Different Types Of Carpet & Fabric Pests
Even in the most well-maintained homes, Clothes Moths and Silverfish, the fabric pests, can be found. These pests can be very destructive and may require special methods to eradicate them from your home or place of business. These pests eat items that are commonly found in the home.
Carpet moths and carpet beetles seek out a protein called Keratin, which is found in fibres of animal-derived fibres like wool. Silverfish will eat plant-derived substances like starch, cellulose, and cotton.
These pests are often hidden in your drawers or cupboards and can cause serious damage to common household items. It is important to understand their habits and how to get rid of them.
First, it is important to distinguish the Clothes Moth from the common flying House Moth. Another big difference is that clothes moths do not attract light, and tend to avoid areas with bright lights. Clothes moths measure approximately.
Clothes moths are small (approx. 1 cm) and buff/straw in colour. They have 6 legs, however, the larvae do the most of the damage. The larvae will only eat the eggs of the adult moths, so they will lay eggs on any materials that can provide adequate food.
The larvae reach the pupate stage (preadult), and their presence can be seen on walls or in the material they are feeding on. Depending on the type of clothes moth, the life span of an adult clothes moth is very limited.
The presence of damaged material and cast larval skins, as well as sand-like droppings, are all signs of clothes moth activity. Clothing moths eat animal products. This includes woollen, feathers and upholstered furniture. They also consume milk powders, leather, and dried hair. They also eat lint and dust, paper, and oil-soiled materials.
They can eat a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres, but they cannot eat only synthetic fibres. They are attracted to dirty fabrics and carpeting that has been sprayed with liquids or human sweat.
The silverfish is another common household “fabric bug”. Silverfish, a nocturnal creature that is rarely seen during daylight hours, can cause serious damage to homes due to their high-protein diet of sugar, starch, and starch.
Three long appendages that protrude from their abdomens at the rear can be easily identified as silverfish. Their appearance is fish-like with a tapered body measuring approximately 2cm long and dull, silvery colour.
Silverfish lay eggs in darkened places or small crevices. The eggs hatch after 2-8 weeks. The resulting nymph is a miniature of an adult silverfish. Silverfish can cause harm to their homes by eating cereals, moist flour, paper with glue (such as book bindings or wallpaper), starch in clothing, and rayon fabrics.
Silverfish also consume sugar, coffee and hair, as well as common items like photos, sugar, coffee and even dandruff. Silverfish can survive for up to a year without food and will attack leatherware and synthetic fabrics in times of hunger.
Silverfish can cause damage to paper and books by eating on the surface. Although they don’t have strong jaws, they will tend to scrape away the surface until it breaks through. This is evident by a book cover that looks almost lace-like.
Silverfish are constantly looking for water so they can often be found trapped in bathtubs or sinks. You can find silverfish activity around bookcases and closet shelves, behind skirting boards, and in door and window frames. Small pelletized frass, which looks like mouse droppings, will be left behind by silverfish. This may be found under or on surfaces.
Silverfish can be introduced into homes in Australia by bringing in infected papers, books, and cardboard boxes.
Carpet beetles are one of the more obscure “fabric” pests that can be found in homes. Although they are not as noticeable as other pests and can do damage, carpet beetles should be eradicated if they are present.
Although there are many species of carpet beetles found in Western Australia, their biology and damage are very similar. The adult carpet beetles are about 3-4mm in length, dark grey in colour, and have four distinct wavy lines across their oval-shaped bodies.
The adult carpet beetle eats pollen and lives outdoors but will come inside to lay its eggs in dark areas where there is plenty of food for the larvae. The larvae are reddish-brown in colour with bristles all over their body. It is very active.
This larva is responsible for the destruction of our homes. It has a natural habitat in darkness and can be found in dark cracks and crevices behind doors, under carpets, and skirting boards.
Carpet beetles can cause damage to items that have natural fibre components, such as soft furnishings, woollen goods and silk.
After the larvae of carpet beetles have eaten, they become immobile pupae for 2 – 3 weeks before becoming an adult. Carpet beetles become adults when they are exposed to light. Their natural habitat is outside, where they eat pollen from flowers. The carpet beetle does not cause any further damage at this stage.
Carpet beetles can be found in your home when the pupa becomes an adult. You may find hairless, bare skins in or around the areas mentioned above. Dead adults might also be found near window sills, where they tried unsuccessfully to get outside to feed on the flowers.
They are safe for domestic pets as well as humans. They can be brought into homes as passengers on cut flowers. Adult beetles may also live in bird nests, where they attempt to fly into homes to lay their eggs.
To treat a carpet infestation in your house, you must first vacuum the entire area. Pay special attention to areas around furniture and dark corners. Next, apply special residual pesticides to eliminate the existing beetles and prevent future infestations.
While they are not directly harmful to humans, fabric pests can be a nuisance in Australian homes and should be eradicated. Knowing the best treatment is key to this. To do this, it is important to identify the pest.