Carpet Beetle Larva

2008 February 2

There are no uninteresting insects, only insects that are insufficiently magnified

S_ found this little larva while cleaning out a cupboard. It was in the back of the shelf, happily chowing down on a dead ant.


So far, it just looks like your typical little thing with lots of legs. Let’s zoom in a bit:


Ah, that’s better. Now we can see that it doesn’t actually have lots of legs, what it does have is a lot of bristles that stick almost straight out, or maybe angled a bit towards the head. There are also two tufts of bristles on the tail.


On the underside, we can see the actual legs, which aren’t really a lot longer than the bristles. It also has bristles on the bottom of the abdomen that give it an amusing, needs-a-shave sort of look. Note that, unlike butterfly and moth caterpillars, it does not have prolegs on the abdomen (beetle larvae do not have prolegs, only the six true legs). We can see the legs a bit better in the next picture, where it is trying to flip itself over:


At first, I thought that this was a larva of a larder beetle, like this one I posted a few months ago. But, looking at it more closely (particularly the tufts of bristles on the abdomen), I think its actually a carpet beetle, probably genus Anthrenus . I’ve been finding these Buffalo Carpet Beetles around the house, and so there is a good chance that this larva would have grown up to be one of them. Larder beetles and carpet beetles are all types of dermestid beetles, but while the larder beetle is more into stored foodstuffs, the carpet beetles are rather keen on animal proteins that are normally considered indigestible (hair, wool, feathers, skin, exoskeletons of other insects, that sort of thing).

Carpet beetles are evidently one of those species from arid or semi-arid regions that have moved into the house environment. They are adapted to a lack of water, and so can manage in spite of the dryness of the average house. Their original environment was apparently bird and mammal nests, where they ate the bits of debris that the inhabitants shed (and, in cases where the inhabitants died, ate what was left of their mummified corpses after the flies and carrion beetles were done with them. Once the dermestid beetles finish, they leave nothing behind but the polished bones of the animals’ dry, articulated skeletons)[1]. Basically, these beetles are still living in mammal nests, it’s just that these nests are now our houses instead of a hole in the ground with, say, a badger living in it.

As I mentioned in the larder beetle entry, the diet of dermestid beetles makes them real murder on things like insect collections, taxidermy, wool products, natural-fiber carpets, and museum specimens. They are also likely to be around regardless of how clean you keep your house. Even if the carpets are synthetic fibers, there are always bits of dead skin and hair, miscellaneous organic dirt, and the remains of insects that got in, couldn’t hack the indoors environment, and died. They’re in overlooked corners, under beds, in carpets, you name it. I even found one crawling across the ceiling in a very new house downstate which has only two people living in it and no pets, and is kept scrupulously clean. Seek and ye shall find, and all that. They are there, somewhere. Count on it.


[1] A while back, we were doing some work on the walls in the house, and found a perfect mouse skeleton. Not a trace of hair, flesh, or skin, just a complete and undamaged skeleton still posed in its original owner’s final death throes. The dermestid beetles had obviously been at it.

644 Responses
  1. lisa permalink
    April 11, 2013

    It feels like I’m so alone in my war with these things and then I discovered the comments in this blog and realised I’m not the only one freaking out about the pesky critters. What frustrates me the most is that I get my house spotless and then a moment later a larva or adult will just appear out of thin air. It truly makes me feel like a failure as my methods obviously weren’t good enough. I discovered them about 5 or 6 years ago in the kitchen but there was a source for that infestation and they dissapeared after we eliminated the source which was cereal behind the fridge. Now they’re back in abundance but there is no obvious source and its driving me nuts. I always see them. I’m always thinking of them. Everytime I see q black speck…it is mostly always them. No matter how hard I try to forget about them they always haunt me. I guess I’m severely anxious because not only have I had problems with CB but also biscuit beetles, moths, rats, flies and other annoying critters because I live in poorly ventilated and insulated apartment which the landlords do nothing about therefore I end up paying huge sums for pest treatment. I feel like my life is all about pests and I can’t escape.

  2. Amanda permalink
    May 1, 2013

    Well it was inevitable and I always knew it, here I am back again. And the timing is perfect because it’s just as I was getting close to having a life. Just about fooling myself thinking I was in the clear. Just about feeling comfortable accepting rides from people and not feeling guilty that sitting in their car would probably spread this nuisance on to them and ruin their lives. Just about to get out and make some new friends. So of course I come home two nights ago to find a beetle crawling around on the carpet. And of course it would be a mere foot from the area I have worked my hardest to keep my brand new things confined to to keep them as beetle-free as possible. It hasn’t been easy living like this but it’s the only way I could keep myself semi-sane when going out to have a good time. Everything is brand new and kept in bags. Finding anything is a ridiculous process but worth it if it allows me the freedom to ride in someone’s car without worrying that the clothes I’m wearing will transmit the beetles to them. I tried to let myself live in the denial mom likes to live in. Her logic of “just ignore them and hope they’ll go away” doesn’t work as I’ve not gone a day without looking at every piece of lint. I have toenail fungus that has wrecked two of my nails because I simply cannot walk around in the house barefoot so straight out of the shower my feet go into my slippers. I shower twice a day in an effort to reduce the spread from work to home to the gym. My sleeping partner however walks bare foot and is no doubt tracking the beetles into our bed despite my best efforts. When something falls on the floor I consider it lost for good.
    I am so depressed and distraught at seeing this beetle after trying my best to just go about my life and pretending they don’t exist (but never going a day not thinking about them) I had a panic attack and then started eating everything in sight (I’ve lost a lot of weight over the past year but this is just the thing to make me go off the rails.) I can’t live like this. If I saw that one by chance Lord knows how many there would be if I looked. I can’t bring myself to look anymore. I can’t live like this. My mother says I’m overreacting. I say she doesn’t know what she’s dealing with. It’s been FIVE YEARS OF THIS! I’ve thrown out so much stuff. They’ve followed me through 4 apartments.

