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Pest Control/Carpet beetles?

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Bug on mattress
Bug on mattress  

Fibers and other?
Fibers and other?  
Hello, we bought a house last year that had been vacant for over two years and we've been having a heck of a time trying to take it back from all the little critters and crawlers. So I know for sure we have had ongoing issues with some kind of mite (I assume the bird mite bc this house had a major rodent problem when we first bought it) and I know we have a problem with carpet beetles. I know what the adult carpet beetles look like and I know that they can look sort of like worms at another stage but I'm not sure if they also can be what I've been finding (mostly in the master bedroom closet, mine and my husbands mattress under the sheet, and in our couches). I also wanted to know if carpet beetles could be the cause of these insanely itchy tiny black fiber like things I find literally EVERYWHERE in my house? From what I've seen, these fibers can also have an clear-opaque appearance too but most of what I've seen are black tiny fiber like hairs. Every one in my house is blonde, and I vacuum like a mad woman, and I shower constantly bc I'm so itchy all the time and I can scrub my skin red and still get out and immediately find one of these angry fibers on my skin making me itch. So could you help me figure out what these little critters are on my mattress and if these itchy fiber like things are a result of our carpet beetle problem? I will add that no one has any bite marks but we are all super itchy and my 4 year old daughter has been battling chronic hives since we moved in and no medication seems to help. Sorry the pictures aren't better. But I have other pics (same quality though) if needed. Thank you!

Answer
April,

I don't see anything in these two photos that I can clearly id as a carpet beetle, see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/carpet_beetle.html for photos of both adults and larvae for comparison. The black fibers could be almost anything but they may not be the cause of the itching. What you describe is most often caused by allergy or contact dermatitis (like touching fiberglass insulation). The fact that this is a new house that has been vacant makes me think about mold as a possibility, certain black molds are especially toxic and cause severe allergies in some people. Sorry I can't be more specific.

Jack DeAngelis  

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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