Carpet Beetle Bites: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

carpet beetle bites
carpet beetle bites

Carpet Beetle Bites: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. The carpet beetle is one of the most common household pests that are capable of causing annoyance as well as property damage.

It is well known that carpet beetles can cause damage to carpets and other fabrics, but you may be wondering if they are also capable of biting humans. We will  discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options associated with carpet beetle bites.

What are Carpet Beetles?

A carpet beetle is a small insect belonging to the family Dermestidae. They are commonly found household pests that can cause damage to a variety of materials within the home. There are many species of carpet beetles, but the most common is Anthrenus verbasci (various carpet beetle) and Anthrenus flavipes (furniture carpet beetle).

Symptoms of Carpet Beetle Bites

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Carpet beetle bites may cause a variety of symptoms depending on the individual. Others may experience mild to moderate symptoms of skin irritation, while others may not experience any noticeable symptoms. Bites from carpet beetles are commonly accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Itchy skin: There is a possibility that the bites may cause itching and discomfort, which could cause scratching, which can aggravate the irritation.
  • Redness and swelling: There may be a red and swollen appearance to the affected area, much like other insect bites.
  • Skin rash: There are instances in which carpet beetle bites can lead to a rash or small bumps on the skin.

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience severe symptoms or an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing or hives.

Are Carpet Beetle Bites Harmful?

There is no consensus as to whether carpet beetle bites are harmful to humans, although they may cause irritation and discomfort. Carpet beetles are primarily concerned with the type of damage they can do to fabrics, furnishings, and stored items. The skin may become irritated and allergic reactions may occur in some individuals, however, depending on their sensitivity to the bites.

Treatment for Carpet Beetle Bites

Symptoms and skin irritation are the main concerns when treating carpet beetle bites. The following are some treatment options that are recommended:

  • Topical antihistamines or corticosteroid creams: The use of these products may alleviate itching and reduce inflammation due to carpet beetle bites. The cream should be applied directly to the affected area following the instructions.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: A non-prescription pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may help manage any pain or discomfort associated with the bites.
  • Cold compress: Ice packs or cold compresses wrapped in a cloth can reduce swelling and provide temporary relief from itching.
  • Avoid scratching: The best thing you can do is to avoid scratching the bites, as this can further irritate the skin and increase the risk of infection. Avoid scratching your nails by keeping your nails short and wearing gloves or using distractions.
  • Hydrocortisone cream: The affected area can be relieved of itching and inflammation with over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

The prompt identification and removal of carpet beetles in your home is essential if you suspect an infestation. The following steps will assist you in getting rid of carpet beetles: 

  • Identify the source: The source of the infestation should be identified and eliminated. To address this problem, infested items may need to be located and removed or specific areas may need to be treated with insecticides.
  • Deep cleaning: Clean infested areas thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to eliminate carpet beetles, larvae, and eggs. The infested fabrics should be washed in hot water and dried in a high-heat setting.
  • Use insecticides: A severe infestation may require the use of insecticides designed specifically for carpet beetles. Consider seeking professional assistance if you cannot follow the instructions carefully.
  • Professional pest control: For effective eradication of carpet beetles, it is recommended that you hire a professional pest control service if you are unable to control the infestation.


1. What should I do if I suspect a carpet beetle infestation?

Your carpets, floors, and the areas around windowsills and doors where carpet beetles are found should be vacuumed. A steam cleaner should be used to clean the vacuumed areas. A potent insecticide is effective in eradicating carpet beetles and their larvae. You should use a product containing deltamethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin.

2. Should I squish carpet beetles?

You should squish and vacuum up adult carpet beetles if you find them in your home. There are a few adults who may not require a full treatment.


The bites of carpet beetles, although rare, may cause discomfort and irritation to the skin. Identifying the source of the bites and taking appropriate measures for treatment is essential. The carpet beetle is primarily a threat to fabrics and personal items, not to humans. The prevention of carpet beetle bites can be achieved by implementing preventive measures and responding promptly to infestations.