Larvae of Carpet Beetle

Over the last month or so, we have had lots of calls regarding carpets and clothes being eaten. This is quite unusual for this time of year but I suppose with the weather being humid and damp, it creates ideal conditions for this very destructive and annoying pest. So what do you look for?

If you are seeing your clothes getting eaten, then you can be pretty sure this is Clothes Moths (Tineola bisselliella) which is notorious from feeding on natural fibres like cotton, silk and wool – so all the best stuff really! Signs to watch for are the holes in clothes and carpets as well as seeing the moth – a small opalescent coloured moth which generally does not do a lot and is rather lazy so rarely flies. The problem is that if you are seeing moths, you almost certainly have a problem as its the larvae that eat your clothes rather than the moth. The larvae are rarely seen as they hide in the carpet pile or fabric.

If you are having your carpet eaten or tufts are coming out in chunks, then you have to suspect the Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci), or rather the larvae – known as the “Woolly Bear”. It is possible to see these with the naked eye, but they blend in so well a microscope is needed. These beetles have a bit of an odd lifecycle.

Carpet Beetle

Adult beetles lay their eggs in cupboards, wardrobes, under furniture, or under skirting boards. Once hatched the larvae hide as much as possible in dark areas like under beds or bedroom furniture and feed on natural materials like wool carpets or clothing. An infestation can quickly take over and cause a huge amount of damage. Once their metamorphosis is completed into adult beetles, they leave the house and feed on pollen, building their strength to return and lay eggs once more.

Needless to say, you don’t want either the Carpet Beetle or the Clothes Moth in your house – especially if you have valuable carpets and clothes – they are particularly fond of older rugs and tapestries.

Whilst there are a plethora of DIY products available on the market, if you are seeing more than a few moths or a few bits of clothing chewed, then definitely call in Professional Pest Controllers like Rapid Pest Control. As I always say to clients, you might only ever see this once in a lifetime, where as we see this almost daily and know exactly what to do and which treatments work the best – and of course all our chemicals are Pro-use only so they are much stronger or more effective than a spray “Off the Shelf”.

So if you have a problem, call Rapid Pest Control now for expert advice on dealing with Carpet Beetle, Clothes Moth and other insect problems. With offices in Newbury, Reading, Swindon, Oxford and Basingstoke, you can be sure of a fast effective service to deal with your Pest Control Problem.

Video of Woolly Bear feeding: