Although the name suggests, these beetles will also harbour clothes and soft furnishings as they feed upon a variety of fabrics.
They find their ways into the home through numerous channels; bunches of cut flowers, animal furs and skins and already contaminated items are just some examples. The adult carpet beetle is able to fly, so entry through an open window is also a possibility.
Carpet Beetle larvae resemble small (up to 5mm) hairy caterpillars and are known as “woolly bears”
Even though the carpet beetles are not harmful to humans and do not bite, it is the airborne hairs from these woolly bears that can cause respiratory and eye irritation and skin rashes. It is at this larvae stage that the carpet beetle is at its most destructive and the damage caused to carpets/clothes is similar to that commonly associated with the Clothes Moth.
Once matured, the adult carpet beetle is of a 2-4mm rounded shape and the two types commonly found are the Varied Carpet beetle (speckled appearance) and Black Carpet Beetle (all black)
Regular and thorough vacuuming to carpets will help reduce the chances of an infestation however a further treatment can sometimes be required.