Do Carpet Beetles Live In Beds?

12 July 2018
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Can Carpet Beetles Live in Beds?

Before we get down to finding out if they can live in beds or not, let’s find out what exactly are carpet beetles.

Carpet Beetle Features:

  • About 1/8 inches in size
  • Oval shaped
  • Red-orange stripes on black colored body studded with scales
  • A pair of antennae and wings complements three pairs of legs
  • Round bulgy eyes hide the head of the carpet beetle
  • Known for its love of carpets

Now that you know why it’s called a carpet beetle let’s see where you’ll find them.

Where Can You Find Carpet Beetle?

Indoors, the beetles prefer to inhabit areas like the basement and attics and wherever they are likely to come across dead insects to eat, and abandoned nests to stay in. Outdoors, they zero in on old nests belonging to birds and rodents, to live and mate while feasting upon pollen and nectar.

They find their way into our homes via chinks in foundations, door and window frames. They even sometimes piggyback on the plants and flowers that we take home. Carpet beetles food preferences range from plants and flowers to fur, fabric, and hair too.

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Related Article:

Life Cycle of Carpet Beetles: Phases from Eggs to Adults

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The Damage Carpet Beetles Can Do

The larval hairs of carpet beetles can lead to lung irritations when inhaled. That apart, carpet beetle larvae chew on the fabric materials in our homes and taking a toll on costly furs, curtains, carpets, and upholstery. So having carpet beetles in your home is a health hazard.

Can Carpet Beetles Live in Beds?

Going back to our question as to whether carpet beetles live in beds, the answer would be no. Carpet beetles can get in your bed as they might get attracted by animal-based products of your bed and eat the fabrics. But unlike bed bugs, they don’t live in your mattress.

It’s not the adult carpet beetles, but the larvae that devour the bed linen and furnishings in our bedrooms. Most people confuse bed bugs for carpet beetles. 

Therefore when you suspect the pest infestation in your bedroom furnishings, call for professional pest exterminators who can distinguish between the two and advise you on the best course of action.

A carpet beetle in the larvae stage

A carpet beetle in the larvae stage

Although carpet beetles do not bite, their larval hairs are prickly and give us rashes that are typically red and itchy.”

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So if you ever experience insect bites in your sleep, you’re most likely the victim of bed bug bites. Somewhat akin to an apple seed, bed bugs drink our blood while carpet beetles don’t.

The differences extend to the environment that each of these pests prefers – bed bugs are primarily found indoors due to the potential proximity to humans, and the opportunity to sup on our blood. Therefore you’ll come across bed bugs in the ribbing surrounding mattresses and furniture.

Carpet beetles, on the other hand, are mostly outdoor insects and only foray indoors to lay eggs and nurse them.

Do Carpet Beetles Bite Humans?

Carpet beetles are also drawn to human beings by the carbon-dioxide they exhale. When we are resting or fast asleep, the carpet beetles venture out of their hiding spots.

But instead of biting us and drawing blood, they attack the fabric and fur based materials like carpets, rugs, socks etc. Therefore, if you wake up to the sight of horrible rashes on your arms and feet, don’t rush to conclusions.

Search the area on your bed carefully with a magnifying glass, and look for larval skin casings lying around. If you find them it means carpet beetle larvae are the culprits whose hairs have caused bite-like reactions on your skin.

It’s time to call for professional help to clear the house of carpet beetles. It is advisable to seek help from trained exterminators as they can easily distinguish between bed bugs and carpet beetles.

Once that is done they can decide upon the appropriate course of action. This usually involves vigorous steam cleaning and application of chemical pesticides in the right concentration and proportions.***

Featured Image: Varied Carpet Beetle by Ryan Hodnett [CC BY-SA 4.0]

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