    I see these bags and think “oh maybe that would help.” But of course not because the idiot that made them doesn’t realize that sucking the air out with the vacuum would surely transmit the frigging things right into the bag. It’s as if no one else in the world knows these things exist at all! I’m envious of those people. I miss walking barefoot in my home. This is no way to live. I’m a prisoner in my apartment again. Afraid to go out and socialize because I feel like I’m dirty and have this shameful secret, but I’m also afraid to stay home for fear of what I may find.

  3. Amanda permalink
    May 31, 2013

    Well I’m moving…again. This time very spur of the moment so I don’t have time to do much other than grab my stuff and go. It’s freaking me out that I won’t have time to take everything to the laundromat or anything first but realistically has that stopped them before? My new boyfriend has a van and didn’t understand why I was adament I didn’t want him helping me move so I had to do the inevitable: I told him my dark dirty secret. I feel like he thinks I’m crazy now. He must. But he says it’s no big deal. He started Googling about them on his phone in the restaurant we were in and didn’t seem worried. I told him that’s because he doesn’t understand what he’s getting into. I CAN’T pass these on to him. I told him I would rather be telling him I have AIDS or something because that’s how I feel. These things have ruined my life. They’re all I think about when someone offers me a car ride or anything. The possibility of giving them to others makes me feel terrible. At least with AIDS I would know how to not pass it on to someone. These things seem to have a mind of their own and defy the logic of what should kill them.
    I’ll be living in a situation where all my stuff is in one room so my computer which I haven’t touched since the really buggy place and all of my clothes as well as my bed will be in the same room. This idea freaks me out beyond belief. And on top of everything mother made me help her put in the air conditioner last night which involved standing in the area here where I was seeing all the carpet beetles (when I had time to look.) It’s an area I have effectively stayed away from for almost a year and now the day before I have to try to move and not take these things with me I’m standing in the exact spot of my fear. I went to the washroom afterward sobbing and washing my hands over and over. He can never see me like this but I know the first beetle I see at the new place our relationship will be over. Meanwhile she again tells me just to get over it and that I’m crazy. I’ve bought as much new stuff as I can afford. Thrown out as much as I can, again. And all my efforts are probably futile anyway but this night of standing in that spot, having to touch the windowsill and curtain, could throw it all out the window before it even starts. I’m sick of living out of bags and boxes. I’m telling myself at the new place I will start living like a normal person and not wear slippers every moment I’m in the house. I know deep down that won’t happen.

  4. lisa permalink
    May 31, 2013

    Amanda, would it be possible to talk to you via email or something? I’ve never found anyone who feels the same way as I do on this topic. I feel alone in my battle with this and I’ve had my family and others question my intelligence and mental state when I don’t understand how it isn’t a problem when I deal with these blighters on a daily basis.

  5. Annie permalink
    June 2, 2013

    Hi Amanda and everyone. Its been a year and 1/2 since I moved from the infested apartment. The rug was pulled in this one and laminate flooring over cork installed. Feb and march i found 15 beetles ( 2012) and with all my cleaning late nite 2-4am I found after spraying with Gentrol 2 live larvae. then had cockroaches.
    I just got a blister about a week ago. I can no longer clean or search for them. the 2 1/2 years of cleaning up larvae, 7 years dealing with ants that turned out to be nested under my bedroom rug I can barely walk. Part of this is scoliosis which I never knew I had though I complained enough about leg length that i would think one of the foot doctors or my MD would have thought of it.
    I live with everything in my refrigerator or freezer including the plastic bags for sandwiches and clothes. i thought i was clear here. I had found 15 beetles but treated several months with Gentrol and Vet Kem Premise spray.
    After the blister a week or so ago. I just got exhausted, fall asleep the minute I lay down to do my exercises, or even standing up. dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddas;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    as you can see….
    ugh. I just want to say do the best you can I can deal with 2 live larvae The gentrol is very good stuff
    I still try not to get into explanations of why I do not have a air purifier or microwave etc.

    I believe I am trying to avoid dealing with them here or I am so stressed my adrenal gland is shot on top of not being able to walk right anymore
    Your not alone , your not crazy. it just is we know about them.
    Love , light and healing to everyonellll

  6. Amanda permalink
    June 3, 2013

    Normally I would say yes, and I hate to leave you feeling like you’ve just found help or at least someone who understands but right now I’m in the “new place living in denial” phase of this whole thing. I caved and let all my stuff go into my boyfriend’s van so if he’s gonna get them he’s got them now. I’ve taken everything out of the bags and put it in the new dressers and closet as normal as I can. I’m walking around this place barefoot. I feel free. Like I can breathe. I know the bugs followed me. They always do. But you know what? Right now I’m thinking it’s not the end of the world. Realistically they’re probably in everyone’s house and we’re the only ones who pay attention this is according to my man. So of course I’m trying not to have a panic attack every second when I think of the horror that will hit me when I see the first one in the new place. That terrible heartbroken feeling that always happens when my new carefree place starts to turn into my new prison. For now I’m going to live in denial for a bit and I refuse to give these little buggers one more second of my time…although we all know it’s in the back of my mind still.

