When you think of insect pests that can infest your attic, carpet beetles probably aren't the first thing that springs to mind. Unfortunately, these hardy and adaptable insects can inhabit almost any location containing suitable food sources and shelter. Attics and under-roof storage spaces are no exception, and even attics that have been converted into bedrooms or living spaces can be vulnerable.
Spotting Signs Of Carpet Beetles In Your Attic
Carpet beetles are relatively easy to identify and closely resemble ladybugs in shape and size. Unfortunately, carpet beetles usually hide when disturbed, and can be very difficult to spot, especially if you only use your attic occasionally. You will have an easier time finding carpet beetles by looking for the signs they leave behind.
Like most insects, carpet beetles frequently shed their skins, leaving behind hollow shells known as casings. They also leave behind small, black fecal pellets. Look for these around cracks in walls, spaces between storage boxes, and inside exposed attic insulation (be sure to use protective equipment if your insulation is fiberglass). You should also check around lightbulbs and other light sources, which attract beetles.
Carpet beetle larvae are also easier to spot than adult beetles. They resemble miniature versions of wooly caterpillars, and are much slower than adult beetles, so you may catch them in the act if you are quick.
Unfortunately, the easiest way to detect carpet beetles is to find the damage they leave behind. They will consume most natural fibers, such as wool, silk, and cotton, and can leave large holes in stored clothing, furniture, and fabrics. If your attic is used as a living space, check for telltale damage to carpets and curtains.
Getting Rid Of Carpet Beetles In Your Attic
If you find any signs of carpet beetle infestation in your attic, call in a professional pest control service as soon as possible to inspect your attic. These trained professionals will identify the pests, find their likely hiding spots, and put together a comprehensive extermination plan.
The best way to root carpet beetles out of your attic is to deprive them of food. If possible, remove any items made from natural fibers from your attic, at least temporarily. Dispose of edible pest baits. You should also clean out any ventilation or HVAC ducts in your attic — carpet beetles can feed on human and pet hairs that accumulate in their filters and grates.
To remove carpet beetles and their larvae from furnishings or stored items, your pet control service may recommend freezing or heat treatment. The infested items are placed in special freezers or heating chambers, which quickly kill any beetles hiding within.
If you are dealing with a severe infestation, your pest control service may recommend insecticides. Professional-grade sprays and powders are much more effective than treatments available at hardware stores and will last much longer, killing any beetles that come into contact with them. Be sure to follow any safety advice your pest control service gives you, and keep pets out of your attic until treatment is complete.
For more information, contact a local pest control company.