Most people only hear of carpet beetles in relation to home infestations. Carpet beetles are pretty common household pests that will infest people’s homes and cause havoc with their destruction of natural fibers, which they find in carpet, clothing, blankets, furniture and fur, among other items. Since they are generally only thought of in conjunction with the infestation of homes, we don’t expect to find them infesting other large items such as our cars. It turns out they are not picky when it comes to the exact location they infest as long as it provides the necessary dark, protected environment that will allow them to reproduce and the proper nutrients they need to survive.
When it comes to carpet beetles, it is really their larva that cause all the damage to our precious items made with natural fibers. And your home isn’t the only place they might infest. One man learned the hard way that they will just as happily infest our vehicles if given the chance. Said man didn’t discover the infestation until he had driven his car to work and received a frantic call from his fiancee after she discovered the infestation of carpet beetles in her car.
It is important to note that while the man regularly used his car to drive to and from work, his fiancee’s car could sit undisturbed for long periods of time since she didn’t need to leave the house as much during the day. The infested car was also in need of a quick cleaning and had some trash lying around. It also sat parked next to the curb under the shade of their neighbor’s tree. All of these factors worked together to make the car a very attractive habitat for carpet beetles. Thee adults will consume plant matter outside, but could easily make their way into a car where they can then find the perfect hidden spot, such as under a floor mat, for them to hunker down and reproduce. After pulling out all of the trash from his fiancee’s car and then pulling out the floor mats, the man found the beetle larva hard at work making mincemeat out of carpet under on of the floor mats.
To rid the car of the infestation, the man vacuumed the car, making sure to suck up any adult beetles and their larvae, and paying special attention to any nooks and crannies they might use to hide. He then applied insecticide powder, Borax in this case, to the entire interior of the car. After letting that sit and then sweeping it all up, he finally used carpet cleaner on all of the interior fabrics. So, let this one man’s experience teach you to keep your car/s clean, and make sure to sweep and clean your car’s carpet and interior fabrics to keep it free of these fabric-munching beetles.
Have you ever found an infestation of carpet beetles in your car?