Do you know your enemy? In the case of carpet beetles vs. bed bugs, there can be much confusion as to which enemy you are actually trying to eradicate. Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has earned a sterling reputation as leaders in the St. Louis area pest control arena by their knowledge about, and successful treatment of, pests such as these. It takes experts to inspect and treat infestations, and Holper’s is here to help you rid your home of all pests. Whether you are battling carpet beetles or bed bugs, or even both, we can help.
Carpet Beetles vs. Bed Bugs
We get many calls from people reporting that they have a bed bug problem, when it turns out to be that their problem is actually carpet beetles. While most people have heard of bed bugs, not everyone is familiar with carpet beetles. What is the difference and why would there be any confusion as to what pest is in your home?
Less than ¼” long, adult bed bugs are flat, wingless, oval-shaped insects which are brown in color. Younger bed bugs are lighter in color and tinier. The eggs that bed bugs lay are minute and white in color. It is important to know how bed bugs live and eat to properly eradicate them. Bed bugs at all phases of development need a blood meal to advance to the next stage. Their favorite meal source is a sleeping human or animal. A single feeding can supply life to a bed bug for up to an entire year.
Carpet beetle adults are roughly 1/16” to 1/8” long. The body shape is nearly spherical. The varied carpet beetle, the most common type, is cream colored with brown, yellow, and black patches. Eggs, which are minute and clear in color, tend to be laid in air ducts, on edges of carpeting, under furniture, and under baseboards. Once hatched, the larvae, which are slightly longer than the adults and are densely covered with hair, cause damage to natural fibers in the home, such as carpets, clothing, and furniture.
Larvae are also found in musical instruments which have been stored for lengthy periods of time, most commonly in the pads and felts of woodwind instruments.
Bed bug infestations are usually discovered when homeowners begin experiencing nighttime bites to the body. These bites turn red and itch profusely. Bed bugs are also sometimes discovered when changing the sheets on the bed–bugs, droppings, and eggs can be visible along the cording of the mattress, the headboard, and the bed frame.
Carpet beetle infestations are usually discovered when some telltale signs appear: the discovery of damaged articles, molted larval skins in dark areas, and an abundance of full-grown beetles near windows.
The most common reason that people often mistake a carpet beetle infestation for a bed bug infestation is that susceptible people may find that hairs shed from the larvae cause a rash consisting of irritated, itchy welts that may be confused with bed bug bites.
Combat 101: How to Defeat Carpet Beetles and Bed Bugs
To combat an infestation of either pest, a professionally applied interior perimeter treatment is required. This will kill the eggs, larvae, and adults of carpet beetles and bed bugs which are present in the home. Clothing will often need to be placed in bags with fumigant strips to kill all the stages present on them.
The eradication of a bed bug infestation is more involved, as bed bugs are far more mobile and multiply much faster. This additional attention includes accessing wall voids for treatment, as well as checking all furniture and wall hangings, and then treating accordingly. Mattresses also need to be covered with bed bug-proof encasements.
Holper’s For the Win: Carpet Beetles vs. Bed Bugs
Since 1985, Holper’s has been taking superior care of St. Louis area homes. It takes a pest expert to properly diagnose your problem, both through a visual inspection and a homeowner’s input of where they have seen the majority of the activity. The application of professional-grade products at regular intervals by trained technicians is the only way to ensure the initial infestation is eradicated AND that new pests cannot re-infiltrate the home. (Preventative measures are also available to pre-empt an infestation.) Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is waiting to help you with your problem of carpet beetles vs. bed bugs. Call 314-732-1413 and set up your treatment today!