factsheet

 

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Carpet Beetles are small and oval in shape.  The adult beetles feed on pollen while the larvae feed on lint, but can cause serious damage by feeding on animal fibers in clothing, carpet, upholstery and other household furnishing.  They don’t feed on synthetic furnishings.

Clothes Moths are small, yellowish to slightly gold-coloured moths with narrow, slightly pointed wings. They are not attracted to lights and usually hide when disturbed.  Clothes Moths can feed on wool products, such as clothing, carpets, rugs, furs, fabrics, blankets, and piano felts. They may feed on fabrics of vegetable origin (cotton) if the fabrics are mixed with wool or soiled with food particles. Clothes moths can do serious damage to wool rugs. The caterpillars can feed on the underside of the rug for a long time, doing considerable damage, before they are detected.  The most damage is done to clothing and fibre left undisturbed for a long time, or to clothing soiled with beverages, urine, oil, and sweat.

Carpet moth damage 18Carpet Beetle Prevention

To help prevent an infestation of carpet beetles (and prevent the damage illustrated in the picture to the right) the following steps can be completed.

– Regularly removing lint through vacuuming can help remove potential breeding sites.  Remember to focus on rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture, shelves, closets, skirting boards, corners and floor cracks.
– Inspect all clothing and storage areas for potential infestations during Autumn and Spring.
– Make sure all windows are screened to prevent the entry of the insects.
– Dry clean or wash all clothes before storage.
– Store clothes and any wool or material srcaps in air tight boxes and chests
– Place mothballs (or something similar) in with the clothes in storage
– If an infestation is only localised, you can simply remove the contaminated items to prevent the spreading of the insects.

 Clothes Moth Prevention

mothClothes moths thrive in a similar environment to carpet beetles, however, the following steps will help avoid an infestation of clothes moths.

– Remove all lint, hair and dust from floor cracks, baseboards, air ducts, carpets and upholstered furniture.
– Keep closets and dresser drawers clean.
– Regularly vacuum rugs, especially where they fit close to the baseboards.
– Inspect stored foods and eliminate bird nests and dead rodents.
– Launder, dry clean or steam clothes and other items before storage.  Egg laying clothes moths are attracted to soiled items.
– Ironing will destroy all stages of the clothes moths lifecycle.
– Constant light illumination in closets may discourage clothes moths.
– Freezing has been successfully used to control clothes moths. Place fabric in plastic or polythene bags, squeeze all air out to minimize condensation, and deep freeze the materials for three days.

Lifecycles

Carpet Beetles

The complete lifecycle of a carpet beetle takes between nine and twelve months.  Adult carpet beetles lay eggs near food sources and the larvae usually feed for around 6 months on the material.  The larvae then undergoes pupation (adult structures are formed and larval structures are broken down) for a period of approximately two or three weeks.  The adult carpet beetle then feeds on nectar or pollen.

Clothes Moths

The case-making clothes moth females live for about 30 days and lays 100 to 300 eggs.  The larvae stage lasts 50 or more days, and the pupal stage is passed in the case or cocoon.  Larvae spin a small silken case around themselves as they feed. This cigar-shaped case enlarges as the larva grows.  It does not spin a web of silk over the food material but eats clean-cut holes, not usually in one spot.   There are about two generations a year.

Treating Carpet Beetles and Clothes Moths

Can I be home at the time of the treatment?

Yes you can, the treatment is completely safe once dry. Some furniture may be required to be lifted so that the technician can spray the underside of the affected areas to ensure the treatment is as effective as possible. We ask that someone is home at the time to assist with the lifting of furniture.

Do I have to do anything before or after the treatment is completed?

We ask that you vacuum and pick everything up off the floor (E.g toys, clothes, shoes etc) and also take note of the problem areas before we come.