Carpet Beetles

Beetles Can Be a Secondary Pest Problem Caused by Mice

Carpet beetles belong to the family Dermestidae. There are at least 123 species of this family found in North America. The carpet beetle got its name because of the damage they can do to natural fiber (wool, etc.) carpets. They are scavengers and feed on many different plant and animal products as well as carpets. While they don’t do as much damage to carpets as they used to, primarily because most carpets are made from synthetic materials rather than natural products, they occasionally become quite a nuisance in homes.

Carpet beetles
Carpet beetles emerging from dog food stored by mice

The carpet beetle infestation shown in these pictures was the result of a mouse infestation in this house that occurred about 10 years before this problem surfaced.  The mice had stored dog food  underneath the cabinets in the kitchen during the infestation.  There hadn’t been any beetle problems since then until the washer drain froze during the winter and overflowed.  This moistened the dog food, caused the dormant carpet beetle eggs to hatch, and eventually the kitchen was inundated with adult beetles.

The owners contacted a few pest control companies. The others suggested spraying the kitchen and surrounding areas with pesticides.  We suggested figuring out where the source of the problem was and then eliminating the problem source.  We got the job.

After a short PSI (pest scene investigation), we determined that the problem was originating from under the kitchen sink cabinet. We cut an access hole into the cabinet base, located the breeding source–about 20 pounds of dog food, vacuumed out the dog food and the beetles, applied a residual insecticide underneath the cabinets and solved the problem. It took about 2 days for the adult beetles to completely disappear.

These beetle infestations wouldn’t have occurred if the owners had the mouse problems addressed by trapping and then exclusion of the mice from their houses rather than just trapping or baiting.

Please contact Alpine Pest Management at 541-389-4942 if you need more information or have a beetle infestation.