Like your bed mattress and couch, carpets and rugs can harbor bugs and pests.
Those floor furnishings can also be a place where bugs can lay their eggs.
The worst part?
Some bugs that inhabit carpets can be biting bugs.
And as they’re tiny, so, when they bite, you may wonder if something is biting, but you can’t see.
So, in this guide, you’ll find out ten tiny bugs in the carpet that bite and cause intense itching.
You’ll find out where these bugs come from, why they bite, and the best ways to get rid of them from your carpet.
Let’s dive in.
Carpet Beetle Larvae
Carpet beetle larvae don’t bite. The hairy bristles on their bodies cause intense bite-like itching and red welts if they come in contact with your skin.
Carpet beetle larvae are tiny worms that are dark brown with yellowish patches and hairy bristles on their bodies.
They’re 1/4 – 1/8 inches in size, and they’re also known as carpet mites.
Adult carpet beetles fly inside your home during the spring and summer to lay eggs.
But do the adult carpet beetles bite? No, they don’t.
The adult carpet beetle invades your house to lay eggs.
They’ll typically lay eggs on natural fabrics made of animal products, pet food, and in the stored food of your kitchen pantry.
The adult carpet beetles also don’t cause any damage inside the house because they don’t feed on anything.
Outdoors, the adult carpet beetles, will feed flower pollen.
And they’ll lay eggs on dead insects and animal carcasses.
The adult carpet beetles can be black or dark brown, which are known as the black carpet beetles, or brown with whitish spots.
The spotted carpet beetles are known as varied carpet beetles.
The carpet beetle larvae feed on dead insects and the protein in natural fibers.
So, the adult beetles will lay their eggs on dead bugs in the wall voids of your home and fabrics that contain wool, silk, leather, fur, and feather.
They can even target organic and pure cotton fabrics to deposit their eggs.
Adult beetles lay their eggs on these things to ensure that their larvae are at the food source and have a regular food supply.
So, if your carpet or rugs have natural fibers, the carpet beetle larvae will infest them.
Even if the larvae are inside the wall voids, they’ll find the carpets to feed on their fibers.
That’s why the carpet beetle larvae can even get into your closet, bed, and laundry basket.
When your bare feet are on the carpet and encounter the larvae, the hairy bristles on their bodies cause itchy skin rashes and red welts.
Those welt-like rashes make people think that they’re carpet beetle bites. But they’re not.
Those rashes are allergic reactions known as carpet beetle dermatitis or carpet beetle rash.
Sensitive people may also experience a runny nose and sneezing as an allergic reaction.
Other places where you can come in contact with the carpet beetle at the larval stage are your bedding, couch, and clothes.
Sighting one carpet beetle larva signifies there can be more of them inside your house.
So, its presence can be a sign of carpet beetle infestation.
Carpet beetle infestations occur when multiple carpet beetle larvae are inside the house.
These larvae can be hard to detect because they don’t live in groups.
You may notice these bugs on walls and ceilings when they’re scavenging for food.
Apart from the natural fibers, the carpet beetle larvae eat spider webs and the shed hair of pets and humans.
The carpet beetle larvae will leave holes in the fabric, which are the chewed portions. Other signs include their shed skins and fecal deposits of the carpet beetle larva on the fabric.
Bed bugs in carpets are a terrible sign of bed bug infestation in the house.
It signifies that the bed population in the house has spiked, and they’ve spread to other rooms and areas of your home.
Typically, bed bugs don’t hide far away from the places where their hosts are most accessible.
So, when at the early stages of the infestation, they prefer to hide in your bed.
But bed bugs start to occupy other places like carpets, walls, dresser drawers, and upholstered furniture when their numbers peak.
Bed bugs hiding in the carpet are generally starving because they don’t have ready access to their hosts.
And a starving bed bug can bite you instantly, no matter whether it’s day or night.
Bed bugs in the carpet can also spill over to furnishings like couches and cushioned accent chairs, where they’re more likely to have their bloodmeals.
The bite marks are in the form of clusters. And they intensely itch.
