Varied carpet beetles (Anthrenus verbasci) are one of the more common species of carpet beetle. Varied carpet beetle larvae are brown, striped, 1/4 inch long and widest in the middle of their bodies. The adults are smaller, and round or oval in shape with mottled yellow, white and orange scales on a black body. These scavengers eat carpet and other natural fibres and food sources including fur, feathers, silk, bone, horns and dead insects.
Inspect your house for and remove any dead animals or insects that may be attracting the varied carpet beetle to your home.
Vacuum the carpet frequently and thoroughly, especially if you have shedding pets. The vacuum may pick up any hiding carpet beetles, but more importantly it will suck up their food supply: lint, hair, fur and tiny bits of food lodged between the fibres. Pay special attention to corners and underneath infrequently moved furniture, where carpet beetles and their food sources may accumulate. Once you are finished vacuuming, empty the contents into a plastic bag, seal it and throw it away.
Wash, dry-clean or brush and sun all fabrics, carpets or linens that are in storage or located in infested areas. Small items that cannot be cleaned should be kept in the freezer for one week to kill any hiding carpet beetles.
Store all cleaned fabrics, carpets and linens in sealed cedar or plastic chests or containers. Toss in a few moth crystals, flakes or balls for added protection.
Treat widespread varied carpet beetle infestations with a spray pesticide prescribed for use on carpet beetles. Spray all surfaces that are likely to be visited by carpet beetles, such as closets, behind and underneath furniture and rugs, around baseboards and near mouldings. Take extra care when spraying carpet, as varied carpet beetles can live deep within the fibres. Most pesticides require more than one application; follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Heavy, widespread varied carpet beetle infestations may require the help of a professional exterminator.
Tips and warnings
- Heavy, widespread varied carpet beetle infestations may require the help of a professional exterminator.