Adult carpet beetle

Act Fast: 10 Telltale Signs of Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles can cause significant damage to textiles and natural fibres in your home before you even realise there's a problem.

This makes recognising the early signs of an infestation key. Doing so will prevent widespread damage and ensure quick, effective control.

In this post, we shall walk you through 10 telltale signs that carpet beetles have made themselves at home in your space based on our own experience. This will allow you to take swift action to protect your belongings.

#1 Shedding or Thinning Fabrics

Notice unusual shedding or thinning on your wool, silk, or fur fabrics? This could be the work of carpet beetle larvae. This is because they like to feed on natural materials which contain the digestible animal protein keratin.

Thinning fabrics caused by carpet beetles

#2 Small Holes in Clothing or Carpet

If you find holes in stored away clothing, daily wear or in pieces of fabric such as carpets or throws it's a sign that carpet beetles may be feasting. We tend to find carpet beetle larvae chewing holes through the fabric whereas moth larvae are more likely to graze along the surface.

Hole in natural fabrics from carpet beetles

#3 Faecal Pellets and Shed Skins

Look for these tiny, grain-like faecal pellets and shed skins from larvae around infested areas. We typically find these close to potential food sources. This includes hidden in closets or drawers, under heavy furniture or in curtains and cushions.

Shed Skins of Carpet Beetles

#4 Adult Beetles Visible

Spotting adult carpet beetles in your home is likely to be a direct sign of infestation. It's also a key giveaway that we have a carpet beetle infestation rather than a moth infestation. Look especially around furnishing including carpets, curtains, cushions and under furniture.

Adult carpet beetle

#5 Damaged Upholstered Furniture

Unexplained damage to upholstered furniture can indicate a hidden carpet beetle presence. This is especially true if the furniture in question is made from natural fibre fabrics such as fur, felt and wool.

Repairing upholstered furniture

#6 Larvae Sighted

The larvae, resembling small, fuzzy caterpillars, are often the primary culprits of damage and can be seen crawling on surfaces. They are commonly referred to as "woolly bears", however like dark, undisturbed areas which makes them harder to find.

Woolly Bear Carpet Beetle Larvae

#7 Musty Odours

A noticeable musty odour from infested items such as clothing or upholstered furniture can be a sign of a carpet beetle infestation.

Musty odours

#8 Increased Allergic Reactions

Some people are sensitive to the bristles or shed skin of carpet beetle larvae. These can increase allergic reactions or skin irritation. This usually takes the form of a red rash or multiple red rashes. Young children are particularly vulnerable as they are more likely to play on the carpet.

Allergic reaction to skin

#9 Presence of Larval Food Sources

Accumulation of lint (textile fibres), hair, dead insects, or other debris can attract carpet beetles looking for food.

Wool provides a food source for carpet beetles

#10 Persistent Issues Despite Cleaning

If you continue to notice damage or signs of pests despite regular cleaning, it might be time to look for hidden carpet beetles. Focus on undisturbed areas where carpet beetles are most likely to live. Don't forget to look under furniture, along skirting boards, lift carpets and check underlay.

Checking carpet for carpet beetles

Final Word

Recognising these signs of carpet beetles early can be the difference between a minor pest issue and a costly infestation. We strongly believe that regular inspections and maintenance are key to keeping your home carpet beetle-free. If you spot any of these telltale signs, act quickly and apply effective DIY solutions to protect your home.

We go to great lengths to ensure that all our DIY carpet beetle products are effective, safe & easy-to-use. You may also find our expert guide useful if you want to learn more about getting rid of carpet beetles in your home or workplace.

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