  7. tima permalink
    June 8, 2013

    i wld love to talk to anyone who is living this nightmare
    i’ve spent thousands on prducts, thrown out clothes, lost friendships, almost lost my job
    thes ethings are unberable and following me evrywhere
    i also feel alone, misundersttod ad evryone around me thinks delusional
    any insights/guidance.. wld b appreciated

  8. Victoria permalink
    July 6, 2013

    Okay I have read every single comment on here and that was enough to scare me. I just recently started noticing these awful critters everywhere around the house. My parents don’t seem to care even when I bombard them with all of this information about carpet beetles and how much damage they can cause. Our house is gigantic and cluttered and I am going crazy just thinking about cleaning it all by myself. I’m so stressed. I can’t sleep,i can’t eat, I can’t honestly cope with this. Nor have I brought myself to thinking I can live out of bins. I just don’t want to tackle this especially because I have no help and everyone thinks I’m psychotic for caring about these things. It’s too much work and money that as a student, I do not have. I havent even started my fight yet. Oh God help me.

  9. July 8, 2013

    Please don’t panic. There are a certain level of insects that are going to be present in everyone’s houses regardless of what they do, and most importantly, they really aren’t going to affect you. These are just one of them. They may make the occasional hole in certain types of fabrics, but overall it just isn’t worth your peace of mind to stress out over them.

    I’d recommend taking a deep breath, relaxing, and remembering that these have been in practically everybody’s house for all of history, and they haven’t really injured us yet.

  10. Amanda permalink
    August 2, 2013

    Here I am again. Staying up all night doing laundry because I’m moving again and have to do everything in my power to try to not bring any extra roommates with me. This time I’m moving after 2 months because of the landlords. I haven’t seen anything in my time here but again it’s only been 2 months so I would be crazy to let myself believe the beetles didn’t come with me when I moved last time. 4 more loads to go. Washing everything in hot water and drying on hottest. I don’t care if it says cold wash hang to dry. I would rather wreck my clothes than chance it.

  11. Amanda permalink
    August 4, 2013

    Oh God! I haven’t even unpacked. I’ve been in the new place all of 24 hours and I saw a bug in her kitchen. I’ve been working so hard to be free of them and now they’re probably here! 🙁 My new roommate was cleaning the cupboards out and had stuff from 2008! And all the open pasta. I was left alone in the kitchen and saw a little beetle crawl across the counter. I’m sitting in my room so freaked out. I can’t take dealing with this again on top of everything else. Now all my food is in that kitchen in the cupboard right above where I saw the bug.

  12. August 7, 2013

    What can I do if I’ve seen larval skins in a mattress? Does that mean they are still living inside there? I saw one crawling up the wall next to my bed today but I keep checking my mattress everyday and don’t see anymore. I don’t have carpet in this room. There are gaps between the wooden floor and the skirting board though, however i try to get in there with a strong disinfectant each day and I even put borax powder there. I feel uneasy about sleeping on my bed but I can’t afford a new bed. Please help me 🙁

  13. August 7, 2013

    & i will talk to anyone going through this because i want to know what methods you have tried so far/what has helped ease the stress/anxiety and what has reduced their numbers if any! How do you store your fabrics? please get back to me.

  14. China permalink
    October 15, 2013

    I found some larva on the floor (i don’t have carpet)
    For a while now i live at my boyfriend’s house, and my house is just standing there withe all my stuff. I was planning to move to his house some time this winter.
    After the i found the larva i wanted to get a jacket i havent worn in a long time, but i was cold.
    And thene i found holles in my jackets whit some moth, but also some larva.
    So i looked up things ik could do against moth.
    Then i found pictuers of this little hairy larva (the one i have seen) and it is saiying carpet beatle.
    And now i’m reading al this……
    I’m not going to live out of plastic bags, that is insane!
    If i leave the heating off and move later in spring time, will they die?

    (sorry for any spelling and grammar mistakes this is not my first languase)

  15. Susan permalink
    February 2, 2014

    CB’s have ruined my life, my family relationships, almost cost me a job, and have messed with my sanity. I have been living this nightmare for 2 years next month. I am still not sure when or where the original beetles came from. For some reason this bothers me, as if things would be easier if I knew. What I do know is that my son’s house, my daughter’s house, my friend’s house, and my house were infected. No one seems terribly worried about them except me, so now I don’t allow them to visit my new home. How horrible is that? I have gone to extreme measures and would be willing to share what I did ( haven’t seen any in 6 months), but I live in fear of bringing them back from my daughter’s house where I keep her son each day. I have a routine when I return home. I do not know how I lived 56 years and never heard of these monsters before, and for the life of me, I can’t find anyone else who ever heard of them. Sometimes I walk around envious of strangers knowing they don’t have this problem at their house. Let me begin by saying that PEVA plastic bags, diatomaceous earth, and vacuuming are the extreme measures in which you have to engage. Even after they are gone, there is the constant fear that destroys any hope of living sanely again.
    This sounds so overdramatic to anyone who has never had CB’s, for those of you who have shared your stories, you probably share this fear.

