What Are Carpet Beetles, and Can They Hurt You

What are carpet beetles?

Carpet beetles are a type of arthropod. They belong to the order Hemiptera (true bugs). Most insects belong to one of these four orders: Coleoptera (ants), Hymenoptera (bees) and Mecopterygii (wasps). There are several suborders within each family, but only two families have true insect members. These are the Tettigoniidae (tarantulas) and the Tetranychidae (mites).

The term “arachnid” refers to any member of this group. Insects belonging to other orders such as Araneomorphae, Diptera, Hemipteran, Lepidoptera, Odonata and Sphingidae are not considered true insects. However they do share some characteristics with true insects. For example, all of them have eight legs and antennae.

How many species of carpet beetles exist?

There are over 1,000 known species of carpet beetles worldwide. Some scientists believe there may be even more than that! All species occur throughout most parts of the world except Antarctica and North America. Most live in wooded areas where they feed on decaying organic matter.

Do carpet beetles bite humans?

Carpet beetles do not normally feed upon living humans. Almost all species are found on dead or decaying plant matter such as: leaves, flowers, fruit, and other parts of a plant. In some cases they may also feed on animal dung and other types of fungus. Some also consume the carcasses of insects and snails that they find on the ground.

Do carpet beetles transmit disease?

Carpet beetle species are not known to transmit any diseases. However, there is a type of bacteria that is present on most carpet beetle species. This can cause an infection in people with weak immune systems.

Are carpet beetles dangerous?

Most species of carpet beetles do not bite or otherwise affect humans. A few species do not feed on wool or other animal matter but consume plant life instead. Some of these can be an irritant to the eyes or respiratory system if they are disturbed. A few types of carpet beetles in the United States have been known to cause a skin rash in some people. Most people do not get a rash from encountering carpet beetles.

How can you keep carpet beetles out of your home?

It is possible to keep carpet beetles out of your home by taking a few steps. Most people store items such as wool clothing, blankets and other things made of natural fibers in a dark, cool place such as a basement or storage facility. When storing clothing on the upper floors of a home, make sure there are no holes or cracks somewhere in the flooring. This will help prevent beetles from entering your home through these places.

If you do not have a basement or storage facility available to you, keep your items in a cedar chest or tightly sealed plastic bags. Cedar chests and plastic bags with cedar chips are also effective at repelling or killing any beetles that may try to infest your clothing or other items.

If you find that carpet beetles have already infested your home, it is important to inspect other items that you store in the same location. This will help prevent the spread of carpet beetles to your other belongings.

Outdoor trees and wooden fences can also be vulnerable to carpet beetle infestation. It is important to treat these structures with a protective coating if they are located close to your home. This will prevent beetles from crawling onto your property and infesting your possessions.

What kind of damage do carpet beetles cause?

Carpet beetles can cause discoloration and destruction to objects they infest. Woolen clothing and blankets are often consumed by the larvae while retaining their own feces and other bodily waste inside the fabric. This can cause permanent staining and damage to the fabric.

In some cases, carpet beetles can destroy entire collections of natural fiber objects such as antique rugs and historical documents. It is difficult and expensive to remove the stains caused by these pests.

How do you get rid of carpet beetles?

There are several different approaches that you can take to getting rid of carpet beetles. The most effective method involves the use of specialized pesticides and protective gear to prevent human contact.

Sources & references used in this article:

Insect pests and integrated pest management in museums, libraries and historic buildings by P Querner – Insects, 2015 – mdpi.com

The use of dogs to detect carpet beetles (Anthrenocerus australis): a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in … by KE Phoon – 2015 – mro.massey.ac.nz

SHARING YOUR HOME WITH ARTHROPODS by GC Davis – 1896 – Michigan State Agricultural College …

Frontiers for Young Minds by MA Bertone – pdfs.semanticscholar.org

Long-Acting Sulfonamides In Urinary Tract Infection by MA Bertone – Age – kids.frontiersin.org

Biology for art’s sake by ATK Cockett – JAMA, 1967 – jamanetwork.com

EC57-1577 Control Household Insects by H Hoag – 2004 – nature.com