But some people might not be reactive to bed bug bites. So they might not show allergic reactions to bed bug bites.
In many homes, a few people don’t show any signs of bed bug bites, whereas you overreact to bed bug bites.
Fleas in carpets, rugs, and beds are a common annoyance in homes that have pets with flea infections.
Your pets are primary carriers of fleas. They bring fleas from the outdoors.
And when your pet spends time on soft furnishings like carpets, couches, beds, pet beds, and rugs, some fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae can drop off your pet’s skin.
Those fleas in carpets and beds will wait for a host to latch onto or bite. Without the host, fleas will bite humans to get their bloodmeals.
Fleas, like bed bugs, are also parasites that survive on their hosts’ blood.
Flea bites are like tiny pimples that itch a lot. And the bite marks appear in a straight line because a single flea can bite you multiple times till they get access to the veins to draw the blood.
Another way that fleas can move inside homes is by latching onto clothes and luggage.
The source of fleas is outdoors. They inhabit the dense bushes and tall grasses that grow near the damp areas.
So, fleas will latch onto your clothes and belongings if you’ve been in an outdoor activity in a similar habitat.
And when you come home, you bring fleas home.
That’s why you must not bring your luggage directly inside your home after an outdoor adventure.
You must use sprays on your belongings and keep them outside your home for a while before bringing them home.
Also, you shouldn’t keep your clothes inside the cloth storage sections without washing them in hot water.
Ants in carpets are commonly seen when the carpet is dirty with food stains and crumbs. These are the food sources for the ants that draw them to the carpets.
If your bed is dirty with food stains, then ants will also be in your bed and bedroom.
Another reason for ants in carpets is that the floor underneath the carpet has an ant infestation.
Many ant species can build their nests and colonies on the home’s floor, especially when there’s dampness and cracks on the floor.
Carpenter ants and pavement ants are the two common ant species in homes that build their colonies on the floor.
But a dirty carpet can also draw sugar ants from your kitchen.
And ants in the carpet can bite you on your feet and arms if they come in contact with them.
Ant bites cause itching and allergic reactions if you’re sensitive to bug bites.
Ants feeding on the food deposits on carpets can also cause damage to the carpets in the form of chewed holes.
Rat mites are human-biting mites that can hide in carpets and other soft furnishings like rugs, couches, and bed mattresses.
Rat mites are microscopic bugs that are parasites on rats and other rodents.
Rat mites live in rodent nests where they feed on the blood of the rodent’s babies. They can also be present in adult rats and mice.
Rat mites can be present in your home if there has been a rat infestation.
They look for alternative hosts to get their bloodmeals when their primary hosts, rats or mice, are removed from the house.
That’s the time when rat mites bite humans.
Rat mites can locate humans by picking the carbon dioxide humans release. So, they can also sneak onto your bed.
Rat mites hide in carpets, rugs, and other soft furnishings like couches and bed mattresses. They’ll wait in these places waiting to get their bloodmeals.
But unlike bed bugs, rat mites can’t breed if they’re solely feeding on human blood. So, eventually, the rat mites die.
But the rat mite bites cause intense itching and skin irritation. However, their bites don’t spread any diseases.
Like the rat mites, the bird mites are also parasites. But they’re parasites on birds.
Bird mites are present in birds’ nests and places like chicken coops.
When you remove bird nests from your property, these biting mites will fall off the nests, and look for alternative places to hide in your home.
And your carpet and other soft furnishings are the perfect places for them to hide and wait to get their bloodmeals.
The bird mites also bite humans in the absence of their primary hosts. And like the rat mites, the bird mites can’t breed by feeding solely on human blood.
Dust mites are tiny white dust-like bugs that sneak inside homes during summer.
Dust mites are also microscopic and impossible to spot with the naked eye. Moisture and dampness attract them to human homes.
Inside the dust mites, dust mites will settle down on soft furnishings like carpets, rugs, bed mattresses, drapes, curtains, and even damp areas.
