an experienced pest control specialist.  Here at Witt Pest Management we are the oldest, most advanced and trusted pest control company in Pittsburgh.  We have been protecting Pittsburgh area homes and businesses since 1908.  Our technicians have the training and experience to quickly and effectively eliminate carpet beetles, and other pests, from your home.  We can even offer same day service in most instances.  Give Witt a call today and you will experience the difference that Witt can make!

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