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Insects - Carpet moths / beetles

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Information about carpet moths/beetles

Carpet beetles

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.

Carpet moths

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.

What are the signs that you have carpet moths/beetles?

  • 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.

Potential Harm

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.

What happens when a treatment is carried out?

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.

Prevention

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.

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: publicprotectionnorth@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01249 706111
Out of hours:
Fax: 01249 443158
Postal Address: Public Protection (North)
Wiltshire Council
Monkton Park
Chippenham
SN15 1ER
In Person:
DX:

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: publicprotectionsouth@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01722 434319 or 01722 434320
Out of hours:
Fax:
Postal Address: Public Protection (South)
Wiltshire Council
Bourne Hill
Salisbury
Wiltshire
SP1 3UZ
In Person:
DX:

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: publicprotectioneast@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 456 0100
Out of hours:
Fax:
Postal Address: Public Protection (East)
Wiltshire Council
Kennet House
Sergeant Rogers Way
Hopton Industrial Estate
Devizes
SN10 2ET
In Person:
DX:

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: publicprotectionwest@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 4560102
Out of hours:
Fax:
Postal Address: Public Protection
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
Trowbridge
Wiltshire
BA14 8JN
In Person: Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
Trowbridge
Wiltshire
BA14 8JN
DX:

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail:
Telephone:
Out of hours:
Fax:
Postal Address:
In Person:
DX:

Last updated: 12 November 2013

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