  16. Lynn permalink
    March 1, 2014

    I’m new to this site but from what I’ve read, it’s nice to know that I’m not insane or alone in this battle. I’ve been dealing with unknown “bites” on my upper body for over 7 months…as is my husband, I get them more often and worse since I’m home all day.
    It all started in July 2013, we were waking up with what appeared to be bites on our back, sides, arms, neck, stomach and buttocks. I had 2 PC companies come out and they said I didn’t have bedbugs and weren’t sure what all our bites were from and without a proper ID they wouldn’t treat our home.
    Fast forward to Jan. 2014. Had another pest control guy out who did a very thorough inspection and found many carpet beetles and their larvae in almost every room of the house….even the shed exoskeletons behind pic. frames. He confirmed that they were the Varied carpet beetle. He must have been one of the honest PCO’s since he said I could take care of the problem by just vacuuming and eliminating clutter in drawers and closets…(I have a beautiful home and didn’t think I had too much clutter, but I do have a lot of linens, towels, etc. )
    I had been to Dr’s, Dermotologists and even spoke to 3 entomologist prior to finding this info. out about carpet beetles and NONE of them knew what my so called bites were from and one even thought I needed a shrink!! Well, being that my husband and I are covered daily with fresh “bites” and scars from last summer, the only one that understood was the Dermo. and gave us cortisone cream to use for 2 weeks for the intense itching these cause.
    Okay, so I found out that there is something called carpet beetle larvae dermatitis, it is caused not by anything crawling on us, but the hairs from the larvae which are on the carpets and in stored clothing (where they nest) and they are then basically “impaled” into our clothing and can remain on our clothes even through the wash/dryer. The marks resemble those from a spider or bed bug bite but they’re actually from the hairs of these things from an allergic reaction.
    I’m not sure if I can do all the cleaning etc. on my own as I’ve been stressed like all of you over this….so, next week I’ll start throwing away items I don’t wear and dry clean all my linens then store them in space bags until I have the entire house treated.
    For those of you who aren’t allergic to the hairs from these, I’ll tell you what it’s like. As I walk in my home, even on my tiled kitchen floor, it feels like little pin pricks on your skin….starts on the legs (although I’ve never gotten marks on my legs) and then the marks and rash start on the stomach, groin, back and back of my neck. One day I put on a freshly hot washed and dried sweat shirt and went food shopping and literally had to leave my cart and run out of the store from all the extreme itching on my upper back….when I got home, I ripped it off, threw it in the hot wash and checked my back, sure enough I had over 15 “bites” on me. I honest thought I had some type of mite all this time until I found out about this beetle larvae….right before I started this post I found 7 in my kitchen, some larvae were dead in my cupboard and 2 beetles were walking up my wall…one was about to take off but I captured it on some tape and put it with the rest of what I’ve collected the past 2 days in a black folder for review for whoever I have come and treat.
    I hope we all find peace and can get back to the real world one day soon. I’ve walked around like a zombie for way too long and I just want my life back. Hopefully we all will.

  17. March 1, 2014

    I will talk to anyone battling this
    ever since I discovered these I seem to notice a lot more bugs. You’d be surprised just how many things infest the home. It gives you a heightened awareness. Every little speck causes me to freak out. The creepiesr part is the crunching of the adult beetles and how they just appear on floors, walls, in cupboards out of nowhere when you’ve just cleaned it. We had our rooms fumigated last year which kept it down for a while but they just keep on coming back its like they are immune to everything. I even put diatomaceous earth in crevices, behind wardrobes , cupboards, beside perimeters of external doors ECT yet they come back. I hoover once weekly, carpet sweep with a sweeper, clean walls, wooden floors, skirtings, inside of door frames, all furniture at least once weekly. I clean with essential oils(a combination of lavender, peppermint, tea tree, citronella, orange, cedarwood) and bleach and vinegar for floors. I’ve gone insane and all I think about is bugs crawling on me and my things. Worst fear is my bed. I’ve seen them on other matresses and sofas ECT but not my new bed yet….. Once you notice CBs you’ll probably notice a ton of other minute insects too and it just makes you paranoid beyond belief. Everyone thinks im delusional but I just dont want my things infested 😐

  18. Susan permalink
    March 15, 2014

    I have had carpet beetles for almost three years. I have never had a bite like you are describing. Is it possible you have mites and also carpet beetles and you are thinking the bites are from the CB’s?
    Have you tried diatomaceous earth? how often do you vacuum? Have you removed food sources that help CBs survive like clothes, towels?
    You may need to commit to a year or so living in plastic, vacuuming daily, and removing food sources. Also, check your car, you may be reinfecting your house from your car each day.

