The Cause Of Carpet Bugs (Do You Have These 4 Types Of Creepy Crawlies In Your Carpet?)

There is nothing more unnerving than seeing your carpet move. And it not be your carpet.

The Cause Of Carpet Bugs (Do You Have These 4 Types Of Creepy Crawlies In Your Carpet)

The last thing that anyone wants is bugs in their home. And once you find them, it’s time for a big deep sigh as you resign to the fact you’re going to have to spend your time and money getting rid of the pesky things. 

I don’t know about your living arrangements, but in my house, unless you’re paying rent, you’re out.

And these disgusting little bugs don’t seem to be getting their wallets out anytime soon. So, gone they shall be. 

But where do they even come from, to begin with? Little crumbs of food in your carpet tend to be the main offenders.

The bugs sense the scraps on offer, think hey, free feast, and welcome themselves in and get snacking.

This is why it’s really important to ensure that you are hoovering your carpets regularly. 

Throughout this article, we’ll introduce you to the four main bug visitors that like to sleep over in your carpets, as well as the best ways to kick them out and keep them out. 

The Truth About Carpet Bugs

Okay, so first of all, carpet bugs aren’t real. The bugs crawling around in your carpet are, for sure, but there are no specific species of bug that is known as a carpet bug.

But, rather, there are four different types of bugs, with their own names, that are happy to infest deep within your carpet. 

People often refer to these four bug types as ‘carpet bugs’ but it’s not their true name. 

The Four Offenders

So, who exactly are these four pesky offenders? We’ll take a closer look at them all now.

They have some similarities and differences between them, but we’ll look at them all in further detail now. 

Suspect One: Carpet Beetles – The Nastiest Pest

The carpet beetle is probably one of the most common species of beetles on the planet.

Their popularity is quite unfortunate given that they are also one of the nastiest pests on the planet too. Why? Because of how they reproduce. 

One singular female carpet beetle can lay as many as 100 babies at one time.

That’s a whole lot of unwelcome visitors in your home then.

And say 50 of those are female, they’ll lay another 100 babies each, and well, you can see how quickly your carpet may become overrun. 

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the larvae can last for a ridiculously long time. How long?

A maximum of three whole years. Other than this being pretty gross, it might not be that bad if they didn’t quite literally eat your carpet when they all get a bit peckish. Like, I’ve paid good money for that carpet! 

Suspect Two: Tapestry Moths – The Great Foe Of Textile

Our second suspect isn’t much better than our first. These pesky moths come from the Tineidae moth family but they are well known as Tapestry Moths. 

Much like the unwelcome beetle, these moths also have the ability to lay plenty of eggs at rapid speed.

Within just a couple of months of maturity (once they become an adult) they can lay over 200 eggs.

These moths can infest your carpets really quickly and it’s not even as if they keep themselves to themselves.

Oh no, they are more than happy to make themselves at home in every single one of your rooms. 

These moth babies will look much like a caterpillar but you’ll notice that they are a light brown color.

The adults, in particular, are the greatest foe of any textile. They are quite prone to a snack or two, these moths, and their favorite food is the natural fibers and synthetic materials that are rich in food remnants. 

Suspect Three: Ants – The Carpet Invader

Just the mention of ants has me itching. Don’t you just hate the feeling of an ant crawling over you?

It’s bad enough having to deal with the thousands of little crawlers when you’re outside.

But when they follow you back to the home? Now, that’s time to draw the line.

Now, there isn’t a species of ant known as the ‘carpet ant’ but some types of ants love to come inside more than others.

They will quite happily chill in your carpet, munching on crumbs and drinking any spillages that make their way to the ground. 

These types of bugs don’t lay eggs quite as quickly as the two above.

They live in a colony and have a queen who is the only one who lays eggs.

All the other female ants are unfertile workers. The males are there to mate and die – a simple life. 

Do not underestimate this suspect. Though they may be small, it doesn’t take much to become overrun.

Suspect Four: Bed Bugs – The Biters

This suspect haunts my dreams at night. The thought of setting my head on my pillow and cuddling up in bed, only to be joined by biting bugs that I can’t see. No, thank you. 

But these bugs aren’t particularly fussy, and it’s not just your bed that they’ll take refuge in.

They’re more than happy in a carpet. You definitely don’t want these bugs sharing your home, as while the others may eat your crumbs, or your clothes, or your carpet.

These ones find you the tastiest treat to offer. They are literally blood-suckers. And the bad kind, not the hot teen-vampire-show kind. 

Why These Offenders Set Up Camp In Your Carpet

So, now that everyone is acquainted, let’s take a look at what offenses you might be doing in your home that causes carpet bugs.

The reasons below, apply to all four suspects that you met earlier. 

Offense One: Bad Hygiene In The Home

The one surefire way to ensure that you invite a whole host of unwelcome guests into your home is to have an unclean or dirty environment.

If you want to keep the bugs away and at bay, then you need to be cleaning regularly. 

Think of it like this, these bugs are looking for sustenance to survive, right?

They’re looking for food and something to drink. If you have tons and tons of crumbs and bits of food, and spilled drinks that haven’t been cleaned up.

It’s like you’ve just served up an all-you-can-eat buffet for them.

If you were ravenously hungry and walked past a free unlimited buffet, are you staying for a while? Of course you are. 

Offense Two: Food Particles & Spillages

So, we did cover a lot of this in the offense above. But it does need to be its own separate offense too.

Because even if you have a fairly hygienic home, there can still be food particles that you don’t even think about hiding in your carpet, tempting visitors.

This time it may not be a free unlimited buffet as such, but it’s a free quick meal.

And if they stay for long enough, they might be lucky enough to get seconds. You’d still stick around for that offer, right? 

