Fabric Pest Identification

What are carpet beetles?

  • Color: Variable-Black to reddish brown to multiple colors
  • Shape: Oval
  • Size: 2.8 to 5 mm
  • Region: Northeastern United States
  • Habits: 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.
  • Threats: The carpet beetle is considered a general feeder but economic damage primarily occurs on fabrics in the household. It is the larval stage that causes damage. They are known to eat large, irregular holes through any acceptable food material. They prefer to feed on the surface of wool products or at the base of furs leaving, bare spots on the hide. Textiles, carpets, and fabrics will be peppered with irregular holes, while museum specimens will be eaten away, often leaving a fine dust around or beneath the specimen. Additionally, carpet beetles may be a pest of stored products when it invades containers of cereals, nuts, and stored grain. Furthermore, those in close association with carpet beetles may suffer allergic reactions as a result of exposure to beetle fragments, cast skins, or dust.
  • Prevention: The key to controlling carpet beetles is to find the primary source(s) of infestation and eliminate it/them. Besides carpeting, drapes, clothing, furs, fabric-covered furniture, and stored products, it may be necessary to check any furs. As with moths, to avoid varied carpet beetle infestations, store clothing in plastic containers. Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time.

close up of carpet beetle

What are casemaking clothes moths?

  • Color: Body and wings are buff to golden with a brownish tinge, except for 3 dark spots on each front wing
  • Shape: Both wings long and narrow
  • Size: Up to 3/8 inch
  • Region: Found throughout the U.S. but more common in the southern states
  • Habits: The webbing clothes moth is probably the most commonly encountered clothes moth in the United States.They primarily attack materials of animal origin and secondarily attack those of plant origin. Animal-origin materials include feathers, wools, rugs, furs, mummified carcasses, taxidermy mounts, and piano felts. Plant-origin materials include tobacco, various herbs and seasonings, hemp, various plant-based drugs, linseed, almonds, and saffron. It is particularly a pest of feathers/down and hair/fur.
  • Threats: Damage generally appears in hidden locations such as beneath collars or cuffs of clothing, in crevices of upholstered furniture, and in carpeted areas beneath furniture. Fabrics with food, perspiration, or urine stains are more subject to damage.
  • Prevention: Periodically cleaning areas in your home that can harbor clothes moths can prevent or control infestations. These areas include seldom-cleaned spots such as beneath heavy pieces of furniture; along baseboards and in cracks where hair and debris accumulate; in closets, especially those in which woolens and furs are kept; and inside and behind heaters and inside vents. The vacuum cleaner is the best tool for most of this cleaning. After using it in infested areas, dispose of the bag’s contents promptly, since it can include eggs, larvae, or adult moths.

What are silverfish?

  • Color: Silver to brown
  • Shape: Oval; elongated
  • Size: 3/4 inch
  • Region: Found throughout the U.S. and the world
  • Habits: During the day, silverfish hide in tight cracks or crevices, typically in humid, moist areas. Yet, they can be found in almost anywhere in the home. Silverfish consume paper, particularly wallpaper, envelopes and book bindings.
  • Threats: Silverfish pose no health threat but can cause damage to your home. Over time, they will cause small holes, yellow stains, notches or etchings along the edges of infested materials.
  • Prevention: Do not keep old magazines or books in basements, attics, or garages. Keep food items such as sugar and flour in tightly sealed containers. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home. Eliminate or repair any wet or moldy wood and repair leaky drains and pipes.

What are webbing clothes moths?

  • Color: Wings and body uniformly buff/golden color except for tuft of reddish hairs on top of head
  • Shape: Both wings long and narrow
  • Size: 1/2 inch
  • Region: Found throughout the U.S.
  • Habits: The webbing clothes moth is probably the most commonly encountered clothes moth in the United States. Webbing clothes moths do not attack materials of vegetable origin. They attack synthetic fibers only when they are interwoven with natural animal fiber materials or are soiled. They feed on keratin-containing materials such as wool, hair, fur, etc. They have been found infesting beef meal, fish meal, and milk products, in addition to furs, woolens, etc.
  • Threats: Damage generally appears in hidden locations such as beneath collars or cuffs of clothing, in crevices of upholstered furniture, and in carpeted areas beneath furniture. Fabrics with food, perspiration, or urine stains are more subject to damage.
  • Prevention: Periodically cleaning areas in your home that can harbor clothes moths can prevent or control infestations. These areas include seldom-cleaned spots such as beneath heavy pieces of furniture; along baseboards and in cracks where hair and debris accumulate; in closets, especially those in which woolens and furs are kept; and inside and behind heaters and inside vents. The vacuum cleaner is the best tool for most of this cleaning. After using it in infested areas, dispose of the bag’s contents promptly, since it can include eggs, larvae, or adult moths.

How do I get rid of fabric pests?

If you are ready to get rid of fabric pests from your property, reach out to the local pest control experts at Patriot Pest Management. Our customized services performed by our knowledgeable and friendly experts eliminate pests and stop them from coming back.

At Patriot Pest Management, we won’t hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure that our customers are happy and their properties are free of pests. For exceptional home pest control or commercial pest control services in the Greater Bay Area and surrounding counties of California, contact Patriot Pest Management today!

 

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