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Bed Bugs Vs Carpet Beetles - How to tell if it's Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetle in your London home

Bed Bugs Vs Carpet Beetles

Sometimes it could be a real struggle to figure out where the pests are coming from, why they have shown, and most importantly how to get rid of them as some of them are incredibly mysterious. Any type of pests can cause every London homeowner a lot of stress and cost a lot of money, trying to deal with them on their own. In fact, bed bugs and carpet beetles are among the most confusing pests in London.
Bed bugs and carpet beetles have enough similarities that can confuse people. But these two pesky pests are quite different. When you want to deal with pest-related issues on your own it is really important to be able to tell them apart so you can handle them accordingly. In this blog, the London exterminators from Archers Pest Control will share with you the difference between them and how Archers Pest Control can save you and your home from both.

Carpet Beetle Vs Bed Bugs: Characteristic, Behaviour and Appearance

Carpet Beetle
Carpet beetles have oval shape bodies. Adult carpet beetles can reach up to 4mm long. Depending on their type these pests may vary in colour. Common carpet beetles have yellow, black and white patterns, while the furniture beetles are black with yellow spots. Black carpet beetles like their name suggest are very dark brown to black.  The carpet beetle larvae are black, hairy and slightly bigger than the adults.
Usually, carpet beetles can enter your home through open windows, doors, or even from infested furniture or other objects brought inside. These pests can hide in places near food sources such as hair, fur, dead skin cells and of course carpets and rugs. This means carpet beetles are capable of destroying anything that's made of organic fibers and other organic products.

Carpet Beetle Life Stage
  • Eggs - Their life stage starts with the egg stage. Female carpet beetles prefer to lay their eggs indoors, but however, they can thrive outside. In many cases, if a female carpet beetle finds a rodent or bird nest, they can breed too. The eggs are white and can reach up to 0.5mm in length with an oval shape. In this stage, the carpet beetle infestation is hard to detect. Their eggs could be found anywhere around carpets and other fabrics. Usually, the eggs hatch in about 2 weeks when the room temperature is 24-26 C.
  • Larvae - Carpet beetle larvae reach up to 0.6 in length. They have oval shape bodies. The varied carpet beetle larvae have black and white stripes and hair on their bodies. The black carpet beetle larvae are dark brown to a black color and are not covered with bristles. The furniture carpet beetle larvae are usually white but during growth, they often change their colour into red and also have brownish stripes across their bodies.
  • Pupae - Next stage is when larvae grow into pupae. Depending on the temperature the pupal stage can last between 2 and 3 weeks. During this period the larvae hibernate and develop in a  white cocoon. In fact, carpet beetle pupae emerge into adults during spring and summer seasons. The pupal stage happens near the larval source of food.
  • Adult- Carpet beetles reach the adult stage for about 9 months up to 2 years. When carpet beetles become adults, they could possibly survive only a few months. They are less harmful than larvae. Carpet beetles can easily enter your home through open doors and windows by flying inside.
Bed Bugs
Adult bed bugs are wingless insects and their size is around 5mm. When unfed their colour is yellowish or brown but after a full feed, they become dark brown. As any bed bug exterminator in London would know, bed bugs feed on blood to survive, so they go where humans or even animals live. A single female bed bug is able to lay up to 10 eggs per day and 300-500 eggs in its lifetime. These pesky pests have 5 immature nymph stages and a final mature adult stage.  In fact, they need at least one blood meal in order to proceed to the next stage of development. Bed bugs also shed their skin every time they grow.

Bed Bugs Life Stage

  • Eggs - As we previously mentioned a female can lay up to 10 eggs in places where they usually hide. The eggs are yellowish or white in color and about 1 mm long. Some 300 eggs can be found in cracks and crevices of buildings and furniture. The eggs usually hatch after 8-11 days.
  • Nymph - The newly hatched bed bug is pale yellow in color and resembles an adult but is much smaller in size. There are 5 nymphal instars. This period commonly lasts for 5-8 weeks.
  • Adult - Adult bed bugs can live 6-9 months without food and they can also withstand a long period of starvation up to 500 days. Under laboratory conditions, adult bed bugs may live up to 4 years.

