Are Carpet Beetles a Health Hazard?

Environmental health hazards are sometimes difficult to discover. Whether it’s chemical exposure or an allergic reaction, the consequences of such an exposure aren’t always clearly linked to a physical substance.

As we continue to find more environmental factors that can affect our health, it’s important to understand the role that each of these factors can play, including possible pest involvement. At United Pest Solutions, we care about our friends and neighbors, and we want you to have helpful information at your fingertips. We’ll explore in this article whether or not carpet beetles are a health hazard.

What are Carpet Beetles?

These beetles are small insects known for their eating habits: they chew on carpet and other natural fibers, creating holes through textiles. Typically oval, they can be solid black or variegated blends of orange and yellow.

Carpet beetles aren’t always noticeable within a home. In small amounts, they can live within a house without being too apparent. They may even be beneficial in some sense, because they break down organic material and other dead insects.

However, when carpet beetles grow in large numbers, they can create a lot of destruction.

Are Carpet Beetles Destructive?

The adult carpet beetles aren’t actually the primary offenders of the destruction: the carpet beetle larvae are the true culprits. Typically striped with orange, yellow, and black, these larvae are covered in bristles.

It’s the larvae that will eat everything in their path, including rugs, book bindings, furniture, furs, and other materials. As they progress into adulthood, the path of their destruction will spread rapidly, and they will also shed their shells as they continue to grow. This is where the potential hazard to humans can occur.

Carpet Beetle Larvae and Health Hazards

If someone is exposed repeatedly to the shells of immature carpet beetles in larvae form, there is a possibility that someone could develop an allergic reaction. Most of the reports of carpet beetle allergies involve contact dermatitis in the form of tiny, itchy bumps.

There is an additional health hazard that carpet beetles pose: food contamination. Adult carpet beetles feed on pollen and nectar, but they will also eat cereal, rice, and flour. This can mean big trouble for your pantry! If your food isn’t carefully sealed against insects in hard plastic containers, carpet beetles and other pests will invade your pantry, contaminating food stores and continuing their life cycle.

Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

You can help prevent carpet beetles by dusting, vacuuming frequently, and storing your food properly. Be mindful of the flowers you bring into your home: you may be bringing carpet beetles, too!

If you think you may have a carpet beetle problem, contact United Pest Solutions today. Our extermination experts can provide solutions for getting rid of carpet beetles and protecting your home from pests.