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The varied carpet beetle: Are they destroying your carpets?

Have you have seen small beetles (3-5mm in length) and their larvae crawling around in your woolen carpets? There is a good chance that they are Varied carpet beetles: Even if you have a synthetic carpet: The larvae will eat debris such as skin scales, hairs and organic dust wedged between the synthetic fibers, but they will not damage your synthetic carpet! They only feast on Natural fibers such as wool and silk but will also damage stuffed animals, entomological collections and are a museum’s nightmare! The larvae are called “woolly bears”, are 5 mm in length and are very hairy.

Varied carpet beetle

Varied Carpet beetle

The best remedy to prevent carpet beetles starts with good housekeeping! Hoover often! A source of carpet beetles might originate from old birds nests, as they also eat feathers. A good repellent and insecticide is the use of “Moth” balls containing camphor, naphtalene or 1,4-dichlorobenzene: Be very careful with these as they are extremely toxic if ingested! A non-toxic alternative is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth between the carpet fibers.

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