Can carpet beetles make you sick?

Carpet beetles can't bite, but they can still make you sick. If a carpet beetle tries to bite you, you don't have to worry about getting sick, but that doesn't mean that these pests don't have health problems associated with these pests. Cross-contamination is possible when carpet beetles come into contact with food intended for human use. In addition to causing great damage to clothing, carpets, and more, some people can get sick from the larva.

This occurs when larval hairs are airborne and inhaled by people. The result is usually cold-like lung difficulty. These hairs are also known to cause allergic reactions in some people that look like stinging bedbug bites. Carpet beetles are likely in your kitchen because they feed on flour and dry pasta.

Carpet beetles usually bring bad luck; however, if the problem persists, it's because they can thrive on a dirty carpet. The medical community also agrees that, like mites and cockroaches, carpet beetle species act as allergens in the homes they infest. However, the larvae feed on pure fabric, so adults lay eggs in places such as inside carpets, blankets or closets where clothes are stored, where they have access to food sources. They eat hair, dead insects and dead skin, so if you don't vacuum regularly, the floor can be the most delicious feast for these carpet beetles.

Seeing beetles, especially the larvae or their skin, may be a sign that you have a carpet beetle infestation. However, most carpet beetle infestations begin when insects hitchhike into homes with food products, clothing, furniture, animal hides, and many other materials. If there are carpet beetles in any of these places, they will put them in contact with the skin and all their hair fibers will be suspended in the air. A particular case report described a man who had developed papules and skin lesions that caused itching and pain in response to the hundreds of different carpet beetles that had been eating his bathroom rug.

This species is the most common and most destructive carpet beetle species that infests homes in the Northeast, and is more commonly referred to as “the assorted carpet beetle”. Many people don't know that most carpet beetle species are capable of flying, allowing these insects to easily enter homes during the spring, summer and fall seasons. Although the name suggests that they live inside a carpet, they also feed on all kinds of fabrics, clothes, hides and dried specimens (the damage is caused by larvae and not adults), since they are not picky or scared when it comes to variety. They will later become pupae (their beetle-like state) and will live for 2 to 3 weeks in their last stage.

Carpet beetles live well in all regions of the United States, but are particularly abundant in the Northeast. They eat any type of natural fiber, so they love to infest carpets, cabinets and drawers where they can eat fabrics made of wool, cotton and leather. Although carpet beetles pose no risk to humans beyond a possible allergic reaction, the larvae chew on fabric and cause damage that is often confused with moths.

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