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Carpet Beetles are Welcome in my House
if it Means not Having Bed Bugs!

2012 May 9

By Marcia Anderson

Several months ago I received an e-mail from a city resident who was getting bites at night that she thought were from a spider. Large, and itchy, but with a burning sensation that told her they weren’t mosquito bites. The problem escalated until she had over 40 red welts on her legs. “I was getting groups of about 5-20 ‘bites’ every night, and my husband had none, and he wore boxers! Also, after the first few nights, I was wearing heavy sweat pants to bed tucked into my socks, and still found marks! “

Carpet beetles are cariophites, which means they live on dead organic materials

She cleaned and vacuumed everything in the bedroom and changed the sheets, but the next morning she still had a few bites. She then went on the internet, and found that this was NOT the work of a spider, but possibly bed bugs. They quarantined the bedroom after thoroughly cleaning and spraying everything with over-the-counter pesticides, but no evidence of ANY bugs was found. She checked the sheets for blood spots, actual bugs – dead or alive, and shed skins, but found none.

One pest company had given her a quote of $1200 to come and treat for bed bugs, but a second pest company suspected carpet beetles instead of bed bugs due to the fact that the wife was getting the ‘bites’ and the husband was not. Some people are allergic to carpet beetles and some are not, however, almost everyone has some allergy to bed bugs. The pest company arrived, and upon inspection, no bed bugs were found, however, a few dead carpet beetles were discovered.

Just like bed bugs: 1.) carpet beetles are attracted to you when you are sleeping because of the CO2 gas you exhale, 2.) carpet beetles are very shy, so they are hard to find, and 3.) carpet beetles also usually come out in the wee hours of the morning. The difference is: bed bugs bite, but carpet beetles eat natural fibers, like wool blankets, natural fibers and feathers, and do not bite.

An adult bed bug next to a carpet beetle larvae.

She learned that they did not need to chemically treat for carpet beetles, as it isn’t the live insects that cause the allergy. Carpet beetle larvae have prickly little hairs that cause a reaction in some people that looks very much like bed bug bites. The solution is to make sure all the allergens (the hairs) are removed from the environment. People with sensitivity to the hairs may get some relief by not wearing shoes or socks in the house. A build-up of static electricity can cause the micro fine hairs on the larvae to impale themselves in human skin, thus creating a small pin-prick-like wound. The ‘bite reaction’ under clothes is symptomatic of carpet beetles, as the hairs can pass though all but the finest of weaves on clothes.

The treatment: she had her carpets steam cleaned.

The moral to this story is: if you search for bed bug signs and find no traces, carpet beetles could be the pest, especially if you are getting a number of bites every night. Check the area (with a magnifying glass) for the shed larval skins remembering that even a single carpet beetle skin could result in multiple “bite like” reactions due to the number of hairs they carry.

About the Author: Marcia is the bed bug and vector management specialist for the Pesticides Program in Edison. She has a BS in Biology from Monmouth, second degree in Environmental Design-Landscape Architecture from Rutgers, Masters in Instruction and Curriculum from Kean, and is a PhD in Environmental Management candidate from Montclair – specializing in Integrated Pest Management and Environmental Communications. Prior to EPA, and concurrently, she has been a professor of Earth and Environmental Studies, Geology and Oceanography at Kean University for 14 years.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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68 Responses leave one →
  1. Harry permalink
    May 12, 2012

    Marcia,
    great article.
    We had the same experience only I was the “victim” and my wife was spared. Luckily a friend told us about carpet beetles and we did not have to get a pest company hunting for bed bugs and saving us quiet an amount!

  2. Sandy Levine permalink
    May 25, 2012

    Dear Ms. Anderson,

    For about two months now I have been suffering from little stings all over my body. I do have bite marks and my dermatologist didn’t know what they were until I saw her again & she said that the bites were from bed bugs as there were 3 in a line. She called it “breakfast, lunch & dinner.”

    I had my bedroom heat treated and still see these little black beetle bug in various Planes in my home. I get stings everywhere in my house but I can not see what is stinging me. My husband has a few bites but he’s not allergic & I’m very allergic.

    To make matters worse, I can see brown raised dots on my face & when I clean my face with Witch Hazel or alcohol, they eventually come ff but more brown like freckles come off. Now it get’s very strange! I do see little hairs & little black dots appear on my face when i wash it Off. it with Alcohol.

    My exterminator saw these black beetles & said it was a carpet beetle. Can you tell me if it sounds like this microscopic stage of this beetle is stinging me?

    If so, how can i stop this? My laundry water is very hot.
    I’ve used Borax and a Myriade of other commercisl & Homiopathic
    Treatment and i don’t seem to be able to get rid of them.

    Thank you.

    Appreciatively,
    Sandy Levine

    • Nancy C permalink
      February 7, 2013

      Did anyone ever answer your question I am having similar issues and you question is the same question I have.

  3. Rose permalink
    June 5, 2012

    Thank you so much for posting your experience. I had begun to suspect the same thing and your post has convinced me now 100%. I started staying with an old friend & during the course of my stay discovered that he had fabric pest infestations. I also was experiencing random exquisitely painful sharp stings that could cause spontaneous crying after a particular bad sting. He did not own a vacuum cleaner and had not vacuumed in 5 months and I began to wonder if a heavy “burden” of carpet larvae (dead and/or alive) could be the cause of the stings. I had observed live varied carpet beetles in the bathroom on the countertops, as well as skin casts, cloth moth webbing/eggs, and casemaking moth eggs/cases. I washed my clothes in warm water with a combination of detergent,vinegar, and Borax laundry powder soak 20-30 min soak followed by addition of boiling water and used dryer on highest setting for 60 minutes and I would still get the sharp jabs. Now I am convinced that carpet beetle larvae combined with static electricity is the problem and have gotten a vacuum cleaner and will soon find out, by process of elimination. Again, thank you so much.
    rose

  4. Damian K. permalink
    June 8, 2012

    That bed bug is about 5 times the size or a beetle larva. The picture is frightening.

  5. HELP please permalink
    September 2, 2012

    Our neighbor across the hall in our apartment building just went thru the bed bug nightmare. I woke up with a bite that we thought was a bed bug(3 bites in a straight row) and had 4 to 5 bites that week. A exterminater came and did not find bed bugs but sprayed the base boards for orevention. Since then we have found carpet beetles both adult and larvae. The exterminater returned stillooking for bed bugs and found none but did see the beetles and said no problem just vacuum. He did one more baseboard spray.
    We have sent our carpets out and are starting to send clothes to the dry cleaner and doing lots of machine washing and drying of all our clothes and any thing made of fabric. Do we have tobagpapers,books, and continue to bag all our clothes. Ive been reading many sites advice and most sat the beetles are harder to get rid off then bed bugs and that I have to do the same regiman. Is this true??? We are vacuming a lot. We (my husband and I) feel we are allergic to the bugs. We still get some red spots and a rash I feel a constriction in my throat at times. I also sense an odor at times that I feel is related. Anyone else have that?

    Thank you so much for any advice for going forward.

  6. Michael Merchant, Texas A&M U permalink
    December 14, 2012

    I hate to be the one to rain on the parade, but I find the carpet beetle connection to be highly doubtful. There are several pieces of misinformation that should be corrected. Carpet beetles are not attracted to CO2, to my knowledge. There is no biological reason for them to be attracted to CO2 since they are feeders on keratin-containing, dead foods like wool, hair, feathers, cheese products, etc. While they may, on occasion, be found in a bed (see my blog post )–they are relatively common in homes–they are not commonly found there unless there is a nearby food source. Perhaps the biggest thing overlooked here is the most obvious explanation for why one person might receive bed bug bites and another seemingly be unaffected: not all people react to bed bug bites. One estimate (Orkin Pest Control) is that only one in 20 people react strongly to bed bug bites. In another (Rutgers University) survey only half the people in infested apartments were even aware that they had a bed bug problem. I don’t know if your correspondent had bed bugs or not, but invoking carpet beetles as a source of “bites” received in bed is a stretch, entomologically speaking.

