Attribution: Alvesgaspar, [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Tiny, round beetles with larvae that grow up to 1/4-inch in length; the adults grow to 1/16-inch.
While generally tan in color, they are covered by tiny black, brown, and white scales, and have numerous tufts of stiff hairs on the body.
Fabric pests such as carpet beetles, although not particularly dangerous, can sometimes cause irreparable damage to personal belongings. These beetles are able to digest animal hairs and, therefore, feed on almost any item made of natural fibers, particularly wool and cashmere.
Outdoors, carpet beetles are found in birds' nests and animal dens where they can find the animal hair and feathers on which they feed. Indoors, these pests will be associated with woolen, silk, and other natural fiber fabrics. Carpet beetles may also be found living under carpets and rugs and in voids where hairs or dead insects have accumulated. Carpet beetles require a comprehensive pest service in order to locate the areas in which they may live.
Your Terminix service professional can rid your home of these pests, but there are a few steps you can take to protect your clothing until your fabric pest problem can be controlled:
- Do not store boxes of clothes in the attic, garage or basement, if possible.
- If clothing must be stored in boxes, thoroughly clean the boxes before storage and seal all corners and openings with tape.
- Prior to storage, clean woolen and natural fiber clothing according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- In closets, store natural fiber clothing items by covering them with individual plastic covers.
- Consider storing clothing in large zippered plastic units.
- Use mothballs to help deter fabric pests, but be aware that they may leave an odor that could require dry cleaning.