Technical Papers

Varied Carpet Beetles: The Rainbow Pest

Monday, July 6th, 2020 by Bill Cowley

Carpet Beetle

Varied carpet beetles received their name from the rainbow of color on their back and are often found feeding on natural fibers found in carpets and rugs. These bugs do not limit their diet to just rugs and carpets, however. They are happy to eat silk, hair, feathers, fur, paper (including books), grains, spices, pet food, dead insects, and even bones!

Carpet beetles are often confused with bed bugs because they can cause a similar red, itchy welt due to an allergic reaction from the small prickly hairs. Although bed bugs are small, carpet beetles are even smaller — an adult carpet beetle is no more than 1/8 of an inch in size! They usually have white and yellow-brown scales and turfs of hair on their abdomen and infest homes by flying inside open doors and windows and then lay eggs on furniture, carpets, or clothing. 

The main concern with a varied carpet beetle infestation is the damage they can inflict on clothing fabrics, upholstery, and carpets. The best way to avoid an infestation is to dry clean all clothing before storing, store all clothing in a sturdy, plastic container, and vacuum and clean your home on a regular basis. Additionally, make sure to repair or replace any damaged screens and seal up exposed or open gaps and cracks around your home with a premium, waterproof adhesive.