    • Zak Smith permalink
      September 18, 2013

      Michael, it makes sense that they would be attracted to CO2 because not only do sleeping humans emit CO2( which would not be a reason for them to be attracted to it), so does decaying plant matter!!!

      As a sleep expert at a well respected mattress company I have had a lot of experience with bed bugs. Just today a friend came in and talked of “hives” he was getting sleeping on his new bed, one that he had purchased used recently. This fact speaks to the potential of bed bugs, however there is no evidence of bed bugs, neither on the mattress previous to the purchase, nor the home, nor after the purchase or in his apartment either before or after the purchase. In addition, the number of hives he has developed is too severe for a burgeoning infestation; it would be closer to 2-3 weeks before the full effects of the infestation were made manifest.

      With this evidence and some others, I have come to the conclusion that it could very well be one of two OTHER things:

      1) Carpet Beetles( as stated in this article and others),

      OR

      2) A memory foam topper( they can cause rashes and/or hives, although that is rare.

      Whoever said only 1 in 20 people react strongly to bed bug bites was probably talking about severe hives and/or rashes, not the “normal” reaction that bed bug bites produce in almost everyone. If they weren’t, they need to recheck their numbers.

  7. anna permalink
    December 17, 2012

    I have carpet and powder post beetles in m home.They can get in your hair and lay eggs.Perfect place to be.They get in your mattress,chairs,dressers,everything you own.Dont let anyone tell you different.I called 3 pest control companies and was told we dont see anything.Now I took what I found to a bug person.If someone would have listened it would not be so bad now.They have gotten in my new car as well.The eggs get on your clothes and go with you.I have what would be reaction from bugs everyday.Went to doctor was told to use lice shampoo to get out of hair.I paid 750.00 to a pest company and he said maybe bed bugs.He could not find anything.I was so upset with bugs,I said I dont know what is here just get rid of it.He gave me a 90 day warranty.I called and ask for him to come back with no luck.He said he would come but never did.So beware they will take your money and run

  8. Nancy C permalink
    February 8, 2013

    Does anyone know of any cases where they have infested a human’s hair and or small dogs? I have a very good friend that has been battling a feeling of things crawling on her hair but cannot see anything and she now has discovered these exact carpet beetles in her home along with empty shells and under a 60x microscope discovered the larve that was falling from her hair. No bugs just what looks like pieces of cardboard very small and when under a microscope it can be seen. She has had a hot feeling on her head with a liquid that has a yellow color ending up on her neck and is sticky. I have ran my fingers thru her hair and it is very oily after this hot liquids drip from her hair.. I call it episodes it use to happen 2 x a month now it is almost every day they also have been on the outside of her ears stinging. She has used lindane, lice treatments, lemon juice, ect.. nothing is working. She goes to 3 or 4 doctors and they think she is delusional I would agree however I have personally seen things fall from her head. Her dog has the same oily feeling and has changed in personality. He cries all the time and scratches all the time. Can anyone help? There is much more to tell however before I go on I wanted to see if anyone could say for sure this can happen or are aware of any cases. I have been on the internet trying to help with no success. I would be glad to send her photos or provide samples if so…

    • sheila in virginia permalink
      May 9, 2013

      Hi , My husband and I have had the same problem,s with mite looking bites on us as well as are three poodles. On May 2nd one of our poodles passed away , He would have been 13 in june. It looked to me his skin above and under his eye was infected in March taking him to the vet he was treated for mite bites and it helped , but do to our home getting infested after buying new area rugs from Lowe,s . I did not read the tags on these rugs while at the store . I ,am so upset Lowe,s would even keep area rugs made in Aug- 2002 on the market for anyone to buy . I brought the area rugs in our home 1-22-2013 after 2 inhalf weeks my 7 inch poodle had cacoons and bugs all in her hair , I started taking them to the vet hoping the vet would no what to do. If anyone has figured out how to get rid of carpet beetles and other pest your home was infested with product pest please let us know. We have treated our home and we have also hired Orken but we still have bites and so do my other 2 dogs .

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 28, 2013

      Hi, i have had same problem – i have allergies and I am the only person who feels the bite like reaction on my skin. I called out a specialist pest control and they said it was carpet beetles n biscuit beetles.

      As I suffer from eczema aswell, I have higher supply of dead n flaky skin which they may be feeding off. – They only seem to follow me as my kids n hubby do not suffer from any bites.

      I am hoping that the pest contol company who sprayed the whole house n furniture will have sorted problem out – but I have also started washing n vacumming like crazy.

      Hope your friend soon finds relief i really feel her pain as I have gone through it myself

    • WellInformed permalink
      October 14, 2013

      Before jumping to conclusions, my first question is, has your wife ever had malaria? Or been bitten by a mosquito while visiting any warm wet climate areas? I don’t want to sound any alarms, however you may consider checking her for Filariasis. If not treated, over time it can be very detrimental to her health and the effects generally non-reversible. The yellowish, oily substance you are witnessing could potentially be lymphatic excretion. Of course no diagnosis can be made over the internet. Best of luck to you both!

  9. Rachael permalink
    February 12, 2013

    I have the same thing going on with myself and my kids I’d love an answer as I’ll be divorced soon as my husband thinks I’m delusional.

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 14, 2013

      yup, me too… no one believes me. I thought I had bedbugs. had 4 different exterminators come to my home they found nothing . one came wih a bedbug sniffing dog,,, nothing. but sincei haven’t slept in my bedroom in 2 months I have not had one single bite. now they told me if I slept in a different room the bedbug searches for its host. I still have not gotten bitten . bought a cheap full size mattress and box spring because my husband is about ready to strangle me, and we put it on the floor in our livingroom, wich is very far from our bedroom. now im not getting bitten but ther are all these little brown bugs crawling in my blankets and on my bed I looked them up and they look like whats called a grain beetl haven’t found anything in my food thrown all of it away and still have thm they don’t bite… please someone help seriously my husband wats to leave me im like freaked I cant stand going to bed! help please

  10. jamie permalink
    February 19, 2013

    yes my mother describes all the same stuff under her nails bites etc. the black carpet beetle it started about 2 moths ago. she gonna be sending them to someone she took a piece of her toenail and the larva was stuck to it i guess this person studies it i feel so bad for her. shes not delusional its obvious theres alot of people complaining about the same things so something is going on

  11. K in VA permalink
    March 5, 2013

    This article helped me out a great deal. I recently had the problem of feeling various bites at bed time and upon inspection of my bedroom, my mattress, and box spring; I was not able to find any signs of a bed bug or its waste. I had been finding however the larva casing of the carpet beetle around in various parts of my home. Matter of fact when I went to check out the bottom of my box spring I found several skins on the bottom of my box spring but could not figure out what type of bug the skin went to. I knew it didnt really look like a bed bug but wanted to be on the safe side. As I began to research pictures online, something told me to do a search for “common house hold insects”. I felt a sigh of relief when I found the picture of the carpet beetle and was to put a correct identity to the mystery bug I had actual seen a few times around my home. Again this article helped me out greatly. Thanks for all the info.

  12. Ada permalink
    May 6, 2013

    This is so helpful, thank you. We’ve been seeing these creepy fellows for a while now. Our home is clean but our dog sheds so much we could vacuum daily. The past couple weeks my husband started with red bites on his legs, arms, and trunk, new ones in the mornings. I have none. My husband has allergies and asthma. I do not. The rash doesn’t look so much like bites, more like an allergic reaction.

    I did the bed bug check all over my house. Not one little brownish or red spot on a mattress, chair, couch. No casings. Nothing that looked like eggs or fecal matter. No evidence of a bed bug. Even checked purse, etc. We took 2 of these little beetles to the bug man and he said carpet beetles. I also took photos and today I found 2 larvae and we will take those to him too. He said from the sounds of it, it is early.

    He suggested we vacuum like crazy, esp around the edges and under everything, keep the dog hair vacuumed up constantly, and if need be he will come out and spray for us. I hate bugs like there’s no tomorrow so the bug man is one of my heroes. he charges us very little and gives us good tips. Oh my gosh I just noticed I have a bunch of clutter on the floor in one little spot! Buncha books and papers. Usually don’t, but I’m in school and working, getting ready for finals and daughter just got married and things have been IN. SANE.

