Everything You Need to Know About Carpet Beetles

Our Texas insect expert answers common questions about bugs.

By Laura Rice March 3, 2016 9:30 am

Have you ever noticed tiny critters crawling around in your carpet? If you have pets – or a lot of leather boots, they might be carpet beetles. Wizzie Brown, an insect specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office , has some tips on how to prevent them from becomming unwelcome roommates, and what to do if you think they’ve already moved in.

What do carpet beetles look like? 

“Carpet beetles are little tiny insects and they come in a variety of colors. Some of them are solid black, some of them have patterns, some are more whitish, some more greenish. But they are round to oval in shape and they are very tiny.”

How do they get inside? 

“The adults feed on pollen outdoors on plants and so they can get into the house through cracks and crevices, or screens that need repair. And if they get into the house and they start reproducing inside, that’s what leads to the problem.”

What steps can I take to prevent carpet beetles?  

“If you have high protein items, that is what the larvae feed on. So they can invade leather products, silk, fur, feathers – I’ve seen them in homes that have a buildup of pet hair in certain locations. So vacuuming along the baseboards, which is a pain in the butt to do, is really important if you have carpet beetles.”

What should I do if I think I have carpet beetles? 

“When you have carpet beetles you really need to find where they’re coming from, and you need to get rid of the source. Put out glue boards if you have that, and then you can take the glue boards either to myself or a pest control company for identification. And a lot of times we will find carpet beetle larvae on there and they will be causing the problem.”