Carpet Beetles Vs Bed Bugs: Signs Of Infestation

Carpet Beetle Infestation
When it comes to carpet beetle infestation it could possibly go unnoticed for a long time, allowing them to cause severe damage to carpets, rugs, bedding, clothes, and furniture. Identifying adult carpet beetle infestation is often identified by the presence of adult carpet beetles. Usually, adult carpet beetles can be found gathered around windows and also they might be seen flying to light and crawling on surfaces. In fact, the larvae of carpet beetles are the ones who can cause severe damage to your carpets, clothes and furniture. The carpet beetle larvae can chew holes in infested items and will leave behind their shed skins. Heavily infested items can be riddled with holes and damage.
Carpet Beetle Prevention
To prevent carpet beetle infestation you should take these actions:
  • Hoover your carpets regularly- A thorough hoovering is the best way to remove carpet beetles and larvae from your carpeting. You must focus on the source and the most infested areas, but don't forget to hoover your whole home to make sure you remove all beetles and their eggs. It is highly recommended to throw away the bag right away after you finish hoovering.
  • Seal unused fabric and clothes in plastic containers- It is recommended to store off-season clothes and starches in sealed plastic bags. Air them out in the sun and brush them and check for an infestation every 6 months.
  • Use hormone-based glue traps for severe carpet beetle infestations- If your home is seriously infested with carpet beetles, you can place sticky traps throughout your home to attract and catch beetles and prevent future carpet beetle infestation. Traps must be placed around entry points like windows, doors, or crevices.
Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs can be transported within luggage, allowing them to spread in every home.  Bed bug Infestations can become a massive pest issue in domestic households, hotels, motels and other places of residence. Because of their small size and incredible skill to hide within mattresses and furniture, controlling a bed bug infestation can be a very difficult task.
The presence of only one female bed bug in a bed bug-friendly environment such as a single or multiple-family residence is an infestation that is waiting to happen. Since a healthy, blood-fed female bed bug can produce from 100 up to 500  eggs during her lifetime and may lay from 2 to 5 eggs each day, the likelihood of an infestation of bed bugs is extremely high unless bed bug control efforts by your pest management professional are employed to eliminate the bed bug infestation.

Bed Bug Prevention
  • Replace your mattress every 2-3 years- It may seem like a very short time to change the mattress, it may be a smart action to take in order to eliminate the problem at an early stage. Once bed bugs are in your bed, it’s extremely difficult to tell how many are in there, figure out exactly where they are, and get them out. As a matter of fact, bed bugs can hide in other areas in your home but they are most often going to be in your mattress and box spring.
  • Protective covers on your mattresses- You can keep bed bugs from infesting your bed by using covers on your mattress. There are covers specially designed for this.
  • Hoover carpets often- Hoover your rugs and carpets at least weekly. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation in your home, then hoover daily until you’re sure that your home is clear.
  • Run clothes and bed linen through the dryer on high heat- The heat from a dryer will kill bed bugs at any stage of their development. Washing alone, unfortunately, won’t kill the bed bug population. To get the best results,  it is recommended by our bed bug exterminators to wash the items in hot water and then dry them for 30 minutes on high heat.


As we mentioned above carpet beetles are able to damage your carpets and rugs, while bed bugs will bite you and irritate your skin. Unfortunately, bed bugs and carpet beetles can both leave similar evidence of their presence on your skin. Bed bug bites are actual bites. These pests inject anaesthetic and anticoagulant into your skin with their mouth to ensure a quick feeding that won’t disturb your sleep at all. Bed bug saliva causes an allergic reaction in some people, which registers as raised, red welts that itch. In fact, carpet beetles can also leave red bumps on your skin, but they aren’t bites. The bumps and rashes are triggered by an allergic reaction to hairs or bristles on the abdomen of carpet beetle larvae as well as to traces of the insect’s blood.
Both carpet beetles and bed bugs can easily be confused as both bed bug bites and dermatitis caused by carpet beetles often appear in a straight line or row. This is caused by the path the pests take when crawling over your body. Both bed bugs and carpet beetle bites may result in itchy welts that can become infected and irritated from outrageous scratching.
Both bug infestations are serious matters that will need professional pest control treatment. Both of these frustrating invaders disperse throughout your home and are experts when it comes to hiding. Instead of carpet beetles vs. bed bugs, it quickly becomes pests vs. your family. When that happens, be sure to call the exterminators from Archers Pest Control to make sure the battle is short-lived.
The Affordable Pest Control Company

Office Telephone: 020 8106 5666

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