Carpet beetles feed on a wide range of animal-based items, including silk, leather, fur, wool and animal hair. As a result, carpet beetles may infest carpets, upholstered furniture, blankets, coats, comforters, wool, pillows and clothing. While carpet beetles rarely attack synthetic fabrics, they may feed on these items when they are soiled by perspiration, oil and food. Infestations can spread quickly.
Adult carpet beetles feed on pollen and nectar outdoors. The larvae may eat seeds, animal food and other milled products in the pantry or kitchen. Although adult carpet beetles can thrive inside or outside, females prefer to lay eggs where larval food sources are abundant. Carpet beetles enter homes through doors, windows and other openings, although they may be brought in on cut plants and flowers, as well. Some carpet beetles make their homes inside the nests of birds or other animals and can live in walls or chimneys, feeding on dead insects and animals.
Both adults and larvae prefer to feed in dark, undisturbed areas. As a result, identification of an infestation can prove difficult. Because an infestation can go unnoticed until it is widespread, treatment is best left to pest control professionals. Contact your local expert for extermination options.