Are carpet beetles harmful?


Are you wondering, "Are carpet beetles harmful?" You're not alone in your concern. These seemingly innocuous pests are more than just a nuisance; they can pose several risks to your health and home. 

Today, I am here to guide you through the hidden dangers of carpet beetles and provide tips on protecting your household.

What are carpet beetles?

Carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped insects from the family Dermestidae, with adult sizes ranging from 1 to 4 millimeters—about the width of a strand of spaghetti. These pests are adept flyers found globally in homes, museums and warehouses. They are particularly drawn to natural fibers but start their lifecycle feeding on pollen and nectar outdoors. 

How do carpet beetles harm people?

Carpet beetle larvae are covered in tiny, hair-like bristles that can be shed into the environment as they move around. These fibers can easily become embedded in carpets, clothing, upholstery and other fabrics within the home. You don't necessarily have to touch the larvae directly to be affected. The irritation usually occurs in two ways:

  1. Direct contact: If the larvae crawl over a surface that later comes into contact with human skin, such as bedding or clothing, the fibers can cause skin irritation when touched or rubbed against.
  2. Airborne contact: The fibers can become airborne, particularly during activities like vacuuming, dusting or disturbing affected items. Once airborne, they can be inhaled or come into contact with the eyes or skin, leading to respiratory or eye irritation, as well as skin rashes.

Now that we've seen how carpet beetles can affect our health, it's also vital to distinguish them from other pests that cause similar damage—like clothing moths. 

Identifying carpet beetles vs. clothing moths

Understanding the difference between carpet beetles and clothing moths is crucial in managing infestations effectively. Here's how you can distinguish these pests:

  • Feeding patterns: While both pests can damage fabrics, their eating habits differ significantly. Carpet beetles tend to focus on one large area of fabric, eating away at it extensively. In contrast, clothing moths are known for creating tiny, irregular holes scattered across the garment.
  • Signs of infestation: Carpet beetle larvae shed their skins as they grow, so finding these cast skins around damaged materials is a common sign of their presence. Moths, on the other hand, do not leave such obvious traces.

Tip: If you suspect that clothing moths may be the culprits behind fabric damage in your home, consider exploring our guide, 'How to get rid of clothing moths' for targeted advice and effective solutions.

With a clearer understanding of what to look for in fabric damage, let’s delve into how these invasive beetles find their way into our homes in the first place.

How do people come in contact with carpet beetle larvae?


Carpet beetles are not only adept flyers but also stealthy invaders, capable of exploiting the smallest openings to enter your home. They often gain entry through open windows or doors and can even be inadvertently brought inside via cut flowers and potted plants, which are common carriers of these tiny pests. Once inside, they seek secluded spots to overwinter, such as wall voids, attics and other hidden spaces where they go unnoticed.

These beetles are persistent, seeking optimal environments for their larvae. The real challenge begins when they transition from these concealed spaces into living areas, where they lay eggs in places rich in natural fibers—like carpets, upholstery, wardrobes and other storage areas. These locations provide the necessary nourishment for the growing larvae from materials such as wool, silk and even soiled synthetics.

While carpet beetles are already troublesome for your fabrics and personal items, their capacity for harm extends beyond just your wardrobes and carpets. Let's explore the other dangers. 

Do carpet beetles cause other types of harm?

Yes, indeed. Carpet beetles are not just a threat to your fabrics but can also infest your pantry. Their ability to fly helps them navigate into areas where food is stored, such as your pantry or kitchen cabinets. There, they lay eggs in food products, which the larvae will consume when hatched. Commonly infested items include dried animal products, milled items, seeds, grains like rice and barley, cereals, nuts, dried fruits and powdered milk. Even spices and pet foods are not safe from these pests.

Given the extensive damage carpet beetles can cause, it's imperative to implement strategies to protect your home and prevent these pests from becoming a recurring problem. 

How can you protect yourself from carpet beetles?

Here are several effective strategies to minimize their impact and keep your environment beetle-free:

  • Seal food containers: Store all pantry items, especially grains, pet food and dried goods, in airtight containers. This prevents beetles from accessing and laying eggs in your food supplies.
  • Regular cleaning: Frequent vacuuming and dusting of floors, carpets, upholstery and baseboards can remove carpet beetle larvae and prevent the laying of new eggs.
  • Seal entry points: Inspect and seal cracks and openings around windows, doors and utility pipes to prevent beetles from entering your home.

Long-term prevention

While carpet beetles may seem harmless at first glance, the damage they can cause to both your health and belongings is far from negligible. That's why taking proactive measures is not just advisable—it's essential. 

Dr. Killigan's is at the forefront of combating these pests with two powerful, distinct solutions: Six Feet Under Plant-Powered Insect Spray and Dust to Dust Plant-Powered Insect Powder. Our products stand out because they are not only effective but also safe and environmentally responsible, embodying our commitment to sustainability.


Six Feet Under is not just any insect spray. It's a potent, plant-powered formula that offers immediate results by knocking out pests on contact, while also providing residual protection for up to 30 days. This makes it an indispensable part of your pest control arsenal. 

Meanwhile, Dust to Dust is specifically designed to address the nooks and crannies where carpet beetles love to hide. By applying this powder in targeted areas such as rugs and closets, you ensure that these pests are eradicated effectively, preventing them from becoming a recurring problem.

Remember, choosing Dr. Killigan’s means opting for a pest-free home without compromising the health and safety of your environment. Our solutions are crafted with the highest quality natural ingredients, promising efficacy without the harshness of traditional chemicals.

Take Action Now! Don't let carpet beetles disrupt your life. Visit our website to learn more about how Six Feet Under and Dust to Dust can form a crucial part of your strategy to keep your home pest-free, naturally. Join us in our journey towards a healthier, pest-free environment. With Dr. Killigan’s, your peace of mind isn’t just possible—it’s a guarantee.

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