    Now I have plenty of time to fear and loathe the dread bugs at my leisure. :( I stayed up all night, afraid to go to sleep in the bed. I have found 2 of them in there, but just crawling leisurely across the covers. find them usually on the floor just at the edge of the carpet, or right by the baseboard.

  13. Monica permalink
    May 12, 2013

    I am so grateful to hear these stories as I know that I am not alone.

    I had an exterminator come in back in January or late December. I was freaked thinking bed bugs. Then when she said it was carpet beetles, I was relieved. Although one of my friends told me that her friend had carpet beetles and it was a nightmare, she moved twice before having a clean home.

    The exterminator told me to calm down, vacuum, call this guy to steam clean hardwood floors and carpet. I was already on a mad cleaning escapade, washing and bagging all clothes, thinking it was bed bugs. She looked at the tons of baggies I had filled with bugs, identifying them as carpet beetles.

    She came back once with her husband who owned the business. At this point, my place was squeeky clean as I became OCD and still am about vacuuming, every day, cleaning with a dust of borax, and even trying a solution on skin at night that was recommended with coconut oil, silver and vitamin E, a mineral also. I have become anti-social.

    I have hired an exterminater who came in and sprayed. My car got carpet beetles and I got it cleaned, detailed, washed inside twice. Exterminater sprayed it.

    Beetles ate my wicker furniture, thrown out lots of stuff that has been destroyed. Don’t see them at work, just see loose threads, small holes in furniture.

    I have a hepa filter vacuum cleaner that I bought, a heap filter in the bedroom. Everything is in sealed bags in my home and I threw out my couch, my bed, they were in my box springs, and books, cupboard foods, grains, spices, the whole nine yards.

    Thought about moving but like my rent and my location, plus likely they would come with me.

    My dog has bugged out, no pun intended, and he is being eaten alive. They pull out his hair at night. They pull out mine. Inner ear infection, dizziness. Sinus infection. They crawl into your nose, your ears, your scalp, open mouth during the night. Just gruesome.

    I have not wanted to live. What is my life? Feel like I cannot invite anyone over anymore. And if you saw my home, you would think I was the best and cleanest person ever.

    Not sure what else to do but keep ahead of them.

    What I have found out, contacting about 5 different exterminater companies, is that no one seems to know about carpet beetles in the way that they know about bedbugs or other rodents. Vacuum is the most common answer and that is just BS as a solution. It helps but you better be taking the bags out, clean out the dust buster, etc.

    Who are the experts on carpet beetles?

    And believe me the problem is much bigger than anyone is saying.

    Good luck to all in this battle that depletes so much of our lives and our animals.

    • Frustrated permalink
      July 18, 2013

      You’re not alone and you’re not delusional, although people do tend to think that cause they’ve never been through it. I had a contract with a pest control co. & they gave me my money back & said they couldn’t help me. They were trying to say I had fleas in my bed, although they did say I had carpet beetles. I emptied out the bedroom except for the mattress & bed frame which I dusted with borax/DE. I slept on borax, sheet-covered couch for 6 mos. Couple of times I slept in my car. Had to put sheets & blanket in dryer every night. At first, after a bath in epsolm salts, when I was still seeing them in the water, I would put sulfur cream all over my body and a shower cap on my head to sleep. It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to go through & like many on here I was exhausted. I had them so bad I put borax everywhere all over furniture, everything til I saw it was making me & the cat sick. Food-grade diatomaceous earth does work. Everything has to go in plastic bags. I lived out of them for 6 mo. Took all nic-nacs, magazines, dishes, everything I didn’t need & bagged then up with borax sprinkled in them. Didn’t get them back out for almost a year. Took all clothes, sheets, towels, rugs, curtains (left blinds), etc and put them in plastic bags with borax til I could launder. Got out only what I would need to use so some things lstayed in plastic bags with borax for 6 mos. This happened in Sept. so in the winter put bags outside as carpet beetles don’t like cold. When I changed clothes, dirty clothes immediately went in a plastic bag with borax sprinkled in it til I did laundry. Use borax in laundry even to this day. I don’t put any food in cabinets other than canned goods. Everything else I keep in fridge, chips, cereals, cannisters, etc. Don’t leave anything out cause they feed on anything. I also bought some Neem and sprayed it everywhere, even on me after bathing. Neem kills mites (for a while thought it might be bird mites) & all kinds of pests. Brushes, combs, and rollers went in a baggy and was kept in freezer til needed, cleaned and put back again. Didn’t put anything (purse) on floor if I could help it. Vacuumed twice a day every day with vac cleaner that uses bags & put duct tape over the bag opening til I threw it out. Put DE under my washer, dryer, stove, fridge, anywhere they could be that I couldn’t get to & left it there for 6 mos. This was my daily life for 6 mos-1 year. Just remember they eat anything, clean everywhere, even around the inside of your washer lid, EVERYWHERE! Everybody thought I was nuts even when I showed them my “bites”. I live alone so didn’t have anybody to worry about but me. For the people on here that have children, I am so sorry this has happened to you, for I know what you’re going through. Get on the computer and research everything you can. It helped me more than anything else. Don’t know why people don’t hear of this more often. There are plenty of others going through this or that have gone through it. Knowledge is power. Just remember you’re not alone and you’re not delusional but I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you, it’s a hard battle, but you can win.

    • Krissy permalink
      April 28, 2014

      Couldn’t of said it better myself. I wonder why carpet beetles arnt studied much.

  14. Ada permalink
    May 29, 2013

    You guys, my life is a wreck. I cannot sleep at night and I look for them everywhere…and find them everywhere. I keep my little camera with me and take photos of everything that remotely looks like a beetle, larva, or cast-off skin. My husband thought I was nuts until he saw the enlarged pictures! He was stunned to see that the tiniest specks are in fact, larvae covered in hairs, or cast-off skins. We will clean a floor or launder a bedspread and by evening it will have half a dozen of these little beasts on it. We have cleaned, scoured, sprayed, vacuumed with an excellent vacuum, washed and dried everything on “hot,” taken everything out of closets and drawers and washed it, discarded everything we didn’t absolutely need, sprayed again. They seem confined to our bedroom and bathroom. I found most of them in my little bathroom closet and my bedroom window track! I have found no damage. We don’t own much. We have little furniture, I have little in the way of clothing. We have very little clutter. We thought we’d lose our home a couple of years ago so we went through with hardened hearts and got rid of everything we didn’t really need or treasure, cleaned and packed up most of our things in plastic sealable bins.

    We are going to try the Borax, the steam cleaning, and bring in the bug man – we know him and he’s been very good to us before.

    This has taken over my life. I’m past crying because I’m so exhausted from working and going to school full time and homework and the rest of the time I sit up at night watching for them. I can’t bear to get in bed until I’m ready to drop.

    Now that I read about them getting in someone’s hair, I realize my hair began to fall out months ago and I am in tears wondering if these little horrors have been in my hair all this time. I sometimes can’t eat because I am afraid they are in my food.

    Mind you I realize this sounds INSANE. I was a rational person before this. I’ve found them EVERYWHERE. On my clothes, in my bag with my schoolbooks, even in my keyboard!

    My poor husband is covered with this horrible rash. He is at the doctor for the third time and this time they are taking a skin sample. He has done 2 rounds of prednisone. He’s miserable with the itching and covered in red welts.

    Here’s the worst. We went to my daughter’s yesterday to watch our grandson. I settled in for a cup of coffee and gradually as I looked around I realized – carpet beetles EVERYWHERE. Beetles, live and dead. Larvae in all stages. Cast off skins. Counter tops, hard floor, carpet, window tracks, couch, tables. I don’t know if we brought them to her or she to us, or as they live in an apartment if they just got them.

    Why doesn’t anyone know about these? I dread coming home now, the bugs can have it. I’m going to do the lice treatment in my hair, what little of it is left, that is, just in case. I’m beside myself and can’t go on like this much longer. I would sleep in the car but they would just follow me.

