Normally I find that these patches are caused by the carpet beetle. When I advise the householder of what’s causing their carpet to “almost” disappear before their eyes the normal response is shock and disgust. People are quite intimidated by any type of insect. The impact and the damage caused by the carpet beetle can be quite extensive. So lets look at this in more detail.
What is a Carpet Beatle
The variegated Carpet Beetle is 2 to 4mm long, like a small, mottled brown, grey and cream beetle. The related Fur Beetle is black with one spot on each wing case, and there is a rarer Black Carpet Beetle. These are of no concern in themselves, its the larvae that can do the damage! The larvae are small (about 4mm long), covered in brown hairs, and tend to roll up when disturbed. These are commonly referred to as ‘Woolly Bears’.
Carpets Beetles can found all over the country. Adults are often seen in April, May and June, seeking egg-laying sites; and their larvae are most active in October before they hibernate through cold winters.
The larvae (‘woolly bears’) of these small, oval beetles are now recognised as the major textile pest. Carpet beetle damage consists of fairly well defined round holes along the seams of fabric where the larvae bite through the thread. As the larvae grow, they moult; the old cast-off skins may be the first signs of infestation. The adult carpet beetle feeds only on pollen and nectar of garden flowers but lays its eggs in old birds’ nests, felt, fabric or accumulated fluff in buildings. It is the larvae from these eggs that do the damage. The larvae feed on feathers, fur, hair, or wool and tend to wander along the pipes from roofs into airing cupboards – which house the clothes and blankets, which constitute the food. The life cycle takes about a year, and the grubs can survive starvation in hard times for several months.
Once the source of the infestation is identified it needs to be removed. I find the most effective way of treatment is to clean the carpet in the room affected using Hot Water Extraction and then carry out a “fumigation” of the room/area. The carpet cleaning process removes most of the infestation from the carpet and the fumigation step kills all the remaining larvae and adults.
I recommend that the safest way to deals with these is to use a professional. You can call us at 023-8834864 for more advice and to arrange for us call and deal with the infestation for you.