Q I just moved here from New Hampshire and I brought my wool carpets with me. I now have tiny beetles all over my house.What kind of insect is this?
Q: I just moved here from New Hampshire and I brought my wool carpets with me. I now have tiny beetles all over my house and I suspect most of them came from this carpet. I never had a problem with insects in the past. What kind of insect is this?
A: First I want to welcome you to Northeast Florida. It will take you a while to adjust to our weather conditions, but I am sure you will come to love the mild climate. However because our seasons are milder insects have an opportunity to produce several generations each year and unless conditions are harsh insects seldom stop breeding. The adult insect (Dermestidea) is small, usually less than ¼ inch long. They feed mostly on pollen and nectar and can be found on outdoor plants during the summer. The larvae are very distinct, almost furry looking, because they have dense tufts of long setae (bristles) at the end of their bodies. Adult carpet beetles are commonly found indoors at windows. Carpet beetle larvae often wander about the infested location, from room to room, this behavior results in spreading the infestation throughout the house. Eggs are laid in lint, behind and under baseboards, in floor cracks, or other dark and protected locations. Eggs hatch in one to three weeks. The larval stages cause damage to a variety of material such as wool carpets and other wool products, furs, hides, horns, feathers, hair, and silk. They will also feed on linen, cotton, and rayon if these fabrics are soiled with juice, food, or animal excreta and cereal products. The best way to attack a carpet beetle problem is prevention. Vacuum regularly, do not store soiled fabrics, and use moth crystals or flakes when storing wool or other potential food of carpet beetles. When an infestation has become established, it is necessary to locate the source of the infestation in the house and discard all infested material.