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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 in Greenversations 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.

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

    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.

    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.

  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),


      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.

  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.

  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.

  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?


    • 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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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