A resident of Northern Colorado recently contacted us about a suspected carpet beetle infestation in her home. She has found multiple larvae, which are of various colors, but appear bristly with segmented striped across their bodies, and what may be a fully-grown carpet beetle.
Our reader adds that one of the carpet beetle larvae was found in her bathroom in her wax warmer unit by her medicine cabinet. Another one was found on a glue trap by her front door, on which another creature was also found, whose identify is questioned by our reader. She wonders if it is a fully-grown carpet beetle, or something else. If it is something else, she hopes that we can help identify it. Lastly, she found more larvae in her bathtub, and on other glue traps she has placed around her home.
First of all, our reader is definitely correct in saying that these are carpet beetle larvae. Their bristles and striped bodies are very characteristic of the carpet beetle larva. Secondly, in regards to the creature that may or may not be a fully-grown carpet beetle, it does not resemble a carpet beetle, strangely enough. It has six legs and a pair of antennae, and definitely resembles a beetle, just not a carpet beetle. Carpet beetles tend to be smaller, and of a more circular shape, where the legs don’t jut out as prominently. This creature better resembles a grain beetle, whose bodies are far more slender and like that of the creature in this photograph.
Carpet beetle larvae are common pests of the home that feed on animal-based fabrics. They are hard to spot, and many people’s homes become infested without them noticing for a long time. Successfully getting rid of a carpet beetle infestation takes a combination of vacuuming up eggs and larvae, laundering any fabrics that were, or may have been, infested, and properly storing any unused garments that are prone to carpet beetle infestations. If our reader wants more information on how to rid her home of a carpet beetle infestation, she may consult one of our past articles on the subject.
Grain beetles are a common pest in the Americas, and tend to inhabit — you guessed it — grains! They infest farms and retail stores, but will also be found in the household from time to time. They can infest cereals, rice, and other food items as well. Oftentimes, they will only infest a food product if there is a presence of mold, so the silver lining is that if one discovers a grain beetle in their food, it might be out of date anyway! The larvae of grain beetles tend to be white, long and somewhat flat in their appearance. In order to prevent infestations of these beetles, it is important to not only ensure the proper sanitation of one’s kitchen, but also to make sure that all food packaging and containers are properly sealed, so that there are no small cracks that an insect would be able to fit through.
To conclude, the larvae our reader found in her home are indeed carpet beetle larvae, while the fully-grown critter she found is a grain beetle. The presence of both of these creatures indicate infestation, and can cause quite some damage to one’s fabrics and grains. We urge our reader to deal with this as soon as possible so that her home may be free of any such issues. If she has any additional queries about this, or wishes us to expand on the methods of ridding one’s home of such infestations, she may feel free to contact us again.