    • June 10, 2013

      I have had almost the same experience. After the sixth visit to a Vet, they gave my 6 lb chihauhau something called “revolution” and so far it is helping quite a bit. His personality is coming back and I noticed a change in him after 24 hours! The Vet said he thinks it is a mite, but not certain. Carpet beetles all over the place as 5 exterminators couldn’t figure out the problem, I did by purchasing a USB Camera Microscope for $89.00 at Frys.

      Like many of the others on here, my life has been taken from me. I am exhausted from trying to get rid of them. I did find one product that kills them and you can visibly see it under a microscope. It is from Natural Genesis, Kleen Free for all over spray, Kleen Green for fabrics. It does help but it is a process of elimination.

      This is absolutely the worst experience of my life. Ladies if you are married, thank GOD you have a husband! Yes, in my hair and I am not just talking on top of your head as I have photographed these in all other areas of my body that have hair.

      It is disgusting and makes me want to slit my wrists like I am sure many of you have thought about but just don’t do it because it pisses you off and you are determined to beat this like I am.

      Don’t give up, together we will find the answer/cure.

    • doreen permalink
      May 15, 2014

      I was told that I was delusional but we found we have mold in our walls and to much humidity in our home from the builder not wrapping the house correctly under the vinyl siding, I kept feeling like something was biting me under my clothes & when I walked upstairs where there is wall to wall carpeting EVEN in my car! then I noticed staining on my laminate flooring and shower wall (brownish color) now I have brown looking dots on my skin looks like a freckle but its not a freckle, I lost most of my hair which use to be past my waist and it is extremely dry, I am Native American so my Hair was nice and silky. I look like I have aged 10 years and also dropped 60 pounds in 34 days and now all my joints are very painful I can bearly walk and my eye site is going, I have sprayed the house myself then hired 3 DFFERENT Exterminators who sprayed inside and out and still no help, now if I wash my floors black dots appear, After running the dishwasher there always is little black dots and little worm things in it. The one thing the exterminator did say was we have Spider Mites well after the 3 sprayings they are worst than ever now I see them stuck to the screens and I see floating things in the air, every minute I wipe off white round (salt looking) things from counters and stove. Please help I am extremely desperate and depressed I really do not know how long I can continue. Is there a specialist I can call for my Home and Especially for myself as my Health is really going fast. (remember the Doctor will not listen and he will not give me a referral to a Disease Doctor either) I have done it all Spray & Vinegar & Borax & Bleach. PLEASE HELP I WILL TRY AND PAY ANYTHING AT THIS POINT !

  15. LOLZZZZ permalink
    June 7, 2013

    in the past 3 days i have seen and killed 11 carpet beetles. I vacuum every day and they still appear even after i washed EVERYTHING! What do i do???

  16. Jon son permalink
    June 18, 2013

    This is so helpful, thank you. We’ve been seeing these creepy fellows for a while now. Our home is clean but our dog sheds so much we could vacuum daily. The past couple weeks my husband started with red bites on his legs, arms, and trunk, new ones in the mornings. I have none. My husband has allergies and asthma. I do not. The rash doesn’t look so much like bites, more like an allergic reaction.

    I did the bed bug check all over my house. Not one little brownish or red spot on a mattress, chair, couch. No casings. Nothing that looked like eggs or fecal matter. No evidence of a bed bug. Even checked purse, etc. We took 2 of these little beetles to the bug man and he said carpet beetles. I also took photos and today I found 2 larvae and we will take those to him too. He said from the sounds of it, it is early.

    He suggested we vacuum like crazy, esp around the edges and under everything, keep the dog hair vacuumed up constantly, and if need be he will come out and spray for us. I hate bugs like there’s no tomorrow so the bug man is one of my heroes. he charges us very little and gives us good tips. Oh my gosh I just noticed I have a bunch of clutter on the floor in one little spot! Buncha books and papers. Usually don’t, but I’m in school and working, getting ready for finals and daughter just got married and things have been IN. SANE.

  17. Kelly Anderson permalink
    July 3, 2013

    Do you really want the carpet bettles? Seriously, it is still the same when you are having a bedbugs.

  18. Laura Anonymous permalink
    July 15, 2013

    Ewwwwwwwwww! These buggers are gross and nasty and like a nightmare the more I clean,the more I find…in all stages from tiny almost cute little wormy brown woolly bugs all over the appartment. In my case Im somewhat a hoarder but a clean one who cannot have enough clothes and shoes,purses,books, toys and stuffed animals for my kids, after finding tiny holes in my beloved clothes, I have started discarding and sadly for the people who take in my old stuff and do not wash them immediately in hot hot hot water and detergeant a few times well they inherit this nightmare too… I have become Paranoid and obsessed with these yucky creatures to the point the word ‘dermestids’ keeps popping into my brain a few times daily and words like ‘pupa’ and carpet beetles too… i started throwing away my books, my expensive leather pants, my woolen winter shirts and beautiful scarfs, bye bye to the cutest teddy bears and to some of my favorite clothes :( saddly I have sooo much to get rid of still… I HATE dermestids !!! Plus the summer heat (no a/c isnt helping… They multiply very rapidly and from what i read they hatch 90-100 little shits every 5 days!!! They also look for mates as adult beetles on curtains and windows. Good luck with these poops!

    • Sandy permalink
      January 18, 2014

      Reading about other peoples issues with carpet beetles has kept me from thinking I had totally lost it. Right now in the process of ditching stuff and cleaning. Yesterday threw out my favorite coat and today two lovely upholstered chairs from the kitchen. Oh well I guess becoming a minimalist isn’t such a bad thing. This is a huge job and most everything in my house is going to get ditched. boo hoo.

      Last night I when I washed my hair I used a vinegar rinse. I don’t feel quite as itchy today.

      Still not sure who to turn to for help. A exterminator said the baseboards needed to be sprayed. Surely that isn’t enough.
      I find the little boogers – everywhere.

      Sadly the things that are being tossed out are in good condition and quite lovely BUT should NOT go to another human. All it would do is spread to another family.

      When I got out of my car at the airport yesterday I realized my coat had been become prey to the little boogers. I put it in a trash bag and ditched it. A lady saw me putting it the garbage and said she wanted the coat. I told her no that it had bugs. After I left I think she got it out of the trash.

      I have heard that in Europe people hang their clothes outside in the cold clear weather. Do you know if this helps to reduce the carpet beetle population?

  19. Nicole permalink
    July 16, 2013

    I’ve been battling against some sort of insect for 3 weeks. I was convinced it was bed bugs. An exterminator told us no…not bed bugs. I’ve got welts on my stomach, side, and back. My clothes are all bagged. I’ve sprayed the bedroom with bedlam to no avail. I’m going absolutely crazy.
    I’ve been staying at my other house (luckily nothing there..yet, I only bring clothes that I immediately throw in the washer and dryer and keep sealed) This morning, I arrived at my home and on my clean sheets that have not been slept on are little black specks. Then at closer examination, my boyfriend finds two very small worms-around 2mm long…MOVING! I’ve found carpet beetles, and their skins and I am assuming it is them and not bed bugs. (Don’t know if I should be relieved or not) Has anyone else found evidence of these worms I speak of?? I am about to purchase a magnifying glass. This. is. torture. :(

    • Frustrated permalink
      July 17, 2013

      I had the same problem from carpet beetles and was also getting “bites”. Even felt like they got in my skin as I would feel a place on my body like a grain of sand. Had researched & found Ivermectin (dewormer/treats parasites on cattle). Went to ER, told ER doc about this. It came in pill form, rx had to order but they worked. Only got rx 3 but it gives some time to treat environment. Got food-grade diatomaceous earth put it around everywhere, laundered all clothes (dryer on hot helps also) with borax, put clothes not being used in double garbage bags & plastic containers. Kept towels and clothes I did use in double garbage bags, getting out what needed & sealing them back up. Did this for months .Brushes, rollers, etc, in air-tight baggie & kept in freezer until needed, cleaned & back in freezer again. All canisters, bags/boxes of food keep in fridge always. Spices kept in enclosed plastic container. It has worked so far and this was a year ago. Vacuumed 2x/day at 1st everywhere. Hope this helps somebody. I thought I was going to go nuts but there is light at end of tunnel just have to stay with it.

