Since this article focuses on identifying carpet beetles on your bed, it’s important to draw the difference between these insects and bed bugs.
Carpet beetles become a serious problem when your house is infested with them.
These small insects survive by eating wool, leather, fur, silk, and any type of animal-based fabric.
They feel attracted towards light and heat, and that’s why, they entered in our house.
Along with other places, the carpet beetles can be found in your bed & mattress. In this article, we will stay focused on how carpet beetles cause problems in your mattress, and how you can eliminate carpet beetles from your mattress.
So, let’s get into it.
Differences between carpet beetles and bed bugs
Beg bugs feed on human blood, unlike carpet beetles that feed on hair, silk, wool, or fur. Carpet beetles feel attracted so residues that have keratin.
Beg bugs are damaging to your body but carpet beetles aren’t. Still, carpet beetles can cause some considerable damage to your furniture. If you have carpet beetles in your bed, you’ll have to buy another one soon since they can destroy it relatively fast.
As explained before, carpet beetles can fly while bed bugs can’t. Bedbugs drag themselves through your house and into your bed.
Each insect differs in appearance. Bed bugs tend to be a red or brown, and they’re shaped like an apple seed. Carpet beetles can be of distinct colors depending on the type of beetle (i.e. varied carpet beetle, fur beetle, and leather beetle).
Bed bugs find hiding places that are close to their victims such as drawers, the closet and your clothing, cracks, and the bed of course. Their favorite places are those that have easy access to a sleeping person. Carpet beetles locate themselves in various places where there are hair residues. Additionally, they like to be in basements, attics, walls, and chimneys.
Other big differences from carpet beetles and bed bugs are the traces they live on our skin. Bed bugs leave bites on the skin since they must feed off human blood. Carpet beetles leave a rash on the skin.
Do you have carpet beetles or a bed bug infestation?
If you want to know what type of infestation you have inside your house then look for the signs explained before. Try to remember that carpet beetles feed on animal hair, and bed bugs feed off blood. A bed bug infestation can be more dangerous than a carpet beetle infestation.
Signs of Carpet Beetles Infestation
Carpet beetles can cause damages inside your room if you have furniture, cushions, mattresses, and pillows made from wool, silk, leather, and fur. These are some of the signs to look for:
- Traces of live or dead adult insects: Look around your room and see if you find any sign of carpet beetles. They can be close to the windows, under a carpet, or near the furniture.
- Traces of feces and shed skin: Search for signs of feces of carpet beetles inside your room. The feces can have the size of a grain of salt. Additionally, look for signs of shed skin, cocoons, and tubes. You can find these traces in the corners of your room, under or around the furniture.
- Look for traces of larvae: Depending on the type, the carpet beetle larvae can be around 4 or 5 mm in length. The larvae are brown and have brown stripes. Carpet beetle larvae usually grow under heavy items of furniture that are not often moved (i.e. wardrobe and bed).
Watch this video to take a look at the larvae of carpet beetles.
- Look for traces of eggs: A female carpet beetle can lay around 60 to 300 eggs in a day. The eggs are usually white or cream and can measure ¼ or ½ in length. Additionally, the eggs are oval-shaped. You can find the eggs in air ducts, under or around furniture, and inside wardrobes.
Black carpet beetles in bed
Black carpet beetles are attracted to old woolen items and carpeting. The scientific name of the black carpet beetle is Attagenus unicolor.
These carpet beetles are also known as varied carpet beetles. They measure 2.8 to 5 mm in length. As its name implies, they’re usually black but they also are slightly reddish brown. Their wings are called elytra. The black carpet beetles usually head is usually hidden when you look at them from above.
Black carpet beetles are the most widespread type of beetle worldwide. They can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. In the US, black carpet beetles are usually found in the northeast.
The eggs of the black carpet beetle can turn into larvae in 12 days. If the environment is colder they can take up to 20 days to become larvae. Additionally, the size of the black carpet larvae is usually longer than the other carpet beetles. The larvae of the black carpet beetle can measure 7 mm in length. These larvae can live up to 640 days.
Black carpet beetles usually feed of wool, silk, leather, dried meat, plants, and dead insects.
The black carpet beetles can reach to your bed if they find the entrance, and to protect your bed and mattress from black carpet beetles, make sure to close doors, windows, and other entrances.
Can carpet beetles get in my bed?
As explained before, carpet beetles can be in any environment made from animal hair. If your mattress, cushions or pillows have wool, silk, leather, fur or any type of animal-based fabric then yes, it’s possible for carpet beetles to get in your bed.
Do carpet beetles live in your mattress?
It’s not usual for carpet beetles to live in your mattress. These insects can procreate around or below it, but they don’t live in your mattress, unlike bed bugs.
Carpet beetle larvae in mattress
Once again, carpet beetles can’t live in your mattress. They might crawl to feed of the animal-based products of your bed. Carpet beetle larvae can live around your bed and feed itself from the residues of wool, silk, and fur found around your mattress.
Once the carpet beetle larvae grow it can move to your bed. That’s why it’s important to get rid of larvae as soon as you notice it.
What do to if there are carpet beetles in my mattress?
If you have carpet beetles in the house you should try homemade remedies. Yet, if the problem persists you should call pest control to take care of the problem.
How to get rid of carpet beetles in from mattress
You can get rid of the carpet beetles from your mattress & bed following these steps:
- Search the source of the problem: Carpet beetle eggs are laid off a specific part of your room. The first step in getting rid of carpet beetles on the bed is identifying the spot.
- Try an indoor and outdoor treatment: First, vacuum the area you identified before. Then vacuum the other places in your room. Try to do this step multiple times a day at first and then every other day. You can use any good vacuums for this treatment. Second, throw away any infested garment that’s been already eaten.
- Wash the garments that weren’t damaged by the carpet beetles. For example, wash the bed covers with hot water and detergent.
- Apply insecticide where you found the eggs and larvae.
- Place traps in the location from where you suspect the carpet beetles are moving. After this, you should try an outdoor treatment applying a barrier of insecticide around the perimeter of your house.
- These are some insecticides and traps you can purchase: Pro-Pest Pantry Moth & Beetle Traps 2 Pre-Baited Traps, that contains pheromones for catching male carpet beetles. This trap avoids their reproduction.
Additionally, you can purchase Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide Dust, approved for indoor use. This insecticide can be applied with a paintbrush or using the Pest Pistol Mini Duster.
Another insecticide you can purchase is Ortho Home Defense MAX Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter RTU Wand. Ortho Home Defense comes in a 1.1-gallon canister. It can be applied outdoors an indoors.
Call an expert: If the problem persists you should call pest control.
You can also see this article published by National Pesticide Information Center about controlling carpet beetles.
How to avoid carpet beetles in the future?
It is important to avoid carpet beetle problems in the future, especially if you just recently had one.
Try to vacuum and clean your house regularly and always keep storage places clean.
If you suspect your clothes might be infested, try to wash them with hot water. Always clean your trash can with bleach and water. Don’t forget to clean traces of dead bugs –yes, this might seem obvious, but many people forget to do it.
Carpet beetles in the mattress can be an annoying problem. Taking care of this situation before it happens can avoid headaches in the future.