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There are several insect pest species that are known for invading homes where they feed on carpet and other fabrics, such as clothing, curtains, furniture upholstery and bedding. Most fabric-eating household insect pests are either beetles or moths, but the black carpet beetle is the most widespread, abundant and commonly encountered beetle pest species of its kind. Black carpet beetles cause more damage to indoor fabrics and keratin-containing materials than any other fabric pest. Keratin is the primary fibrous structural protein found in hair, finger nails, feathers, horns, claws, hooves, and the outer layer of skin. Carpet beetles feed on dead skin and hair in carpeting and other materials, and they are particularly damaging to material animal-based materials, such as down pillows, wool, silk and leather.

Black carpet beetle infestations are among the most difficult fabric-pest infestations to eradicate from homes due to this species habit of depositing eggs within hidden indoor areas. Female carpet beetle adults often place their eggs within lint that ha gathered around baseboards, in the ductwork of furnace systems, within boxes of stored clothing, and other concealed areas where emerging larvae will have no problem finding food upon hatching within 11 to 16 days. Adult carpet beetles do not damage indoor fabrics, but they can be a nuisance when they gather around door frames, window sills and closets. Larvae are the primary pests, as they spend between 260 to 640 days within a home after hatching, during which time they feed on a variety of fabrics in obscure locations.

Adult black carpet beetles are excessively small at only 5 mm at their largest, and they have a reddish-brown to black exterior. Larvae are surprisingly bigger than adults, as larvae can grow to 12 mm in body length, and unlike many larval species, black carpet beetle larvae possess a long tuft of golden brown hair at their rear. Larvae are also carrot-shaped and have a brown to black exterior.

Have you ever found carpet beetles below your couch, within old clothes boxes or any other hidden area of your home?