Is it a moth or a carpet beetle causing the damage to your carpets?

Moths and carpet beetles have similar habits but, it is important that you identify which one is causing the damage so that you can use the right treatment to get rid of them!

A nuisance of a pest!

Compared to other pests, carpet beetles are not dangerous; they do not carry disease and neither do they make us ill. What they do cause is anger and frustration at the amount of damage they can cause to carpets, right under our very noses.

They prefer natural materials such as wool, cotton, silk, fur and leather although many people assume that because they have carpets and rugs that are a synthetic and natural fibre mix that they will not be affected by carpet beetles. Unfortunately, this is not the case; carpet beetles will happily chomp through carpets that are mixed, with as little as 25% natural fibres in them!

Spot the carpet beetle: small and round, and not dissimilar to a ladybird, a carpet beetle is dark brown or black in colour, with mottled patches of white or yellow. Fur beetles will have a white spot on each wing.

The carpet beetle life cycle

In the warmth of spring, just as the buds and flowers start their blossoming, the carpet beetle, on finding its way in to the house, will see the female lay around 20 to 100 eggs on carpets that have a high enough level of natural fibres in them.

In time, these eggs hatch into larvae; brown and furry, they are given the name ‘woolly bears’. These larvae avoid light (which is why it is important to check under furniture, including the legs!) and, when approached, they will curl into a ball.

Do you have carpet beetles?

  • Sightings – the most common way to identify if you have a carpet beetle infestation is catching sight of the adult beetle or woolly bears. The adults, for example, enjoy the warmth and light of the sun and so will cluster on window sills in the sunshine…
  • Birds’ nests – don’t be surprised when Mr Pesty turns up to deal with a suspected carpet beetle infestation that he spends time looking for birds’ nests in overhanging trees as this can be a source of the infestation.
  • Damage – emerging larvae will eat large round holes in carpets, as well as other soft furnishings and, in some cases, stored clothing too; carpet beetles larvae prefer the dark and so checking under furniture is essential, as is checking in dark corners of any room.


Pesticides, a form of chemical treatment, is essential in getting rid of carpet beetles and any eggs or larvae; some treatments take time to work effectively and depending on which one is used, you may find that you cannot vacuum for a week or more.

Once this vacuuming-hiatus has passed, you will need to complete a deep clean that includes vacuuming across the whole house and in the smallest darkest corner, including the smallest nook and cranny in wardrobes, cupboards etc.

Get the best advice and the right treatment at the very best price and be carpet beetle-free in no time, with Mr Pesty!