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Pest Control/just moved in, seeing bugs


Hi there - we just moved in to a townhouse and the first night started seeing small bugs that resemble the images I've seen online of a varied carpet beetle (at least I'm pretty sure - these bugs are so small, it's very hard to see what they really look like.  I did watch one as it crawled all the way across the counter, and although it only crawled, I swear I saw what I thought were wings move a little on its back as it crawled.)  
First one I saw was on the kitchen counter the very first night after we moved in.  I've since seen a few a day.  Usually it's one lone bug, either on the floor or on a counter top in the kitchen or on the wood floor in front of the big sliding door in the living room (it's an open floor plan, so kitchen and living room are really one big room).  On two separate occasions I've found one inside a kitchen drawer. I tried to grab one of them and it crawled into the little crevice between the bottom of the draw and the side, and now I'm wondering if there are more hiding in there that just don't come out and let themselves be seen.  I found one a few days ago in the upstairs bathroom, but all others have been downstairs.  I've looked all over and haven't seen any upstairs (praying I don't). Unfortunately though, yesterday late afternoon I saw about 14 total in the kitchen living room.  That's the most I've seen in one day so far.  There were two actually in the kitchen sink, and the rest were on the floor or counter.  Again, always one bug at a time, never two or more together, except those two that were in the sink.  

Particularly concerning was that one of them was on the bottom outer edge of the area rug we have in the living room.  The whole floor is hardwood, but the stairs and second floor are carpeted and I am afraid if they make their way up (or already have) we'll have a problem with the carpets and our clothing, etc.  

This townhouse was vacant for a few months before we moved in, and just before that the hardwood floors were re-sanded and sawdust accumulated behind the stove that was never cleaned up until we moved in and found it.  

I have looked and looked and have not found any 'infestation.'  Considering the house was completely empty, I would think if there were a source for an infestation it might have been that pile of sawdust, but we didn't see any bugs there at all, nor did we see shed skins.  I have not seen any larvae at all, thankfully.  

My question is, does it sound like we have an infestation, or just some beetles that made their way inside, perhaps from the deck/backyard two weeks ago as we had the doors wide open all day, moving all of our furniture and boxes in?

And how do I get rid of them?  I love the idea of those pheromone traps - we had a problem years ago in another home with moths and the traps worked great for that.  But finding traps specifically for 'carpet beetles' is proving to be difficult.  

I clean and clean, but I still see them, so I know I need to do more.  What's best to use?  And how do I find out for sure if there's a bigger problem than we're actually seeing?  



There are no pheromone traps for carpet beetles and most carpet beetle infestations are found in stored food like dry pet food, modern synthetic carpets are not damaged by these beetles. See for background info and control suggestions. Also, the sawdust would not support beetles either. Chances are the source is either dry food (like dry pet food) that was already in the house or something that was moved in (again, like a bag of dry pet food or something similar). See the page cited above for control once the source is located. Post a follow up if you have questions.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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