Carpet Beetle – Control

Q: I found some odd-looking bugs in a corner of my bedroom. They are small – a little smaller than a grain of rice. They appear to have little hairs growing out all over. They wiggle and are darker on the longer tips and lighter in the middle. How can I find out what these are and what to do about them?

A: I think you have carpet beetles, or more accurately, carpet beetle larvae. There are several species of beetle but they all have hairy larvae.

The larvae feed on wool rugs or carpet, fur, leather and lint. They prefer to hide in undisturbed spots such as behind wall baseboards and to feed under sofas and pianos. Search for damaged areas and positively identify your pests before treating. Vacuum all cracks and crevices thoroughly and have infested pillows, costumes or clothing dry cleaned.

Look for pesticides containing permethrin or resmethrin to spray on damaged wool floor coverings. Test the spray on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t cause fading. Ohio State University has an excellent site for more information.