Bed bug bites and allergic reactions to carpet beetle larval hair look very similar. In fact, most homeowners cannot tell the difference and will generally assume that their homes are infested with bed bugs, which means that they may employ the wrong technique in order to get rid of the pests. The first step toward eradicating your pest infestation is identifying the type of pest that you are dealing with. And although there are many similarities, it is possible to tell carpet beetles and bed bugs apart.
Physical Differences To Look For
Carpet beetles are much smaller than bed bugs in general, and are generally only 1/4 inch long at most. Unlike their bed bug cousins that bite and draw blood, these little critters are basically harmless, as they feed off of natural fibers. The most damage that they will do is to your carpet, as they indulge in the buffet before them.
There are different species of carpet beetles, so you will have to keep an eye out for the variations in appearances. While black carpet beetle larvae have a brown body with a golden sheen overtop, some of the other variations may exhibit alternating light and dark bands on their body or yellow, white and orange scales on a black background.
In addition, while bed bugs are typically refined to a smaller area, carpet beetles will often travel considerable distances in order to find their next feeding targets. In short, you can easily get a carpet beetle infestation if you live in an apartment or a condo because they can travel from your neighbor to you with ease.
Know Where to Target
It is crucial that you know where to find carpet beetles, so that you can ensure that any pest control that you implement will be efficient. Common places where carpet beetles tend to aggregate include:
- under the baseboards.
- around door casings, as they travel from room to room.
- under and in upholstered furniture, as these areas typically accumulate the most natural fibers.
- under the edges of carpet.
Common Ways to Control Infestation and Remove Carpet Beetles Indefinitely
Getting rid of carpet beetles is not as difficult as it seems. In fact, many homeowners have been able to implement effective strategies that control the infestation and also eliminate the carpet beetle population indefinitely. The key is to remember that the larvae prefers feeding in protected areas. You should consider:
- vacuuming your carpet, curtains and furniture regularly in order to get rid of the amount of natural fibers that have accumulated. Without a food source, the carpet beetles will travel and leave.
- washing everything in warm water often. This will help kill off any larvae that may be in hiding.
- using insecticides that can be purchased in stores. Most of these insecticides are safe to use at home, and will not emit any harmful chemicals or toxins.
- packing and storing all of your clothes and linen with mothballs. Remember to keep the mothballs in a sealed space in order to prevent any toxic substances from being able to leak out.
- applying boric acid onto furniture made from fabric and the carpet. If the beetles ingest the boric acid, the acid will target the body and kill the beetles. Boric acid is one of the most recommended insecticides, as it is low in toxicity and generally not harmful to humans and pets. Read the instructions carefully before applying the boric acid.
Carpet beetles can be a pain to deal with; however, they are generally quite easy to get rid of with persistent cleaning. As long as there is no food source, the carpet beetles will stay away, and you won't have to wake up with bite-like allergic reactions all over your body. For more info on identifying and eradicating these pesky bugs, contact your local pest control service.