      • Sara permalink
        July 18, 2013

        Oh, God! I am glad that you were able to get rid of them. Can I ask you how many of these carpet beetles adult and larvae you saw everyday?
        I just have rented a place which I found out that has carpet beetles everywhere! So I was not able to move in in order to not contaminate my clothes, furniture and stuff. Now I want to break the contract but I really like the condo too, the only problem is that I am scared that pest control may not be able to get rid of these beetles??
        I would appreciate to have your opinion.
        Thanks!

  20. Ada permalink
    July 22, 2013

    T, this is especially for you: I am SO SORRY you have gone through this most horrific thing. You spoke of having them get in your hair and I just started to cry because this has happened to me as well and I had begun to think it was just me cursed with this. My husband has seen it twice. I also photographed it and horror of horrors, they had left their shed skins inside my skin! I took it to the doctor with me and she look at it under the microscope nad confirmed it so at least it was confirmed.

    We have had a pest control place out here and it has helped but here is what we found. NEVER NEVER NEVER let a bird nest on your house. Never. I am feeling hopeless, like if I can’t get out of here I want to die. I fell out of my chair today, I sleep in it and I was exhausted. I landed on my head and hurt my neck. I just cannot take it anymore. The ones I find are not microscopic. They are small but visible. If I take a photo of one and enlarge it on the camera screen it is easy to see that it is a larva. They look just like the ones in the pictures on the internet, and we also have the confused flour beetles too.

    Has anyone experienced this business of the unholy beasts shedding their skins ON YOU and then crawling away leaving the shed skin on your skin? It will then sometimes sink under your own skin?

    I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

    • Quantumnerd permalink
      November 25, 2013

      That doesn’t sound like carpet beetles at all. I find a few carpet beetles and the little fuzzy worms on my kitchen floor but I pick them up and they don’t try to bite me or anything or shed or try to burrow in my skin. *I do use a paper towel. In fact they flip over and play dead. And they are not so tiny, so maybe what you have are fleas? Or ticks?

  21. Jenny permalink
    September 30, 2013

    Please do a search for the following link. ” Guide to the control of moths and carpet beetles CSIRO” (Australia)
    Take a look at the pdf entitled “Guide to the control of clothes moths and carpet beetles”. This contains lots of info like -when the worst time for larva is, what temeprature kills the eggs etc. Why the larva is the worst bit. etc. It has pictures etc.
    I’ll quote a little below which may provide some relief.
    “Any infested goods can be cleared of insects and eggs by washing in hot water (60°C), or dry-cleaning.
    Insects and eggs can be killed at temperatures above 60ºC for 15 – 30 minutes.”
    Good luck. (Sorry, the temperatures are in Celsius, not Farenheit.)

  22. Lynn permalink
    October 20, 2013

    We have been battling carpet beetles for months. It started in my closet and I thought it was moth damage. I took everything out of my closet and to the dry cleaner. I found them in my daughter’s closet too. They eat everything, not just the wool and cashmere sweaters. All machine washable items were washed in hot water and put in the dryer. We washed every sheet, towel and blanket in the house put them in vacuum sealed bags. We took our wool area rugs out of the house to get them cleaned. We got a storage unit to hold our dry cleaned clothes. We had the damaged clothing repaired (if possible). We turned furniture upside down and sideways and vacuumed EVERYTHING in the house. We went through every room, every closet, throwing everything away that we didn’t need. We live in an old victorian house with 3 floors and a basement. This process took FOREVER and still isn’t done. We had the house sprayed twice with insecticide. We had our HVAC system cleaned. I’m still finding larvae crawling around EVERYWHERE. They travel from room to room and are quick. We finally found a service that heats your house up to 150 degrees. They say it’s guaranteed to kill carpet beetles in all stages. They’re coming on Thursday. Wish us luck. Costs keep piling up and this process is very expensive ($4,000), but I’d pay anything to get rid of this problem. I believe all the people who are going insane. My husband and I have talked about moving and leaving everything behind so the problem doesn’t come with us. We joke about living in a concrete house with no furniture.

    P.S. I agree with everyone who’s written not to let birds nest near your house. Birds were nesting in our attic eves and my husband found a very large birds nest in the house. He had to cut a hole in the closet wall in the attic to get to it. We had to have our roof fixed so the birds can’t get in anymore… at least for now.

  23. Quantumnerd permalink
    November 25, 2013

    Well it says in the article that carpet beetles don’t bite? Now I’m confused.

    • Tony permalink
      December 12, 2013

      Don’t poison don’t cry , buy some Food Grade DE. Tell the bed bugs and carpet beetles GOOD BYE!!

  24. Tony permalink
    December 12, 2013

    It’s easy FOOD GRADE DE diatoms. I had welts all over. It was from the larvae hairs. moved out of the apartment and they infested my new house. insecticide will not work. I did not vacuum I did not clean. just sprinkle generous amounts of Diatomacious sp Earth along all the base boards and walls and LEAVE IT THERE. You may want to vacuum but don’t vacuum the de just let it do it’s job. soon you will have no crawling insects in your home . Except maybe spiders which eat carpet beetles . I had asthma from these things tried everything else first. DE saved my life, you can eat it …..drink tbsp in water or juice. you don’t need borax. just give it some time. may take a few months but they will be gone forever.

    • TinaBr permalink
      May 13, 2014

      @Tony and others: CAUTION. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) truly acts as an insecticide. While naturally occurring, the workers that process DE before you purchase it, are required to wear masks (in the U.S.). It can cause serious, even fatal, lung disease after inhaling small amounts over time in your home. It scars the lung, causing silicosis (with asthma that’s disastrous). Please google or bing for more info. While it may be digested, you must be very cautious when the powder is released in the air. DO NOT BREATHE DE…or let your dogs/cats sniff it either.

      Otherwise, glad to hear it worked for you!! :)

  25. Melissa permalink
    December 29, 2013

    I second the Diatomacious earth stuff. I had a bed bug infestation and after vacuaming and washing everything in my room from top to bottom I spread that powder all through my house, mattress, carpets. Doesn’t harm animals or people but all bugs HATE it. They were gone in 24 hours.

    • TinaBr permalink
      May 13, 2014

      @Melissa, Please read my above comment about the danger to you or your pets that can occur with Diatomaceous Earth powder. I think some people figure that because food-grade DE is so naturally occurring, it cannot be harmful. However, caution must be observed to avoid inhalation and avoid scarring in the lungs.

      Hopefully none/little was inhaled during your application and removal…but so happy for you that it worked!!

  26. Doc134 permalink
    March 20, 2014

    It really depends on the type of carpet beetle. There are many different types but if you have the ones that are really small with zigzag brown strips on their backs then you’re fine. They don’t bite or have hairs, actually they don’t even bug you at all no pun intended. Of course no one wants bugs in their home but these guys pop up all over the place and they usually munch on some fibers and take off. You won’t notice holes in clothing or anything, the amount of they eat is practically microscopic. And they don’t really multiply, Black Carpet Beetles on the other hand can go from a few to an infestation pretty quick. But if you see the little brown strips don’t worry they’re completely harmless. Best way to rid of them is wash fabrics, vacuum your carpet every other day, set glue traps on cracks or where you think they’re coming from and spray pesticides.

    • Miranda permalink
      June 12, 2014

      “these guys pop up all over the place and they usually munch on some fibers and take off. You won’t notice holes in clothing or anything, the amount of they eat is practically microscopic”

      Is this definitely the case with the stripey ones? Those are the ones that have infested my house, I find them everywhere and kill loads every day and vacuum but they still keep coming back. And I’m worried that all my clothes will get eaten by them

  27. Randolph Knackstedt permalink
    March 24, 2014

    This title of this article is confusing.

    The title “Carpet Beetles are Welcome in my House
    if it Means not Having Bed Bugs!” led me to believe that carpet beetles prevent bedbugs. Obviously that is not the case.

