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Bugs - Bug Review - University of Illinois Extension

Carpet Beetle

Adult carpet beetles are small, oval, hard-shelled insects with dark brown or black bodies, sometimes mottled with yellow or white. The larvae are hairy and 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. The tufts of hair are black or reddish brown.

Habit

cabbageworm

Carpet beetle and larva

The adults are often found crawling slowly along baseboards, closet corners, heating vents, and are also attracted to sunlight and can be found around windows. Adults and larvae may be carried into homes on clothing or furnishings, especially secondhand items.

Damage

Carpet beetles feed on wool, felt, fur, feathers, bristles, down, horsehair, mohair, or any fabric made from animal fibers. They also feed on grain and cereal products, spices, pollen and nectar.

Control

Non chemical: Good housekeeping practices helps reduce the number of these insects. Prevent lint and hair from accumulating under radiators, heating vents, in closets and beneath furniture. Dry cleaning, washing, or the heated cycle of a clothes dryer for woolens will kill all stages of carpet beetles. Store insect-free fabrics in plastic bags or other air-tight containers. Cedar chests used for storage or woolens should be air-tight. Cedar oil vapors destroy small larvae, but do not kill the larger ones.

Chemical: Contact your county Extension office for current pesticide controls.