Varied Carpet Beetle
Three varieties of carpet beetles are commonly found in homes here in San Diego County. They are especially active in the spring and in early summer. The adult beetles are very small, about a third of the size of a Ladybug, and oval in shape and they vary in color from mottled to black.
The adult beetles usually are found on window sills. They cannot chew and require very little moisture to live for ten days to three weeks. All species of beetles have a four part life cycle: Egg, larvae, pupae and adult. It is the larval form of this beetle that can cause problems and damage in our homes.
Carpet beetle larvae congregate in dark dry areas and eat hair, wool, feathers, animal bodies and skin, natural fabrics, and stored grain and spice products. It is not uncommon for us to find larvae and damage in cut flowers, wall hangings, seasonal art projects, and artificial flowers.
Most of the work that is involved in carpet beetle treatments is cleanup and sanitization. Infested clothing can be treated by about ten minutes in a hot dryer, or they can be dry cleaned or laundered, and should be stored with moth crystals. Infested foods should be thrown out and cabinets and closets should be thoroughly cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner and/or vacuum cleaner. Pesticide treatments are usually unneeded if the above cleanup is performed properly.
A good website to find out more about carpet beetle prevention and control is:
If you live in San Diego’s North County, you can contact us at Pinpoint Pest Control Co. Inc for specific advice and expert service.
Another fabric munching pest is the clothes moth which is most active in winter months. In fact there are three common types of moths in San Diego County that can damage clothing and fabrics:
The Golden Clothes Moth is a small, yellow-gold colored insect that flies in seemingly aimless patterns in and near our closets and other places where we have our wool blankets, sweaters, and tweed suits. Don’t be fooled, it is not the moth that attacks our clothing; it is the larvae that do the damage. Those adult moths are just our warning that moth larvae are at work in our stored fabrics.
The Case Making Moth larvae wraps itself in a tube of the same fabric that it is eating and pulls itself around by extending its body from the tube to get another bite of angora. I once found nearly fifty larvae in bright colored tent-tubes in a colorful blanket that was stored in my garage and another dozen or so camouflaged in the burgundy colored felt of my pool table!
The Webbing Clothes Moth is a very dirty eater! They leave behind them strands that look just like spider webs along with bits of fiber and black droppings that are very unsightly.
Clothes moth control is done in the same way as the fabric destroying beetles listed above. Contact us for advice or help if you live here in North County. We regret that we do not have the resources to respond to callers who are outside of our territory.