Q:

Why do you have beetles in your house?

A:

Quick Answer

Beetles often appear in houses because they are attracted by certain scents and odors. Most of the beetles found in homes are carpet beetles, which are attracted to the keratin found in many fabrics.

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Full Answer

Although these beetles invade homes because of a certain odor, they stay for the food. Carpet beetles got their name because they feed largely on carpets and rugs. These insects have a unique digestive system that absorbs keratin, which is a protein found in skin, fur and hair. They also feed on clothing and other materials. Although they do not structurally damage a home or bite people, large numbers can destroy clothing and rugs.

The larval stage of the carpet beetle is the most dangerous because they eat and grow. Most of the time, larva or their molted skins can be found on carpet, which is their main food source. They start out small but can grow up to 1/2 inch long. It can take up to two years for a larva to enter pupation, which is the stage right before the adult beetle emerges.

A homeowner can get rid of carpet beetles without resorting to pesticides. Doing so involves cleaning the house thoroughly, vacuuming carpets, cleaning out pantries, and spraying shelves and cabinets with a household cleaner.

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