Carpet Beetles – Do They Bite?

They are a type of beetle that can commonly be found in the home, they can be found anywhere, but mostly like to live in:

  • Carpets
  • Closets
  • Air vents
  • Baseboards

The adults are oval in shape and quite small, measuring around 1/16 to 1/18 inch long, they can vary in colour from black to various mottled patterns of brown and white.  The larvae are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and often a brown or tan colour and covered in bristles which they shed as they grown.  And are often the real reason for wholes in your clothes and rugs rather than the adult who are scavengers and prefer dead animal products and other similar debris. The larvae specifically like to feed on natural fibres such as:

  • Wool
  • Feathers
  • Felt
  • Fur
  • Silk
  • Leather

The good news if they do not bite humans. But some people can be allergic to them, specifically allergic to the larvae bristles or skin that they shed. They can cause an allergic reaction if they come into contact with you:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Airways
  • Digestive tract

Symptoms can include:

  • Red, itchy and watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Rash, which looks like welts or bites and may cause a burning sensation
  • Hives
  • Gastrointestinal Issues

The allergic reactions will go once the carpet beetles and any remnant of them has been removed from your home.

So in short, no carpet beetles don’t bite humans, but can be an annoyance eating through clothes, rugs and furniture and some people may be allergic to them but they otherwise do not pose a threat to humans.

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