  19. Lynn permalink
    March 16, 2014

    This week we removed all our carpeting and used DE and I haven’t seen one….where as prior to treating, I was killing about 20 a week. I found the root of the problem was in a closet where I had forgotten about a lambs wool coat from my grandmother that was covered with them…I believe if there are only a few, then you won’t have a reaction, but with what we saw, found and threw out, this was a major problem.
    Since about 6 days ago, after removing things, I have no pin pricking sensation, no more skin lesions and I’m confident we’re on our way to eliminating these things. We still have the upstairs to tackle within the next week until our new flooring comes in….I’ll keep you posted.

  20. Dawn permalink
    March 17, 2014

    I’m so glad I found this page! I literally thought I was going mad with these things! As you all know it seems like nobody understands how bad the situation is, but I practically cry when I see these things. I’m just so exhausted from cleaning and just the emotional exhaustion is overwhelming. I moved into my new apartment in Septemeber 2013 and realized I had these CB’s about a month later. My apartment manager has had the pest control come out and spray three times now and they will be back again this Wednesday. I have vacuumed like a crazy person for the last six months. I’ve used borax and put everything I haven’t thrown out into those giant ziploc bags. Nothing really seems to help though. I found out today (yes all today) that they have spread to my office, to another apartment in my complex, and also a friend of mine texted and said she has seen a few at her house now. I feel nauseous from the anxiety these things cause… There seems to be no rhyme or reason to these bugs! It seems like everything I’ve read about how they act/where I should find them completely contradicts how these CB’s actually act. With all this abnormally warm winter weather here in Calofornia it seems like their life cycles are on warp speed.

  21. March 18, 2014

    Interesting information regarding CB’s.

  22. Susan permalink
    March 27, 2014

    Dawn, I completely understand your frustration. Your situation is very similar to mine. CB’s can be transmitted from house to house on clothing, shoes, bags, etc. My friend and several family members now have them as well. I am not positive from which house they originate. I just seem to be the only one concerned about them.

    Diatomaceous Earth will work, but not overnight. I live in a plastic world where vacuuming is my daily duty. 🙂

  23. Ryan permalink
    April 29, 2014

    After thinking we have bed bugs and 3 failed & costly treatments for them, we found carpet beetles in three of our vehicles. If it’s really cb and not bb, I will cry with happiness and gratitude. Cb dermatitis , to me, is preferable to having a bug search u out nightly to suck your blood, then go lay eggs. Please read up on bed bugs if you have cb, you may feel a bit of relief that it’s the hairs of larvae bothering you and not an actual bug stalking you!

  24. August 9, 2014

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the
    same comment. Is there any way you can remove people
    from that service? Many thanks!

  25. August 10, 2014

    This is for you Tina you said you won’t to chat to some one that as the same thing as you have I do Hun and it’s made me feel so alone if you would like to chat with me I’m here for you Hun as I need some one to that as the same as I do tracey

  26. Marilyn permalink
    July 17, 2015

    Before I even start to explain how these Beetles have ruined my life, I would like to address Tim’s response. Tim, you are obviously not allergic to the larvae. I just sold my four bedroom home that my family bought and kept up since 1969. Over the generations we had ants, a few rats got into the garage, and regular pest control. About six months ago, I noticed an alarming amount on beetles on my patio. It was really weird, but, I just thought they were attracted to the light and somehow got into the patio through the dog door. About a week later, I noticed my good towels had small holes I’m them. I also noticed a tear in my couch that I thought must have been there for a while. Then I started itching. No one else was itching. Before, I knew it, I would all of a sudden have blood spots in rows all over my legs. I thought I was nuts. There was patterns running through the rugs, and holes in my new mattress. Then I started calling the experts who found no evidence of bed bugs. I knew they were not bed bugs. Finally, one PC expert, noticed a few beetles and told me they did not bit but would damage the clothing and carpet. When I found out that I had carpet beetles, I started doing research. As, I realized, that not everyone was allergic, I knew I was facing a psychological battle as well. For months, I watched my family walk around with out a mark, while I looked like a leper, however, everything we owned was shredded. On day, my dad noticed my elbow bleeding and got a magnifying glass, he saw that I was empaled by at least fifteen larvae hairs and got a tweezers and began to pull them out. It got so much worse, that my Dog couldn’t walk one day because they latched on to her fur. I had her completely shaved and she was the happiest dog in the world. One got into my eye and my hair moves by itself. So, there is no drama here. There is truth and uniformed people scared to death and feeling crazy getting bit, seeing them everywhere, once you know what the larvae looks like. I am into my new house for three weeks now…, my knee popped out a blood spot. I am paralyzed with the idea of this continuing. Prayers. –Marilyn

  27. Anon permalink
    August 11, 2015

    Yikes! Another American pest!

    I live in Greater Cairo, Egypt almost at 30,30 coordinates, with hot weather most of the year. Egypt is surrounded by Isarel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and Red Sea East, Sudan Sounth, Libya West, and Mediterranean Sea North.

    Being part of the Middle East, we have given you House Flies, which are dominant but easy to beat, and you have given us the American Cockroach which is dominant but hard to beat.

    Add to that – recently – the June (AKA: May) Beetle and finally, THIS!

    The place I live in is a suburb of Cairo where you can find people from everywhere: China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Sudan, Somalia, Arab Countries, Europe and US.

    Having been raised in the country side with all sorts of local insects around me, before moving where I’m, it was my first time ever to see June Beetle in 2007. I was born in 1977.

