What Bugs Live In Carpet | Unwanted Dwellers and How To Get Rid Of Them

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Have you ever woken up with itchy, reddish small bites on your skin? Probably, you thought bed bugs were the annoying tiny bugs causing your skin discomfort. They were likely not the only culprits; carpet bugs might have invaded your home. But what bugs live in the carpet?

Do you know carpet bugs are different types of bugs that infest carpets? These bugs usually breed from where they find comfort and feeding materials. A carpet is their perfect hiding place where they multiply very fast and cause much harm.

So, how to identify and how to get rid of maggots in carpets and also other annoying bugs? Read through this informative article and learn more.

What Bugs Live In Carpet?

People always wonder what bugs live on the carpet. Well, the three most common carpet bugs are bed bugs, dust mites, and carpet beetles. These bugs have some similarities and differences. Let’s focus on each one of them.

Bed bugs

People usually associate bed bugs with beds and beddings, but these blood-sucking creatures can live anywhere, including the carpet. Bed bugs have no wings but are identifiable by their flat oval shape. An adult bed bug has a length of between 1/4″ to ⅜, while a young bed bug is only 1/16th of an inch in length.

Bed bug

Usually, adult bed bugs are brown but turn purple or red after feeding. Young ones have no color. They are typically hard to notice due to their narrow bodies, which is exactly why you should know how to get rid of bed bugs in a carpet. Their bodies allow them to hide just about anywhere. Although they concentrate in large numbers at the edge of a mattress and headboard, these notorious creatures also live in any dark, protected, and hidden place.

You are also likely to find them in the tiniest crevices and cracks(where they usually lay eggs), underneath the carpet, and furniture. Bed bugs multiply very fast. A single bedbug can lay about 250 eggs in its lifetime, hatching between the sixth and tenth day.

 Interestingly, nymphs seek a meal immediately after they hatch then jump straight into adulthood. Bed bugs also feed on other insects and are likely to find their way into your carpet if already infested with other bugs.

Dust Mites

Did you know allergies affect about half of the population? People battling with allergens usually experience inflammation of the eyes, nose, lungs, and skin. Surprisingly, one of the culprits that cause allergies to almost 30% of the affected people is dust mites.

These tiny insects are about 1/100th of an inch in length, and you need a magnifying glass of at least 10x to see them. These pests multiply very fast. Did you know that a single ounce of dust hosts up to 15,000 dust mites? Also, do you know a single mated female dust mite can lay more than 100 eggs?

Their multiplication strength is a clear indication that the pests multiply very fast ad cause havoc within no time. Although dust mites are associated with beds, these creatures live in any place in our homes and offices. Surprisingly, dust mites feed on skin scales that we humans shed.

It, therefore, means that the bugs live safely in areas we humans are. You will likely find them in the bedrooms, living rooms, playrooms, carpeted floors, and offices. Dust bugs also love the kitchen, particularly in hidden food places with high moisture content, on the dishwasher and refrigerator.

Dust Mites

Carpet Beetles

Have you noticed holes in your clothes lately? It is most likely that you have carpet beetles in your home. Carpet beetles and beetle larvae are about an eighth of an inch or even less. Carpet beetles are oval, shiny, and black, while beetle larvae are reddish with short hair.

Apart from holes in your clothes, another clear sign of carpet beetle infestation is traces of larvae cast-off skins. Bettle larvae usually shed off the skin, and you are likely to find them in areas such as under or along carpet edges, under the rugs, in ducts and vents, floor cracks, and under the furniture.

Red bite-like welts on your skin are another sign of carpet beetle infestation. Although these bugs find their way into our beds, they do not bite. Welts on your skin may be a result of an allergy. Long hairs on the carpet beetle larvae can penetrate the skin, causing an allergic reaction.

Carpet beetle larvae usually feed on dead insects and fabrics of wool, feathers, leather, skins, fur, and felt. Keratin, an animal protein easily digested by beetle larvae, is found in such materials. Surprisingly, they do not harm synthetic materials but cause more harm to animal origin fabric than clothes moths do. On the other hand, adult carpet beetles survive on flower pollen.

Carpet Beetles

How Do You Get Rid of Carpet Bugs?

