Beetles are not just crawling in your garden. They could also be present in your home, namely in your carpet or clothes. The beetle that normally invades homes and causes damage to carpets and clothes is the infamous black carpet beetle. Generally, this beetle tends to invade homes during spring and lives off woolen clothes, carpets and pet food.
You will be able to identify this beetle by knowing some facts about it. It is around 3 to 5 millimeters long, with an oval and elongated body. It has the ability to fly and that is how it gets into homes. The beetle is typically black in color and has minute hair on the body. However, there are some species of the carpet beetle that can be reddish brown in color instead of black.
The larvae of the black carpet beetle are around 12.5 to 13 millimeters in length. They are shaped like a carrot and are golden brown in color. However, the one characteristic feature that can help you identify the black carpet beetle larvae is the gold tuff of hair at the tapering end of the body. The larvae consume all items derived from animals, like hair of your pet, meat, leather, and wool. The larvae generally tend to invade kitchen cabinets and cupboards where winter clothes are kept.
Once mating finishes in spring, the female beetle will fly into a house and look for an appropriate place to lay her eggs. The eggs are whitish and small in size and the female will look to lay it close to a food source. After 6 to 11 days, if the temperature is warm, the eggs hatch and the larvae emerge. The larval stage lasts for around 258 to 639 days. After that, the adult black carpet beetle emerges and it can have a lifespan ranging from just a few weeks to many months.
Although the black carpet beetle does not bite or sting, it can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to allergens. More than that, the damage the beetle can wreak is quite high and hence, it is often viewed as a pest. Rather than using chemicals to get rid of the black carpet beetle, it is prudent to adopt eco-friendly measures. Put on a pair of gloves and pick up the beetles and dispose off them. You can even use your vacuum cleaner to pick up the beetles from the carpet or clothes. Drown the beetles in soap water to eliminate them. Then sprinkle diatomaceous earth or silica gel in the places where the black carpet beetles were found. This will kill any more beetles that you missed.