    To your knowledge, in almost 99.9% of the close to some 50+ million populated apartments (we almost count 90 million natives) we use Ceramic or Processed Cement-Bricks for floors (helps with mostly hot weather, currently at avg. 40 C), We use carpets sparsely, and we almost always wear open plastic slippers.

    To have such a pest here is almost impossible, we mostly use sun-drying for washed clothes, we usually shower at least once in Winter and Twice in Summer with the brilliant God-given gift of That, scrubs off your skin so well so you do not have to worry about skin issues.

    Despite all that, I still had to see this running on my white ceramic floor. I freaked out at first thinking it was a roach larva; but thank you for sharing this information, I now know what it is!

    This could be a world record for the Carpet Beetle. Egypt!

  28. Anon permalink
    August 11, 2015

    “Once in Winter – daily – and Twice in Summer – daily” sure you recon 🙂

  29. Kriss permalink
    May 17, 2016

    Try using essential oils and those corking to block their entences. Firstly, my ma n I moved into this house last year n found out it was infested with larder beetles. We didn’t panic but we took a precautionary ‘we live in the same home as those I guess’, and killed them where we saw them. We complained with each other everytime. First thing in dealing with these beetles is not to let them get to you. Yes it’s terrifying. But it’s ur home not theirs. Note where u see them the most. Find entrences n cork’m. I.E our bathroom. We got my cousin to do it cuz he was a guy and we just didn’t want to deal. Because u know ewwwww. Larder beetles like carpet beetles like anything animal. I nean ‘Anything!!’ Poop, clothing ‘animal originated’, hair, skin, etc. They especially likem dead but well we can’t complain cuz they do their job. Cleaning up and moving on. And yes they do it in houses, OUR houses. So we figured we’d solved it but nooo. Anyway me being the universally googled genius found out what the beetles were n told my ma. We stuffed our stuff n plastic bags n got rid of carpets n vacuumed n cleaned n wiped n well blah it’s tiring. Anyway, I own a few bottles of essential oils and found natural insect repellents w/essential oils and it generally works. Hehe, right now m experimenting since I did find this this winter. Pepperment is said to kill larvae, and cedar n orange is said to repell Larder beetles? Cb? Eucyliptus n lemon also play a part in Larder beetle cb repellent, but for the life of me I can’t remember their properties but yes thats me. Paranoia is certainly the one thing that ‘Will’ destroy ur sense of safe haven. And ur house should definately be that, a haven. So take that away and ur mind will slowely deteriorate. The main thing is is that u need to accept that u share this world with bugs. And animals. And arachnids, which aparrently aren’t bugs… Don’t be bothered by it, curse, attack, scream n kill these bugs but don’t let it get too u. Just grab a good stick or anything hard. Kill it because I for one am never using my hands or feet unless I’m wearing shoes. Grab a tissue n remove it from ur premosis (home) like the warriors we are. Cuz we’re fighting for our homes. Ok Sorry everyone, kind of got carried away, but reading ur posts u all seem to need a lot of encouragements n hope. So by that note Goodluck Everyone!!

  30. Kriss permalink
    May 17, 2016

    Also Larder beetles are sly creatures, so any cracks n any openings no matter how small, tiny or impossible are still considered entrences. They like to hang out in dark places, but they do come out. I.E cubboards, unders sinks, windowless bathrooms, under carpets, closets, etc.

  31. Amanda permalink
    January 8, 2017

    They’re baaaack. I’m so sick of this. I’ve moved about 6 times. Washed everything I needed to keep and threw out so kuch more. Not to mention I’ve avoided my mom’s house and left Christmas presents behind to stop the chances of bringing anything from her house to where I’m living now with what is now the third boyfriend to have to see me lose my mind over these pests. I can’t do this again. Just found a larvae munching away on an old cloth… Which of course was left on the bed a good half hour before I discovered him. A shed skin even as well. I pitched the blanket that was on the bed. Washed my hands about ten times and will need to shower and wash what I was wearing at the time before I can even try to go to bed. I won’t sleep. I can’t believe this is happening again. I know I have to tear this place apart now but I don’t have the mental strength necessary to tackle this right now.

  32. Lisa Young permalink
    January 15, 2018

    Where can I buy this, “Gentrol”?

  33. January 15, 2018

    You can buy Gentrol from Amazon:

    It is an insect growth regulator. It doesn’t kill them, but it does prevent them from reproducing, and it is a lot less toxic to humans than most actual pesticides.

  34. April 14, 2018

    Tim, what in the world happened to these people???? Annie,Amanda,Lisa,Victoria,etc-did they all lose their minds? There are no more posts from any of them and I want to know what happened-did they get rid of them for good or they all in an institution, and I’m not trying to be funny. Why are there no SUCESS stories here or anywhere on the Internet. It seems it’s easier to get rid of bedbugs then these damn things. Please-if any past posters are reading this please let me know what happened. I absolutely feel for each and every person on here.

  35. Anon permalink
    April 14, 2018

    @Disgusted: Ceramic floors, if you can afford it. The less fiber in open space, the more you get to control this.

    Moral from my case: I was getting those from neighbors. These things do cross house boundaries.