Having these nuisance bugs in your home is disturbing, and the best cause of action is to get rid of them. But how? Here are simple ways you can apply and get rid of carpet bugs.


As mentioned, dirty carpets and surfaces are the perfect hiding places for carpet bugs. Carpets accumulate lots of dirt, including human skin sheds, a delicious meal for dust mites. In other words, eliminating loose fibers, dead insects, and human and pet hair means less food for carpet beetles.

So, thorough vacuuming of the carpet is the easiest way to eliminate their food sources and get them from their hiding places. If the infestation was severe, vacuum your carpet at least twice a day for one week. If you have upholstered fabric that is not safe in a washing machine, clean them well with a vacuum.

Steam cleaning

Carpet bugs are prone to high temperatures. So, take advantage and use a steam cleaner to kill carpet beetles, beetle larvae, and eggs. After vacuuming, it is advisable to pass a steam cleaner to kill bugs or eggs left behind.

Wash Pillows, Beddings and Clothes

Bed bugs and carpet beetles live in our clothing too. When inspecting them, please pay attention to creases, seams, and folds as they are also perfect hiding spots for pests. Wash the clothes in a mixture of hot water and detergents to kill pests and their eggs immediately. 

A regular clothes dryer with about 221 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable for clothes not recommended for washing machines. Once clean and dry, store them in a tightly sealed plastic bag to avoid reinfestation. Alternatively, throw away extremely damaged clothes and any severely infested item in a bin and close tightly.

Mother and daughter in front of a washing machine

Seek Professional Help

You can also ask professional pest control experts to handle your pest problems. These experts are skilled and understand the most common areas these bugs may be hiding. They go to the extent of disassembling the furniture and eliminating the bugs from their hiding places (see also ‘How to Sanitize Carpets‘).

Also, they have the right equipment to handle even the most stubborn bugs. For instance, they use specific equipment that raises and maintain temperature for more than 70 minutes around the infected areas.

How Can I Know if I Have Carpet Mites?

Carpet mites, also known as dust mites, are tiny bugs that the human eye cannot see. Even in their state, they are notorious for causing the allergy. These pests release wastes that cause allergies and asthma in humans. Some of the symptoms that can point to carpet mites infestation in your home include; nasal congestion, itchy nose, sneezing, and running nose.

Is There Such a Thing as Carpet Bugs?

People tend to think that there is a particular type of bug called carpet bug, but this is not the case. Carpet bugs is a general name used to describe several species of carpet pests. It is good to note that each species has its titles, features, and characteristics.

Carpet bug on a wthite material

How Can I Tell the Difference Between Bed Bugs and Carpet Beetles?

Have you ever identified tiny insects that resemble beetles in your bedding, fabric, or furniture? You might have gone into a panic thinking they are bed bugs. Bed bugs are the worst parasites as they cause a lot of harm. What you might have seen are carpet beetles. These two parasites may look alike, but they are different, as listed below.

Bed bugs bite while carpet beetles cause allergies. Bed bugs pierce the skin with their long beak and suck blood leaving tiny red marks. On the other hand, the long hair on beetle larvae triggers allergic reactions once they penetrate the skin, causing red welts.

While bed bugs feed on blood, carpet beetles larvae feed on animal origin products such as woolen fabrics, feathers, skin, and leather. Once they mature, carpet beetles feed on pollen.

Body features also distinguish the two bugs. For instance, adult bed bugs are minor, oval-shaped, and reddish-brown. 

On the other hand, Carpet beetles are oval, but they are either black, brown, orange, or white and have molted patterns. In addition, bed bugs crawl in walls and floors and do not have wings compared to carpet beetles that fly from place to place.

The Final Thought

Seeing your home infested by carpet bugs can cause anxiety. It is more scaring and devastating to imagine them causing allergic reactions and red bites and welts to your loved ones. So, identifying their breeding places, their features, and the effects they leave is the first step towards eliminating them.

Additionally, it is vital to keep your home clean. Regular carpet, furniture, and rug vacuuming keep the bugs away. Also, frequent washing of beddings and pillows is essential in eliminating stubborn bugs. Some carpet bugs, like bed bugs, are hard to eliminate. So, seek professional help from pest control companies.

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