  28. Rhonda permalink
    April 21, 2014

    I have just discovered these carpet beetles everywhere I go lately. My friend who has been battling them for a while and moved out of home over them just showed me what they look like at various stages. I was shocked to find them under the skin on my own body. I had thought my recent problems to be tick bites. The particles of “things” I felt and could see in my skin I even thought may be head of tick left behind when had pulled tick out. While looking with a magnifying glass it is clear that particles in, under, and some removed by me from my skin are larvae of carpet beetles. I believe sore like places on my body and on her scalp may be burrowed eggs. I havnt spoke to any professionals about it , but she was told to see a psyciatrist when she went to doctor and to ER for help.

  29. s.o. permalink
    April 23, 2014

    I went through all the steps for about a month now, cleaned everything, threw out my sofa as that is where I first discovered them, went through and cleaned everything, vacuuming constantly, have been spraying permethrin 99% once a month and now I SEE THEM DROPPING OUT MY BEDROOM CEILING VENTS ON TO THE WINDOW SILL, TINY BLACK LARVA that look like teenie tiny black worms that wiggle, can see the antennas with a magnifying glass. all this time and everything I’ve done and they are just plopping out the vent. it’s hard to tell with my other vents cause they would just drop onto darker color carpet and I would have no clue. I knew they didn’t crawl up there to the window sill and all be right in the same spot on the white window sill, so now I taped all vents up and haven’t see one. problem that very soon I will need air again. trying to figure out now how they got into the duct work, I think it could be from a hole somewhere in the duct work or from the self contained heat/air unit from a hole or crack somewhere, I have wanted to croak over this as now it seems they will never be gone. I called a duct cleaner but they said it will be a waste if I don’t find out how they are getting into the ducts in the first place, need to find someone to check around the ac unit and the attic which are all hard to get to and if my landlord is willing to pay for all this as I can’t afford it. any help is appreciated.

  30. anonymous permalink
    May 8, 2014

    to s.o. – there is probably a fresh air intake. DO NOT cover it but you have inspired me to put sticky tape around the perimeter outside the intake. If anything is crawling in, it would get stuck on the tape before getting in the duct as long as the bug doesn’t fly. Am also going to try the same between screen and window on window ledge. That may be a good preventative measure for me as I never want to have these things and in your case maybe it will help.

  31. Lynda permalink
    May 22, 2014

    I have had some sort of bug problem for over a month now. At first, I thought of bedbugs, just like all of you seem to have done. I had actually had a bug drop from somewhere above me, directly in front of my face, while I was in bed reading. When I looked for it, I couldn’t find it. And like you, I had (and still have) no signs of bed bugs, other than bites. But I went ahead and began the tedious process of washing and bagging, and everything else. I also ordered a bed bug kit online, and received it this morning.
    Then, a couple of weeks ago, my cats began to be bitten. All 10 of them, and whatever it is seems to prefer the cats now. This made me suspect fleas, although they are VERY rare in my area (I live in a high desert area). I found a small blackish bug on my kitten, and this made me think, “AHA! So it IS fleas!” About a week ago, I combed a tiny, dead worm-like thing out of my hair; I have waist-long, thick hair. I looked up flea larvae, and thought that was what it was. I set up a flea trap, with no results.
    OMG as I wrote that last sentence, I just got bitten AGAIN! On my upper left thigh, underneath my shorts!
    Back to the story:
    Last night, I found this forum (or blog?), and the similarities between your stories and mine were striking. Then when I went to bed, guess what I found on my bed? A carpet beetle. I put it into a container, and looked it up this morning. It’s either an ornate or glabrous beetle.
    So my story is just beginning, and it may still turn out to be fleas, but I’m not so sure of that anymore. All I really know for sure it what it ISN’T; not spiders, not ticks, not flies, not mosquitoes. I will be treating the cats for fleas with Advantage, and see what happens (tomorrow is payday, and I will order it then). If it doesn’t work, I’ll have another piece of negative information to work with. I will keep you posted (pun intended).
    Oh, I almost forgot! When I was tearing my dresser apart to spray it with rubbing alcohol (still thinking bed bugs at that point), I found a cast skin. When I looked it up, it was a carpet beetle larva skin.

    • Lynda permalink
      May 22, 2014

      PS~
      I will also be continuing the washing and bagging, vacuuming, and everything else, like putting my shoes and purse in the freezer.

  32. JoAnne permalink
    June 1, 2014

    Found bugs on window sills in my bathroom, bedrooms, and living rooom, which I have identified as black carpet beetles from on-line photos. I have found one or two everyday on the bathroom walls or floor. A few days ago I was sitting on my couch and one crawled on my face! Last week I shaved my upper legs before putting on my bathing suit and saw what I thought was an ingrown hair in my groin area. I got a tweezer and yanked it really hard and a cardboard like object was on the tweezer. My Mom said it looked like the same shape as the beetles in the bathroom. After reading these posts I realized that the carpet beetles left it embedded in my skin. I vacuumed everything and sprayed the window sills with windex, but I realize from these posts that I need to do much more to prevent an infestation, or stop one if it already exists.

  33. homelesscat permalink
    June 1, 2014

    I have these carpet beedles for a year now. they are all over mattress and in couch. When I go to sleep at night they are all over me. I tried teatree oil which I think is helping a bit as I have an allergic reation to them. They are even in my toilet paper, underside of furniture. They are in my artificial plant. Eating my leather couch and mattress..threads are broken of hanging out. in my clothes ad shoes. Stayed at a hotel one night with clothes on my back. I could feel them in the bed there. I don’t know if they can smell the other bugs on me (had shower) or in clothes I was wearing. put killer dust along baseboards and windowsills.
    I have thought a lot about moving and leaving everything behind. they seem to come out at night more so.
    Had my house spray 3 times and still have them, so it doesn’t work.
    I sweep the hardwood floors a lot and baseboards then throw them in toilet so they don’t come back. From what I have read the larva hairs are stinging my body, the seem to go for the feet and legs, but do have stings on neck even.
    My clothes are mostly all in plastic bags with de dust. I am hoping it kills the CB. I have thrown lots of stuff out, couch and mattress might be next.
    They get into papers plastic, everything, I have even found them in my frig.
    Good luck to all of us. Also the daytime seems to be better.

  34. homelesscat permalink
    June 2, 2014

    well it’s night time again and I am going crazy with stings and static. I am a wreck. my left leg is starting to have muscle spasms I think, because of the stinging. I can feel the bugs jumping on my legs from the knee down. I am ready to move again. don’t think the tea tree oil is working. this is so stressful, I am a clean freak, but I cannot seem to get a handle on this cb problem.
    what a nightmare. they are in my car as well. I put the fan on today and a few blew out. not sure what the larve is…does it come after egg is hatched.
    when I vaccum I feel them still as soon as I am finished.
    the only time I am positive is in the morning when they seem to be not as bad.
    has anyone gotten rid of these horrible bugs. help

  35. JoAnne permalink
    June 2, 2014

    Homelesscat, sorry to read about your infestation. Yesterday I took my bed apart and found a few carpet beetles on my bed sheets and it looks like they left cast off skin on my bed skirt. The cast off skin looks exactly like what was embedded in my upper leg. Maybe my leg brushed against the hard skin while it was laying on my fitted sheet? I called a pest control company that treated my house last year for wasps and told them about the beetles, but the rep told me that carpet beetles don’t act like that and they are probably dust mites. I called another pest control company and was told they are definitely carpet beetles! One company told me that all they can do is spray for beetles, she said I might have birds nests underneath the aluminum siding which attracts the beetles and brings them in the windows, but it costs thousands of dollars to remove them! At this point I am going to pay for a $75 inspection and go from there.

  36. JoAnne permalink
    June 3, 2014

    Some web sites say once carpet beetle larvae turns into an adult beetle it does no damage so spraying the adults with chemicals does no good, it is the larvae that needs to be cleaned away. I would think if the adult carpet beetles are laying eggs, they do need to be chemically eliminated, or am I misunderstanding something?