  36. Amanda permalink
    April 14, 2018

    Hi Disgusted,
    I’m still fighting the good fight. These things pop up whenever I least expect them despite feeling like I’m always on my guard for them. I wish I was in an institution…they seem like nice sterile places lol

  37. Sara permalink
    May 6, 2018

    I have felt so alone in my struggle with carpet beetles until I came across this forum. No one understands and I’ve been in counseling, but nothing has gotten better. Carpet beetles are ruining my life. I identify and understand completely how Amanda in the forum feels. Is anyone still struggling with these carpet beetles and if not anymore, how did you get help??

  38. Amanda permalink
    May 16, 2018

    Here I am again. My 6 months of semi denial (as much denial as I get even though still constantly checking for them) and hoping this 10 year long nightmare is over. Found a larvae shell on a favourite pair of slippers. More stuff thrown away. What did I do to deserve this? Now my boyfriend is involved and will likely have these on top of his health problems to deal with. My family is dealing with them too. I’ll never be rid of these as long as I live.

  39. lise permalink
    September 30, 2018

    I see this post starts in 2014 up to 2018. Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been battling CBs for about 3 years. I talked to two exterminators. One said you don’t need our services, they can be gotten rid of by cleaning. The other said that even tenting won’t work because the beetles outside are attracted to the pheromones left by the ones already in the home. Their numbers have lessened, but when I check areas, I find they’re back. I’m at my wits end. I have started using a product called cimeXa which is primarily for bed bugs and it has helped more than any other product. It’s a desiccant dryer dust which dehydrates bugs and I’ve dusted it everywhere in my house except in the kitchen. It’s not a pesticide but should not be breathed or ingested. I use a respirator myself when dusting with it. It remains effective for 10 yrs if undisturbed. It eliminated the problem in my bedroom but the kitchen and living room remain a problem. I use cimexa in conjunction to vacuuming, freezing, washing, drying, boxing in airtight boxes, just about everything. I also dusted with cimexa inside my box springs and under the washer and dryer, two areas I neglected at first. Now today, after vacuuming and washing all cupboards in my kitchen a week ago, I find a larvae in my silverware drawer. I pulled the drawer out and discovered a lip under my counter top between the fronts of the cupboards. I took an alcohol saturated rag and ran it through this lip and came up with some casings. An area I never noticed before. That’s how insidious these bugs are. I also found some larvae in my silk curtains yesterday. The curtains are in the freezer at 18 below zero right now. I admit I never dealt with the curtains previously. That was a mistake. I’m now planning on dry ice fumigating my entire couch by enclosing it in heavy plastic held together with special tape. I found information for this online. I wanted to have my couch professionally vault fumigated until I found it would cost $1000. I may reconsider later if the dry ice doesn’t work. So, I’m really sick of these bugs, but I won’t give up.

  40. Susan permalink
    October 25, 2018

    I posted in 2014 and here it is four years later, 4 moves later, and still fighting CBs. Everything I own is in plastic. Both my grown children have carpet beetles at their houses and don’t seem to care. They don’t take precautions so I don’t even allow them to come to my house. I only see them at their homes on holidays where I take a change of clothes (in plastic) and change before I get back in my car to come home. We meet in a restaurant all other times, then I am just crazy enough now not to go back to that same restaurant.
    My grandson is 8 and he is the only one to visit at my house, but everytime he comes to visit, I find CBs about two weeks later, even though I make him take a bath and change clothes once he gets here. Luckily, he is not aware of why all this is happening, he just thinks I am a weird clean freak. I know they can also be in your car and in the past I used to strip at the door and bag all clothing and shoes. I assume my grandson is bringing them in from his house or his parent’s car and so it starts again. I have been in my last apartment for 2 months, I just found a skin(which is worse then the larva because this means an egg-laying adult is loose now). My grandson came to visit for the first time two weeks ago so obviously he brought them.
    I had just begun to live normally again, and not strip at the door, leave my towel actually hanging in the bathroom, etc. I am desperate again. I am not sure how you can live the way I live and still have these bugs. I am a clean freak and diatamaceous earth is everywhere. These bugs are a curse and you can never be free.

  41. October 29, 2018

    I know you don’t want to hear this, but I think you need to give it some thought. I think you need to ask yourself, not why *they* don’t seem to care, but why do *you* care? These are harmless beetles. The worst thing they are likely to do might be to eat holes in some of your wool or silk fabric. They do not bite, they are not toxic, they do not carry disease. They are just around.

    This is not an issue of liking things clean. You are letting your life be controlled by something that really should not be this important to you. If what you write is accurate, I think you need professional help to understand why something is so important to you when it is obvious that it is completely unimportant to nearly everyone that you know.

  42. lynn permalink
    July 2, 2019

    I’m having the same problem, I feel like I am about to lose my mind. I would like to talk to some of you that have been dealing with this, and see how you cope.

  43. July 20, 2021

    Hello! I wanted to share my story about carpet beetles and my bug obsession. My post is a bit long, but if you are suffering from anxiety due to these small creatures, I hope this
    will help you somewhat—or at the very least make you feel less alone.

    I moved into an old house (renting) a while ago and discovered shortly afterward that it was infested with 3 species of pest moth, 2 types of carpet beetles, many types of spiders, and house centipedes (gigantic things that are utterly terrifying to behold). I was so disturbed that I wanted to move not long after we moved in, but I was 7.5 months pregnant and moving had been one hell of an ordeal, so it was not really possible. Not to mention, the city we live in is literally one of the most expensive on the planet, and we had actually found a good deal for a fair-size living space.

