carpet and a dog

Carpet Pest Infestations: What You Need to Know

There are two types of common carpet pests that can cause major damage in your home: the carpet beetle and the clothes moth. Both of these carpet pests feed on fibres of animal origin such as wool, fur, silk, feathers, and leather. While these carpet pests typically avoid synthetic fabrics such as rayon and polyester, even synthetics may be attacked if the fabric is soiled with food stains, body oils, or animal excrement. The larvae stage of the carpet beetle and the clothes moth is the most harmful to household articles.

How Infestations Develop

Carpet pests prefer to live and feed in dark, undisturbed areas of the home such as closets, drawers, in between walls and insulation, attics, storage boxes, and basements. Homeowners may not notice these carpet pests because they avoid the light; therefore, an infestation may develop undetected. Carpet beetle and clothes moth infestations can cause major damage to clothing, bedding, furniture, and floor coverings. They can also cause allergies and carry diseases. Infestations of carpet pests such as carpet beetles and clothes moths may need to be treated by pest control professionals.

Sources of Infestations

Carpet pests will feed on just about anything including hair, lint, garments, pet food, animal nests, blankets, furniture, carpet, and animal carcasses. Infestations can originate from sources such as animal or bird nests or in air ducts where carpet pest larvae feed on lint and other debris. Infestations may also occur due to animal carcasses such as mice decomposing in an attic, roof cavities, or within walls.

What to Look For

Before homeowners can successfully treat their carpet pest infestation they need to know the type of pest with which they are dealing. There are several signs for which homeowners can look. Carpet beetles will leave fecal pellets and their larvae will shed their skin on fabrics. Carpet beetles will also leave holes in fabrics. The damage produced by clothes moths may include irregular surface feeding or holes in fabrics. Clothes moth larvae, which are creamy-white caterpillars, could be seen crawling on walls or ceilings. Because it may be difficult to differentiate between these pests, homeowners may require a pest inspection service.

Treating Carpet Pest Infestations

Treating and preventing future carpet pest infestations usually requires the expertise of a professional pest control specialist. Extensive knowledge and special skills are needed to correct these types of infestations. Locating the source of the infestation can be challenging, and eliminating resilient larvae can be even more exacting. While homeowners can take steps to control carpet pest infestations on their own, homeowners are advised to contact a pest control expert to assist in eradicating carpet pests such as carpet beetles and carpet moths from the home.