This is why vacuuming every day is really important. You’ve sat and watched a film and you’ve eaten a big bag of chips, for example.

You haven’t dropped anything on the floor. But as you stand up and dust yourself off all those tiny bits of chip dust scatter across the floor as a feast for the bugs. 

Offense Three: Hard-To-Reach Areas In Your Home

You know those really dark, dingy, hard-to-reach areas in your home? Well to these bugs that’s a peaceful quiet, and undisturbed haven.

So carpets that are hidden under furniture, especially pantries are their perfect breeding ground. 

The Cause Of Carpet Bugs (Do You Have These 4 Types Of Creepy Crawlies In Your Carpet?)

Look, we’re all guilty of it, and I’ll hold my hands up too, but we can tend to be a little lazy when we’re cleaning.

And by this I mean when it comes to those areas that require maximum effort to clean.

I know I don’t always pull out the furniture, or get on my hands and knees to get under difficult corners.

But that means that you’ve got a built-up area of dirt that is being left alone – and the bugs are going to love that. 

Offense Four: Natural Fibers

These bugs are really fond of natural fibers because they contain animal protein which they can feed on.

Carpet moths and beetles in particular are quite fond of the natural fibers found in wool, leather, silk, feathers, and furs.

This can be quite frustrating since it’s not exactly like you want munched-out holes in your clothing. 

So if you have wool carpeting or furniture covered in pet fur, then these bugs may be tempted to settle in and make themselves at home  (You might want to check out How To Clean A Wool Rug). 

Offense Five: Arrival Of Infested Items

It can be really frustrating to find pesky bugs in your home when you put a great deal of effort into keeping your house spotlessly clean.

If this is the case for you, then you may have accidentally invited them into your home. 

For example, if you’ve recently bought a second-hand rug, or a sofa, or a bed, or any item really, you may have purchased more than you expected.

The bugs may have already been in the purchased item and then have spread into your carpets. 

And heartbreakingly, they can even come into the home through flowers.

Not flowers the one thing I love to receive more than anything. Why do bugs have to ruin everything? 

How To Send The Suspects To Jail (And Get Them Away From Your Home)

Prevention Is The Best Cure

So, I think it’s best to point out first, that it is much easier, simpler, and just less effort for you overall, to prevent these bugs from entering your home than it is to get rid of them. And the way to do so is to keep your home clean. 

You need to vacuum your carpets every single day. I know that this may seem excessive and that your daily lives are pretty busy.

You may be thinking where do I find the time to vacuum every day?

But I guarantee you that it is much easier to find 20 minutes to vacuum each day than it is to spend the time trying to get rid of suspects once they’re here. 

It will be worth storing most of your food in airtight containers too so that they can’t help themselves to food in your pantry.

And always make sure you take the time to clean those hard-to-reach areas of your home at least once or twice a week. 

Getting Rid Of The Suspects

If it’s too late for prevention, fear not. You don’t have to share your home with them forever.

There are ways to kick them out. So, that’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s not going to be an easy task. 

There are a few different ways you can try and tackle small invasions.

You can sprinkle borax powder, spray a vinegar solution, or use essential oils to try and get rid of them.

So these are all methods that you can try. 

However, if you are overrun with pests, I have some bad news for your wallet.

Really, the only way to evict them all is to call on the help of a professional carpet cleaner (Also check out Which Is The Best Rental Carpet Cleaner?).

You’ll need to let the ones with the real extermination knowledge deal with this problem, otherwise, it’s likely that they will keep on returning. 

Frewuently Asked Questions

What Does A Carpet Bug Infestation Look Like? 

A carpet bug infestation may look like bare spots in rugs, or it may look like holes in your furniture fabric or clothes.

In a carpet, it may look like a shorter nap or irregular open spaces in the weave. Large holes in the carpet indicate that it is being munched by carpet beetles. 

Can Carpet Bugs Live In Your Hair?

Scarily enough, yes they can, and they will do exactly that in the nighttime.

While you’re in bed asleep they can become attracted to the essential oils in your hair and so make their way into your hair and snack on it. 

Can Carpet Bugs Lay Eggs In Your Hair?

Yes, this can happen too. The carpet bugs can be attracted to the essential oils in your hair and so move from your bed and onto your scalp.

This probably won’t be as big of an issue if you have fairly dry hair, but if you use hair oils, then you will want to make sure your bed is bug-free. 

What Scent Keeps Carpet Beetles Away?

If you are trying to keep carpet beetles away, then you will want to try and confuse their scent.

Clove oil, vinegar, neem oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, citronella, and eucalyptus oil can all repel carpet beetles.

What Month Do Carpet Beetles Come Out?

Most adult carpet beetles are seen throughout the months of April, May, and June.

At this point, they are seeking places to lay eggs. The grubs are most active throughout October, just before they begin hibernation. 

Is It Difficult To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles?

The removal of carpet beetles can be pretty difficult to do alone.

The pests reproduce at an alarming rate so it can be quite difficult to try and control.

There are do-it-yourself treatments you can try, but usually, you will need to call in the help of a professional carpet cleaner to get things back to normal. 


Finding unwelcome visitors in your home is never nice. If nothing else, it’s just a little gross.

But it can be really frustrating as these bugs are fairly destructive.

You’d think if they were going to come in unannounced, they’d at least be well-behaved guests, but nope. 

The best way to really look at these types of bugs is that the main thing that they are after is food.

If you want to keep them away from your home, you want an environment that is just no good for them at all.

And that’s by keeping a clean and tidy home that has no food available for them.

So keep those floors food free and they shouldn’t turn up at your door any time soon.

Johnathon Gooder
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