    After moving in, my husband and I argued a lot about the bugs. He just did not mind them and did not understand why they ruined the house for me. I realized then that it would be my own battle to fight. At first I thought I was fighting the bugs, but later I realized I was also fighting myself.

    After a lot of work and money spent, I did beat the moths—it was mostly thanks to a mix of pheromone moth traps and trichogramma (truly miraculous). As for the spiders, we live next to a lake, and there is really no way to stop them in the summertime so I had to give up. The number of centipedes was reduced when we fixed some leaks in the house, but they are still here, as they feed on the other bugs (and, alas, this house is full o’ bugs).

    So here is the truth you don’t want to hear: there is nothing that can be done to FULLY eliminate carpet beetles. I have researched this high and low, tried many approaches, and spoken to many pest professionals. You can only get their numbers down. A thorough study a couple years ago conducted in the US found that 99.9 percent of households have carpet beetles. So these are not something that you can beat. Pest control companies are part of what make you feel disgusted by carpet beetles, as their advertisements are designed to make you want to use their services to try to eliminate them (it doesn’t work). They make all sorts of claims about how carpet beetles are going to completely destroy your home. But in the vast majority of cases, all these beetles are is a (fairly minor) nuisance. If you listen to what entomologists say about carpet beetles, they will tell you they are nature’s scavengers. Their larvae eat dust and other debris, and because this stuff is unavoidable and accumulates in places we cannot access in our homes, the beetles will always be here. Even if we were somehow to remove them from our homes, they would find their way in again easily. When I sit out in my garden, I see them landing on flowers or crawling on the ground—remember they live outside as well, and they can come in easily when you open the door or window, or they crawl through the tiniest holes and cracks that you will never notice. Also, if you have spiders in your house, the beetle larvae will feed on the webs. If you have a dead mouse in your walls that you can’t access, they go to town on that. All you can do is keep your wool/feather items in plastic boxes (or in garment bags with the tops around the hangers sealed).

    I originally became terrified they would eat all my clothing, including things that were not wool etc. This has not proven to be true. I was storing literally all my clothes in plastic boxes for a few months, but then I realized I just needed to live a normal life. So I put everything into drawers and onto shelves (as long as they are not woollens). So far, I have not had any damage to these items.

    In terms of how often I see them, it is fairly often. In spring and summer I find at least one carpet beetle on average crawling around a day, usually on the window sill trying to get out. In the winter and early spring I find larvae crawling the walls or just randomly on the floor, maybe like one a week. I believe they are feeding on spiderwebs and other dead insects within the walls.

    So I will reiterate: no matter how much you clean your house, these bugs can easily enter and reproduce in some neglected area. It is not your fault. Ultimately what it comes down to is learning how to live with them. If you have an allergic reaction to their bristles, then that is another situation entirely, and I cannot speak to that. But I do know most people do not have this bodily reaction to the bugs. Most people on this forum have been speaking of a psychological reaction to these insects, rather than physical. And I can relate to this greatly. I have OCD, and after moving here, I truly became obsessively fixated on the bugs. I spent thousands of dollars that I had saved up for my maternity leave on trying to get rid of bugs and protect against them. I sought and paid for therapy that didn’t work. I found myself reduced to tears by the sight of centipedes or beetles. It was all I could think about. I felt like what was even the point of living if these bugs were just all over my walls, or if my things could be destroyed by bugs, or if my house was just being taken over by them. It got to the point that I actually wanted to be institutionalized, because (like another poster suggested), it seemed like at least there I would be somewhere clean. I also felt like being away from all of my possessions would be better for me because I wouldn’t constantly be thinking about how they will all just eaten by bugs.

    Long story short, I somehow stuck it out, and when my baby was born, it helped me to move past my bug obsession, because I was so busy taking care of a new infant. I truly believe that acquiring a hobby or something fulfilling that takes up a lot of your time (and requires you to prioritize it) can be very helpful. But this on its own will not cure you. What you need is to change your perspective. That of course is much easier said than done.

    It helps to understand where the problem comes from. I think it stems from a fear of lack of control. You are sitting in your house relaxing, when suddenly you see something uninvited that upends your calm. It bothers you because you cannot control it. But… you can. First, you can kill that bug if you want—and you should, if it helps you feel better. But you can also control your reaction to the bug. It is possible, I promise.

    One tactic that helped me, morbid though it may sound, is when I was getting freaked out about a bug, I would imagine that I had just learned I had a terminal illness and had a few months to live. Would I give a crap about these bugs anymore? No. Of course not. Alternatively, I would sometimes imagine that I was very old and on my death bed reflecting on my life. Would I think about the bugs that I had encountered? Or would I think about the interesting experiences I had had, the people I had loved, etc.?

    I still live with carpet beetles. Also with centipedes and spiders! I have reduced their numbers, which is great, but as long as I live in this house, they will be here with me. And the reality is, no matter where I go, there will be carpet beetles, whether I bring them with me or whether the house already has them (remember, almost 100 percent of homes have them). Try to focus on what is truly important in life. Don’t let these little guys win.

    If you would like to talk to someone about your bug obsession, you can email me at

    Overcomebugs (at) Gmail (dot) com

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