  37. homelesscat permalink
    June 3, 2014

    JoAnne, thanks for responding.
    I had the bug identified by orkin, they said it was carpet beedle larvae and sprayed three times, couldn’t get rid of it. I am at the end of the rope, well close. you get to the point that u don’t know what to do.
    I keep looking through site on internet. I found one and sent an email to them and the person said to send sample (by the way it was in Texas) a week later she responded by email saying it was a bird mite. I have a lot of black specs on my couch when I use a sticky lint brush. Check your legs, all over for any little redbumps on your skin. Sometimes its hard to tell as we have blemishes, but try it. have hardwood flooring..use lint brush on floor after doing part of couch to see is there is any there..yes there is. read up on bird mites, I believe they get into everything. I thought about getting a zapper for inside house, but I am not sure if they fly. most companys don’t know too much about carpet beedles or mites as far as that goes. they tell me to see a doctor, think I am nuts.
    if u have bird nest u might just have bird mites. they do eat off of humans, I found this black speck embedded in my arm this a.m. they do sting at time. they also get into my underwear. I always wash myself after bowl movement, as I think they like the smell (don’t mean to be rude). I don’t even sleep on my mattress, it is brand new. tried it once or twice and they are all over my legs and feet especially. my couch is the same. I stayed at a hotel a couple times, once with clothes on my back.but I was invaded there as well, but not to the extent at home.
    I bought bug spray and sprayed my legs and feet as they seem to be attacking them the most so I got some sleep last night. I am getting ‘skin so soft’ from avon. it’s supposed to keep insects at bay. its worth a try.
    dust mites u cannot see. .bird mites u can
    it work hurt to go into different sites and read up about them. get confusing sometimes. they say vaccum over and over, I just did and laid on my couch and they were all over my legs. if I were u I would throw out carpets if you have any or have them drycleaned, but I would put them back into your home. declutter if you can. are they in your clothes. they get into pills blankets, sheets, they hide underside of my desk and furniture.
    I put killer dust (like Diatomaceous earth) in the baseboard cracks, seemed to help a bit I think, I don’t even know anymore.
    at night it is worse. I sweep a lot ..right into dustpan and I got a lot of these bugs.
    can u feel them in your bed?
    how long have u had them to your knowledge?
    are they in your clothes, shoes, car?
    carpet beedle larvae can sting, I think its from the hard skin, causes an allergic reation to the skin.
    I think carpet beedles and bird mites are very hard to get rid of. hopefully they don’t follow u to work.
    this infestation is wearing me out…and driving me insane..i really think the stress of it all can eat away at the immune system.

  38. Miranda permalink
    June 5, 2014

    Hi everyone, I’ve been reading the comments here with interest. I am going through a carpet beetle infestation and it is just terrifying me.

    The short version is: a year ago I moved into a new house. The place had not been vacuumed in a long time from the look of it. My housemate and I spent ages cleaning the place up, we thought it was fine. In my bedroom, my bed is against the wall and is extremely heavy so it can’t easily be moved. I vacuumed all around it as much as possible, but figured surely the previous occupants looked after the room because it was a child’s bedroom, I thought it was ok.

    About a month ago I noticed a musty smell from somewhere behind the bed. Could not understand what it would be. Then noticed some carpet beetles on my bedroom curtain. I killed them, thought no more of it. Got the vacuum cleaner out, cleaned ferociously. But the more I cleaned, more and more of them appeared. I’m killing so many every day. They are on the windowsill but they are on the bed and I woke up one day and one was on my pillow by my face. Our vacuum cleaner has broken so I have to wait for a new one to be delivered. The beetles are all ‘adults’, and I am terrified by reading online that each adult can lay up to 60 eggs, often far away from where they like to congregate (near my window), so I’m scared that they are laying clothes in my bed and in my clothes. I found some in my housemate’s bedroom too and elsewhere in the house.

    I’m going to hire someone to come and try help me move the bed – it is so heavy nobody else can get there and I think what if they are all behind there? So if I did vacuum behind there and spray bugspray would it stop the problem?

    I also wonder if someone could give me advice: is it possible that these beetles can remain dormant for several months? Because I really am wondering if they were there when the previous tenants were living there, and because I have ‘disturbed’ them by trying to vacuum behind the unmoveable bed, is that why they are now coming out? Cos I honestly never saw them before last month. And if so, would I have grounds to complain to my landlord and get him to pay for an exterminator?

    It is making me miserable. I feel itchy all the time, I don’t know if it’s cos I’m allergic to them or I’m just so hyped up about this that I get itchy automatically. I’m afraid because I have friends coming to stay in a few weeks, what if they see the beetles and think I’m really unhygeinic? I just want one day where I don’t find a carpet beetle in my room or on my bed.

  39. homelesscat permalink
    June 8, 2014

    Hi Miranda, I am infested as well. thought it was carpet beedles, now I think it could be birdmites.
    have u had the insect id with a reputable entomologist? you have to know exactly what it is, otherwise sprays would not work. also if u have an infestation you probably need to have a pest control person come in. hopefully it didn’t come from another apt. who knows if you disturbed them, who knows about all this stuff. I had never heard of these until I had/have them. I’ve tried everything and nothing really worked, but id is important. you really need to know for sure. I feel especially at night static on my legs (wears shorts). I decided to use a sticky lint roller and caught bugs..disgusting.
    go to ‘bedbugs.co.uk’ they have a forum to sign in, they will send u a password.
    they have a lot of people on there and ideas, its free. it’s a lot bigger and response are faster.
    good luck

  40. JoAnne permalink
    June 10, 2014

    Hi homelesscat and everyone,

    The exterminator came and confirmed carpet beetles, gave me glue traps for monitoring, and told me he would come back and spray if many beetles were found in the traps. It has been a little over a week, and each windowsill glue trap in four rooms has two or three dead ones, I see a few more dead ones outside the traps. The carpet beetles I found on my bed sheets are probably from my window because my mattress is right below it. The good news is the exterminator has never seen a carpet beetle infestation in my area (NYC suburb), so I am wondering if infestations are more prevalent in warmer climates, I only starting seeing them when the warmer spring weather started in NY last month. The exterminator checked my house inside and out, gave me some tips on how to improve some things to avoid unwanted pests, and will come back to spray for bees/yellow jackets at my request. He said I was very lucky not to have rodents, termites, etc. I was very impressed with him wanting to monitor the carpet beetle situaion slowly, and not pressuring me to pay for treatment. Uh, ho, I just plugged in my tablet in the surge protector and a carpet beetle crawled out from under it, the protector is on my wood floor, maybe I should get sprayed to avoid more of them coming in.

  41. Miranda permalink
    June 12, 2014

    Hi homelesscat (and everyone):

    I had them identified by an expert, he says it’s the stripey carpet beetle (so not lice/fleas/bedbugs/black carpet beetles).

    I am at my wits end – I got a new vacuum cleaner, moved the bed that was so heavy, saw no sign of any infestation underneath but vacuumed it anyway, and guess what? They came back. The expert I spoke to said that they can’t hibernate for long so they would only have gotten into the house recently – but I don’t believe this because there’s no way they could have got in – I would have noticed – and I have always cleaned the place, the previous people never did.

    I read online that if you wash clothing at 140 degrees farenheit (which is 60 degrees celsius) then it will kill any trace of them that might be on your clothes. Is this true? Because I am considering washing everything I own and then bagging it in zip-locked plastic bags. Could anyone please advise if this is a good idea?

    Lastly, given that these are the adults, what will happen once summer is over? Do the adults lay larvae and then that could be easily vacuumed up? Cos it seems no matter how many adults I vacuum and kill, more appear, and I was wondering when this will stop and I just don’t know anything about their life cycle

  42. JoAnne permalink
    June 13, 2014

    Miranda, the larvae stage can last from 60 days to a year according to what I have read. Usually landlords are not responsible for pest control unless the situation is severe; depends on your lease, regulations on housing in you area, etc. Once I rented a house from a builder who was in the process of building a new house for me. The first night I slept there, I woke up with itchy legs. When I turned the light on, my legs were all covered with black spots and red bites, I was absolutely mortified! It turned out the house was infested with fleas! There was no lease, so I left the house immediately, and the builder did some work on my new home for free to compensate me.

