- Information about carpet moths/beetles
- What are the signs that you have carpet moths / beetles?
- Potential harm
- What happens when a treatment is carried out?
Although there are several types of carpet beetle the most common is the varied carpet beetle.
It is the larval stage of the beetle's life cycle which causes the most damage to carpets by feeding on any natural fibres within the carpet. The female beetle lay around 35-100 eggs in batches. The beetles in their larvae stage are sometimes called “woolly bears” due to bristles which can be seen around the edge of the body. The larvae (Woolly Bears) emerge from the eggs and start feeding. The larvae are repelled by the light and as a result cause deep burrowing into their food which is carpets.
The carpet moth has a very similar life cycle to carpet beetles. It is the lava that does the damage to carpets by eating any natural fibres within the pile. Apart from bare patches in the carpet another sign of carpet moths are small white paper like cases around 6-7mm long. These are most often found under pieces of furniture which have not been moved for some time. They are silk cocoons which the lava spins and from which the adult moths emerge. The eggs of the moth are sticky whichc is how they are transferred from room to room.
- Holes appearing in jumpers and similar clothing.
- Tufts of carpeting coming away when vacuum cleaning.
- Holes in carpets may be found when moving standing furniture as often the damage occurs underneath.
- However, if you see “woolly bears” crawling on walls, carpets and clothing then you know you have a problem.
Carpet moths / beetles neither carry germs nor do they spread disease hence their presence does not constitute a risk to health. However, the activities of carpet moths/beetle will cause considerable damage.
Once an appointment has been made you should ensure that the affected areas of carpets are thoroughly vacuumed and the vacuum bag is disposed of in an outside bin.
The pest control officer will visit to assess the extent of the problem and identify that it is carpet beetles. Once the pest control officer has confirmed that it is carpet beetles the pest control officer will use a sprayer and a ULV machine to apply a residual insecticide in the affected rooms. The officer will leave you with details of the insecticide used and any safety precautions that should be followed.
The best way to prevent a carpet moths/beetle problem is to:
- Vacuum regularly (especially in areas under storage heaters or at the skirting junction);
- Remove old bird nests, animal remains and dead insects are sometimes the cause of infestation
- Destroy any pieces of old carpet or similar material in lofts or roof voids.
Last updated: 12 November 2013