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Furniture Carpet Beetle
The furniture carpet beetle is a common pest of upholstered furniture. Like other species of carpet beetles, it is able to digest keratin, the principal protein found in animal hair and feathers. Furniture carpet beetles are found on furniture where they feed on hair, padding, and upholstery. Other food sources include carpet, fur, horns, and silk. Cotton, linen, rayon, and jute may be attacked when stained with animal body oils or excreta. The current practice of encasing furniture horsehair in a green rubber coating does not protect horsehair from infestation. Dried insect specimens such as those found in insect collections are also devoured.
Life Cycle:Females lay 35 to 100 white, oval eggs that are visible upon inspection. The eggs are 0.35 mm wide and 0.75 mm long and are deposited in cracks and crevices near the larval food source. Eggs hatch in one to three weeks.The larval stage of the furniture carpet beetle is responsible for causing damage. The larva is 5 mm long, oval, and covered with brown hair.The larvae of the furniture carpet beetle pupate in their last larval skin and are white in color. Pupation occurs on or near the larval food source. The pupal stage lasts an average of two to three weeks depending on temperature.
Furniture Carpet Beetles
The adult furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes) is brown in colour with white transverse stripes, and is about 2.5 mm long. They have an oval, plump shape and are covered with broad oval scales. The larvae grow up to 7 mm long and are covered with long black hairs. These hairs form into dart shaped bundles at the end of the back.
The furniture carpet beetle is capable of significant damage if infestations are undetected. It can destroy upholstered furniture by devouring both the padding and the covering. The furniture carpet beetle consumes any suitable food source rendering products unusable or aesthetically unappealing. Additionally, individuals in close association with infested items may suffer allergic reactions as a result of exposure to beetle fragments, cast skins, or dusts.
Furniture Carpet Beetle Damage
Proper sanitation cannot be overemphasized for controlling the furniture carpet beetle. An important tool that is used in sanitation is the vacuum cleaner. A vacuum can be used to remove pet hair, human hair, and loose fibers from furnishings, carpets, and clothes. Steam cleaners are more effective when cleaning infested items since hot soapy water kills all stages of the furniture carpet beetle. Infested clothes and furs should be professionally dry-cleaned. Cold storage treatments may also be effective for infested items such as furs.
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