    Maybe your landlord will work with you to alleviate your carpet beetle problem, but if he doesn’t, consult an attorney to see what your options are. Good Luck!

    Maybe your landlord will work with you regarding the carpet beetle problem, like my landlord/builder compensated me for my inconvenience with the flea problem. Good Luck!

  43. homelesscat permalink
    June 14, 2014

    hi ladies,
    I have these buggers on my windowsill as well. but as I said before I believe they are birdmites which can infest home and are supposedly hard to get rid of. do you have black specks around your house? I have been put clear plastic tape on bugs that I find on mattress cover. have another exterminator coming tues june 17/14 to identify again and look after the problem, so he says. he has dealth with them before. I must admit sometimes these pest companies don’t know what they are talking about, not for everybody, but it happened to myself.
    clothes I don’t know, I think u can wash them but the bugs will go on them again. I had put de powder in clothes in bags, actually they are still there.
    I will ask the pest co. when he comes.
    did the pest co. spray already for the carpet beedles?
    I went to wallmart in Canada and bought hartz ultra guard flea & tick carpet powder to try..put in my couch and underside of it. I swept up the powder and there was a lot of black bugs mixed in with the powder. I am not sure about inhaling this stuff though. I tried calling to company, but not open today 1 800 275 1414. this powder seems to work for the mites…hooray…but it’s not over yet. don’t want to put it on my bed yet.
    I have put de dust in between the baseboards, as I have lots of space, they hide in there and the undersides of furniture, plus computer.
    if you feel static on your legs, get a sticky lint brush and roll it on your legs and bottom of feet and see if anything is there. with mites it’s hard to see, so try it wont hurt.
    dollar store has them for $1.00
    my lips are swollen and I have found some mites on them and in my mouth.
    friends said go to hospital and get it checked out…so I went…the intern on call said bites could be mosquito, which I know there are not. they really are quacks. they just don’t know anything about bugs.
    also I mentioned to him should I see a shrink, as my son doesn’t believe me and has pressured me to go. I talked to a nurse in the crisis centre for an hour about problem. she talked to dr. and said yes. I know in my heart that I am not delusional, but it seems that no one wants to believe that something like this can happen to us and u really cant talk to anyone as they do think your nuts. have an appt july, also they have a crisis centre where you can go and sleep I think up to 10 days to get relief. I don’t know if that is the same in your area. getting no sleep really affects your health
    I do know that carpet beedles do not bite, but the skin or something can rub up on you and it feels like a bite. do u have any bite marks?
    do they swarm on your legs and feet, hair at night?
    going to the gym, I find it’s the only way to keep my sanity.
    keep me posted and stay positive!!!! I know its difficult..don’t let them get the better of you.

  44. June 15, 2014

    same problem
    a year ago i had carpet beetles
    both kinds black and striped
    i am exhausted as i live 3 stories up
    i dragged down all clothing and injured my legs
    washed dry cleaned etc

    have wood floors have a cat

    didnt want bad poisons llord got an exterminator//sprayed the least toxic good control poison without residue
    i vacuumed like crazy put all craft stuff in garbage or in freezer for 3 weeks
    they were in spices, in crafts , and in my conversion van..exterm wouldnt do my van i sprayed it with cedar from wondercide nothing has worked..i had it detailed…
    they are BACK a year later

    I put my bed mattress up against the wall every morning and leave a light on in corner in lamp at nite
    they congregate there and i kill them …I spray them with non toxic VETS BEST spray and that immobilizes them// i then pick them up with a tissue
    i vacuum alot
    I threw out 2/3 of my clothes

    i am petrified they are in my storage unit
    i pick up my blankets and put in container during day and i am not bitten at nite anymore

    entomologist said they are almost impossible to kill
    wrap precious items in muslin, put in ziploc,and put in freezer for 3 weeks thats what he said
    i had craft items of value that i did this with //any important feathers etc
    but now they are back
    they got into the strings that hold beads together
    thats how bad it was

    everything is bagged
    i vacuum thecat hair asmuch as i can and if you rub your sheets down with alcohol that works
    spray vets best around on the floor and they hate that and stay away
    hope this helps

  45. homelesscat permalink
    June 16, 2014

    G…..not sure what to say, if pest has been identified I guess u at least know what your up against. being on the third floor kind of seems impossible (but I know its not) to have carpet beedles..as far as I know they are around bees/wasp/bird nests. maybe u need to have your place sprayed again.
    I feel sorry for all of us, life is tough enough at times without living with something like that.
    the only thing I can suggest is moving, making sure they are not in your skin or your hair, clothing, shoes, leaving everything behind/garbage, get rid of the car.
    i would stay in a few different places to make sure they don’t hitch a ride with you. wash with lice shampoo, change clothes often til u r rid of them. I know it’s not an easy thing to do, it’s like starting your life over again. I am not saying i am right, but i certainly have thought of it.
    thought i had carpet beedles as well, i find out tomorrow for sure, but i think they are bird mites.
    what a way to live aye. the pits.
    take care…

  46. Miranda permalink
    June 25, 2014

    Hi all,

    Well, it seemed to be getting not so bad – they weren’t in my room as much, although I spotted them elsewhere in the house – but I decided to move anyway. When I went to check out the new place, I made sure to check for any of them and didn’t see any. I am already paying rent for the new place and still have one month rent to pay at current place but I don’t care because it means I have time to go through all my stuff and wash it at high temperature then use a lint roller on it afterwards to remove any possible trace of them. I will be moving stuff over gradually to prevent anything bad happening. This morning I woke up in my current house…there was a beetle stuck between my back teeth. It had obviously crawled in while I was asleep. I was so freaked out.

    Could people advise if washing at high temperature and then using lint roller is a good idea to make sure that none ‘come with me’? Will be wearing light-coloured clothing when moving as well so I can spot any that might be on me and prevent them coming too. If anyone has other tips in relation to moving I would be very grateful to hear them.

  47. homelesscat permalink
    June 29, 2014

    hi Miranda,
    I think you have to make sure they are not on your body as well. I don’t know if washing clothes in high temperature helps, guess it will to a degree. I read that u have to soak your clothes in bleach, but that always cant be done. are they in your furniture. I would be tempted to move with the clothes on my back and throw everything out. do u have them in your car? stay in a couple of different hotels and make sure they are off your body. I know it sounds far fetched.
    I sold my house and moved, a year ago, not knowing much about them. I threw everything out, except car, plus they were still on me and I didn’t know it. they seem to follow me where I go. hopefully it’s not the case with you.
    after I eat, I look around my lips and find them on there having a snack. last night I found one on my eyebrow. I realize that you shouldn’t believe everything u read, but most of the stuff does relate to my experience.
    good luck Miranda…keep us posted

  48. Lynn permalink
    September 11, 2014

    Hello everyone. It’s been a year since I posted my story. Unfortunately I don’t have good news, although I think the only way manage a carpet beetle infestation is to do the heat treatment. I’ve had it done twice and I’m going to do it a third time. I’ve come to the conclusion that once you have carpet beetles they are going to be with you forever so you might as well budget for the expense. I haven’t had the same issue as many of you – they aren’t biting me or my cat or anyone else in my family – but they are going through my closet and eating all of my clothes. After a heat treatment I get a few sane free months but they always come back. As soon as I get complacent. Just the other day I found new holes in a few shirts hanging in my closet.

    I also had a bird infestation at the same time last year, which I’ve taken care of. Birds were nesting in my attic eves. I had the eves cleaned out and my gutters completely blocked and replaced so they can’t nest in the eves anymore. It’s not 100% clear that the birds were the cause of the carpet beetles in the first place, but I feel better knowing that it’s taken care of.

    You can definitely go crazy from this issue. I’ve thought about moving, but unless you leave 100% of your stuff behind they are just going to move with you.

    So my advice is – budget a lot of money – accept that you may have to part with your favorite sweater, dress, etc – I’ve parted ways with half my wardrobe – wash or dry clean everything after wearing (also can get expensive) – in other words don’t leave worn clothing in your closet – and never get complacent – they will come back.

    Do the HEAT treatment. It’s the only way. Otherwise go insane.

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