Do Carpet Beetles Bite Humans? Learn How to Get Rid of Them!

My next door neighbor claims that carpet beetles bite her. Another neighbor across the street says she’s wrong. Since I wondered, “Do carpet beetles bite?” I decided to investigate. The answer might surprise you as much as it surprised me. Not too many people know what the effects are when it comes to these insects but it is kind of daunting when you actually find out the damages that they can do to your home. But don't worry, we have the answers for you! With all the research that we have done in the past few years, we are confident that the information that we are about to share will help you get rid of these little monsters from your home for good. So, stay tuned and keep reading if you want to know how to finally get rid of these carpet beetles. 

Do you know how carpet beetles get into your home? Do you realize that not all people are affected by rug mites? And, do you understand how to handle carpet beetles? After much research, here is what i found about handling a house infested by pest especially the rug beetles

Carpet Beetles are Misnamed – They Start Outside Your Home

Carpet beetles were named back when carpets were made from wool. Most modern carpets consist of synthetic fibers, so carpet beetles don’t usually seek out today’s carpets. These insects like dead organic matter, like feathers, shed hair, dead bugs, cotton, linen, and wool.

Belonging to the insect family called dermestids, the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM), shows photographs of the three major carpet beetles: the varied carpet beetle, the furniture carpet beetle, and the black carpet beetle.

These insects start their lives outdoors and infiltrate homes. They are approximately one-tenth to one-eighth of an inch long, round, and resemble a lady bug, but with varying colors from red to light brown. You can often accidentally bring them inside on flowers or food.

Once inside your home, they seek out dark locations, such as cracks in the floor under your carpet, lay their eggs, which hatch into larvae in 10 to 20 days. It’s these larvae, which can irritate humans. In perfect conditions, carpet beetles can live a year or more in your home.

Carpet Beetle Larvae Poke You, Instead of Biting You

Sharp clumps of hair on the varied carpet beetle larva are the culprit of what some people mistake as carpet beetle bites. Of course, that's due to man's natural promptness to controlling insect bites. These bits of hair actually puncture the sensitive skin of certain victims, especially children, which, in turn, cause an allergic reaction.

This 11-second YouTube video shows a microscopic live view of the extreme sharp hair clumps of a varied carpet beetle larva.

Dr. Mike Merchant, an entomologist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, shows a great image in his blog of a young child with allergic red skin irritations as a result of carpet insects found in nightstands, baseboards, drawers, mattresses, and stuffed toys.

Mistaken as bed bug bites, carpet beetle infections will often afflict one person and not another. A couple sleeping in the same bed might notice one person covered with what appears to be bites over the entire body, whereas the other person seems to be bite-free.

Instead of bites on the human, an affected human’s skin is punctured and later diagnosed with a skin ailment, such as allergic rhinitis, lymphadenopathy, vasculitis, or dermatitis. This results in red lesions on the skin of the victim that aren’t bites, but an allergic reaction.

How Do You Handle Carpet Beetles?

Unlike other easy-to-trap house pests, carpet beetles are difficult to kill because they find food and then hide in obscure areas, like cracks filled with hair or dead insects. The best carpet bug control comes by cleaning, stopping rug mites entrance, and using sticky traps or diatomaceous earth.

Vacuum frequently to remove pet hair and human skin flakes. Keep fur, silk, and woolen clothes in a cedar chest. Hold pet food or human food items in plastic, glass or metal containers with sealable lids. Throw away artwork containing feathers or macaroni.

Stop rug beetles from walking into your home by following the advice of the Utah State University Cooperative Extension and keep doors and window of your home shut, unless they are screened. Maintain screens, windows, and door sweeps to keep them outside.

You can monitor rug mites presence by using sticky traps filled with a pheromone, a chemical hormone that attracts the insects. Diatomaceous earth, or fossilized plankton, dusted into cracks and crevices, kills carpet beetles by drying them out until they die.


The answer is “no” to the question, “Do carpet beetles bite?” The stiff clumps of hair on carpet beetle larvae punch holes into people with sensitive skin, causing allergic lesions resembling insect bites.

To eradicate carpet beetle issues:

  • Vacuum regularly and put food items in sealable containers;
  • Shut doors and windows, or if they’re open, ensure screens, windows and door sweeps are adequately maintained.
  • Monitor carpet beetles with sticky traps and use diatomaceous earth to kill them.

Vigilant cleaning and exclusion techniques are often adequate in controlling rug beetles. Special thanks for reading through this blog article.

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