Carpet beetle rash VS. Bed bug bites

After the bed bug evolution and their comeback, professional pest control companies in London treat bed bug infestations on a daily basis. We have noticed that the majority of properties in London affected by one pest are infested by another pest as well, mostly by textile pests and mice. There is one pest insect though, that is causing a lot of nuisance, without people noticing its presence and realising that it is the source of the problem. And nope, it is not a bed bug! It is the carpet beetle larva that is causing a skin reaction in most cases where we are exposed to the larva’s hair and traces on our bedding, furniture and clothes.

Bed bug bites or a carpet beetle rash?

Most importantly though, the hair or bristles of the larva’s abdomen and the traces of the insect’s blood are causing an allergic reaction to people, resulting in a rash that resembles bed bug bites. The contact with our skin may produce a mild reaction or severe rash and it is very difficult to determine what is causing the bites or the rash, by just the looks of it. The rash will fade away quicker if you do not scratch it, as well as the bed bug bites. In any case, you should consult with your general practitioner or skin doctor if you receive such a rash or allergic reaction to insect bites.

Our technicians are often called out to treat a bed bug infestation, without any obvious signs or evidence of bed bug infestation, apart from the bites received by the customer. Interestingly enough, in nearly all of the cases where it is not a bed bug infestation we encounter carpet beetles instead, or sometimes both pests. The adult carpet beetle usually finds entry points to access the property or just fly in through an opened window or door, unlike bed bugs that are being introduced with infested luggage or furniture. The adult beetle feeds on pollen so any plants and flowers may attract them. They may lay more than a hundred eggs at a time and they usually hatch into larvae within 7 to 35 days after being deposited.  The larva of the carpet beetle is the troublemaker as it feeds preferably on natural fabrics, especially leather, wool, feathers, fur and other fabric materials or animal products.

Bed bug and carpet beetle control

In all carpet beetle and bed bug cases, we advise our customers to remove and check any storage underneath the beds or drawers in the bed frames. Look through your clothes in the closet or the wardrobe and apply 60C degree wash, if applicable. Any delicate fabrics and clothes could be thoroughly checked and shaken outside the property or through the window, tumble dried or dry cleaned. The most common signs of the both carpet beetle and bed bug infestation are signs of black spots on wood or fabrics, which are the droppings and also shed skins. The carpet beetle larvae may survive long periods without feeding and it may crawl around the property, looking for a food source. The larvae can actually bite, as they eat up fabrics and may leave holes in your clothes, damage furniture, carpets and other fabrics. They can also feed on dead insects and skin, so it is a good idea to clean very thoroughly and inspect all areas around the skirtings, behind furniture, under the bed, mattresses, headboards and bed frames in general.

If the problem persists, then maybe you should seek professional help. Prime Pest Control London provide very thorough inspections and individual risk assessments, providing the most adequate advice on the spot. The treatment is undertaken on the same visit, applying usually heat and professional use only insecticide, as well as proofing of the whole property, which is the general best practice for preventing future infestations. More information about carpet beetles, bed bugs and ways to control them you can find on the other pages on our website.


Blago Manov

Managing Director

Bed Bug Hunters & Prime Pest Control