Most carpet beetles can fly and as such are good candidates to infest homes from spring through the early fall. Infestations can be brought into homes and businesses in already infested products. The larvae will feed on a wide variety of sources such as: dried pet food, museum specimens, hides, dried fish, feathers, felt, lint/hair in return-air ducts, dead insects, dried carcasses, seeds, grains, cereals, woolen rugs/clothing, silk, furs velvet, spices, bee/wasp nests, horn, corn meal, fish meal, old mouse baits, dead insects and many others numerous to mention.
Successful control depends on locating the source of the infestation and removing it. If you find the infested material, either clean it or place in a sealed bag and throw it away.
A thorough vacuuming is always recommended to physically remove as many as possible and please remember to remove the vacuum bag or empty the canister when you are done. If it is clothing that is infested, 20 minutes in the dryer will remove and kill any stages of the insect. If food is found to be infested throw out the infested material and vacuum out the cabinet where they were found.
In severe cases, professional spraying must be performed to get rid of them permanently.
Sensitivity to the Larva
Various reports describe, what appears to be an acquired allergic reaction to carpet beetle larval hairs.
These hypersensitivity reactions are characterized by complaints of being bitten by something causing an intense itching and rash. It is thought that only individuals that have long-term exposure (years) to these hairs become sensitized.