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The Varied Carpet Beetle

The Varied Carpet Beetle

It can be hard to think of “beetles” living in your carpet without realizing it, but it can happen. Many people have seen them but few people know what these tiny insects actually are and capable of. Carpet Beetles are a common pest and often is mistaken for “some sort of ladybug” because of their similar characteristic shape. Carpet Beetles are small (about 1/8th to 1\4th) dome shaped insects. The Varied Carpet Beetle has an irregular pattern of white, brown, and dark yellow scales on its wing covers. In older adults the scales that form this pattern wear off, so the beetles may appear solid brown or black. Mature larvae are slightly longer than adults and are covered with tufts of hair that extend upright to form a round plume if disturbed. They have alternating light and dark brown stripes and are distinguishable from other carpet beetles because they are broader in the rear and narrower in the front.

Carpet Beetles have an unusual ability to digest keratin, the chief protein component of skin and hair giving them the ability to eat clothing, carpet and upholstery. They can be a significant nuisance in the home, in storage facilities, museums, and clothing stores.

What to look for?

Seeing adult Carpet Beetles are typically the first sign of an infestation, they primarily feed on pollen and usually don’t cause too much damage. It’s the Carpet Beetle larvae that are responsible for damage to clothes, ornamental decorations, and other natural fiber house wares. The larvae are what you should be seeking to control if you are unfortunately dealing with this insect. If you do have an infestation, examine those types of items closely. You can usually find traces of their discarded molt skins in darker areas, such as closets. The discarded molt skin from the larvae has been known to cause asthmatic episodes in some individuals.

It’s wise to remember that the most damage is caused by the larvae, which are typically found in dark, secluded areas of closets, under furniture, or at the area of where carpeting meets a wall. Adult Carpet Beetles have wings and are capable of flying; the adults are typically attracted to light and sunny windows. The females tend to lay eggs in clusters of lint where the larvae can emerge and sustain themselves on a high quality source of both essential proteins and oils shed by humans and pets. The more mature larvae tend to be more mobile and can sometimes be found crawling up walls or across ceilings.

Occasionally Carpet Beetle infestations can be the result of bird or wasp nests in wall voids where the larvae are feeding on discarded feathers and debris. More commonly the infestation can be traced to a pile of forgotten/neglected clothing or old upholstered furniture left in the attic, so it’s important to not overlook materials when inspecting for these fabric loving insects. Also, if you have pets be sure check around pet areas like beds or where your pet(s) likes to lay. Carpet Beetles may be hiding under the pet bed or kennel as there would be plenty for pet hair for them to consume.

Typically, majority of Carpet Beetle infestations can usually be controlled and eliminated by the homeowner being proactive, regularly vacuuming and staying on top of good housekeeping habits. If you feel like you have a case that is beyond what you can handle, give us a call!

Bats

Bats are amazing creatures and they definitely have an important impact on insect control and pollination around the world.

Here are a few interesting facts about bats and pollination:

  • Bats help with the pollination of many types of fruit from around the world, including bananas, mango and peaches to name a few
  • Researchers believe that 500+ tropical plants are pollinated by bats every year
  • Bats are able to help pollinate by using their very long tongues. Their tongues roll into the bodies near the ribs
  • Some bats can live more than 30 years
  • Bats can find food in total darkness-using echolocation
  • Many bats eat insects and are capable of consuming 1,200 mosquitoes in one hour and can often consume their body weight in insects in one night
  • Bats can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour
  • Other types of bats consume fruits and nectar and play important roles in pollination
  • There are only 3 types of “vampire” bats that will consume blood-none live in the U.S.

Everything in the animal kingdom has a balance.  It seems as if birds, bees and butterflies take care of pollinating during the day, and the bat fills the role during the night.  Going along with the balance of nature as most know, bees are often attracted to flowers with bright vibrate colors and sweet smells.  Bats on the other hand are attracted to flowers and plants that are more neutral colored.  Also, flowers that have a musty-rotten smell will attract bats.

Also since most bats migrate they are able to fly great distances before dropping seeds into new locations. This in turn allows a new plant to grow if the environment is right.

Bats are pretty amazing creatures, not only do the help keep insects and mosquitoes in check, they are able to take on the extremely important role of pollination.  Please take a moment to appreciate bats and all their important role they play in our wonderful world.