It’s never fun to bring out your old winter sweaters from storage to find out that they’ve been torn through by bugs. We get the most calls about fabric-eating pests in the winter, but here in Florida where the insects run wild, we are liable to experience an infestation of these critters at any point during the year. If you’re noticing unprecedented holes in your clothing or seeing tiny bugs eating away at your carpet, read on. Our exterminators at Florida Pest Control can teach out all about fabric-consuming pests in Florida!
What Bugs Eat Clothing and Carpeting?
You might have noticed little beetles or tiny, caterpillar-like insects living in your closet or carpeting. What could they be? These are the two main culprits:
- Carpet beetles: Carpet beetles are small, winged beetles that have spotted backs featuring shades of brown, white, and black. They are similar in size to bed bugs, and given that they occasionally infest the same types of material, they are sometimes confused for each other. However, carpet beetles do not bite humans. They feed off of organic animal material like furs, feathers, skins, wool, hair, and the remains of other insects.
- Clothes moths: What you’re actually looking out for in this case is clothes moth larvae! At smaller than 1 cm in length and preferring to live in darkness, clothes moth larvae can be very difficult to find. They feed on the same things as carpet beetles, but as you can tell by their name, are more likely to be found in your closet where it’s dark.
Both of these insects leave jagged holes or scraped areas in fabrics or other items composed of natural fibers. Look around the area for skin casts, cocoons, or webbing—these tiny insects don’t travel far from their food source.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles and Clothes Moths
The best way to avoid a problem with carpet beetles and clothes moths is to be careful with your fabrics before they arrive. Before you store your sweaters away, launder them and seal them in plastic bags or tubs with lids. You should also vacuum regularly to reduce the amount of dust and hair that could attract them. Vacuuming could also help to get rid of infestations in their earlier stages! While you can apply common store-bought pest control products to get rid of clothes moths and carpet beetles, without finding the source of the infestation, you’ll never be able to get rid of them all.
Pest Control for Fabric-Damaging Pests
If you can’t get rid of carpet beetles or clothes moth larvae on your own, reach out to your local pest control company. At Florida Pest Control, we train our technicians to find infestation sources in hard-to-reach areas and places that you wouldn’t think to look. With safe and environmentally-friendly solutions, we work hard to keep our customers happy and healthy in pest-free homes. Call today for a free quote!