Dust mites sneak inside homes from the outdoors. The thinnest of gaps and cracks on the walls, window sills, and doors are enough for the minute bugs to invade your house.
Dust mites don’t bite. They feed on the dry skin cells on human skin. Their feeding activity on your skin causes intense itching and irritation.
Itchy red welts develop on the skin.
The worst part is that carpets, sofas, and beds are their nesting places because, in these areas, they’ve got the highest chance of accessing your skin.
Dust mites are terrible allergens. Their presence inside the house can trigger allergic reactions even in healthy humans.
Prolonged exposure to dust mites can cause breathing problems. For asthmatic patients, dust mites can be lethal.
Chiggers are tiny red bugs that are often confused with clover mites. But chiggers are the larval stage of harvest mites.
Outdoors, chiggers live in the dense vegetation in damp and shady areas. When you walk through these places, they latch onto your clothes and luggage.
And when you come home with chiggers latching onto your belongings, you bring chiggers home.
Inside the house, chiggers hide in soft furnishings like beds, carpets, couches, and rugs.
Chiggers bite humans. They’ll bite in the places where your clothing is tight.
So, places like your waist, wrists, neck, and groin area are vulnerable to chigger bites.
Chigger bites are nasty. They cause intense irritation and itching, but their bites don’t cause any diseases. Chiggers don’t draw blood from your body, either.
Unlike scabies mites, chiggers don’t get inside your skin.
The best part is that the indoor environment is unsuitable for the chiggers to sustain themselves. So, over time, they die off inside the house.
Ticks in the carpet are for the same reasons as fleas in the carpet. Your pets can bring ticks home, which can hide in places like carpets and beds.
Ticks can also hook themselves onto your clothing and belongings when you’re outdoors camping or hiking. They live in thick shrubs and bushes in moist and shady areas.
And if you walk through these places, ticks will hop onto you and bite you.
There are many tick species. The most common are deer ticks and dog ticks.
Ticks are also parasites that remain latched onto the fur and skin of their hosts.
When they’re on your carpet or at home, ticks bite you.
Ticks in the carpet can move onto furniture like couches and cushioned chairs to increase their chances of biting and getting their bloodmeals.
Tick bites cause Lyme disease and Rocky fever disease, which can be deadly to humans.
Centipedes are the least likely to be in your carpet, especially when your carpet is at a place that receives human footfalls.
Centipedes prefer to hide in places that are dark and damp.
So, places like your bathroom and basement are their favorite places to hide.
However, if the floor underneath the carpet is damaged and has cracks, then centipedes can hide there underneath the carpet.
They can crawl onto the carpet to hunt tiny bugs in carpets. Dead insects on the carpets can also attract centipedes.
Centipedes are shy insects, and they avoid human contact. But if you try to handle them or get pressed against your skin, they can bite.
How To Get Rid Of Biting Bugs In The Carpet?
First and foremost, the presence of biting bugs in the carpet is a sign of bug infestation that are in the carpet.
So, to eliminate the chances of getting bites from the bugs in the carpet, you’ll have to remove those bugs from your home.
Some bugs, like fleas and bed bugs, need professional pest control.
However, there are specific steps you can take right now to get rid of the biting bugs in the carpet and keep them away from your carpet.
Steam Clean The Carpet
Take a steam cleaner and thoroughly clean the carpet without skipping the carpet’s edges and corners.
Flip over the carpet and clean the carpet’s undersides too.
It would be best to use a steam cleaner because steam cleaners produce heat.
The heat kills the bugs and their larvae and also destroys their eggs.
Remember, your carpet can be a nesting or egg-laying ground for bugs like fleas, ants, bed bugs, and carpet beetles.
And heat removes them all.
Scatter Diatomaceous Earth On The Carpet
The steam cleaner will do 90% of the job. But you should take things up a notch.
Add more punch to removing biting bugs in the carpet by applying diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural insecticide dust and desiccant that penetrates the outer layer of the bugs. It then absorbs their bodily fluids, moisture, and fat which keeps them alive.
So, after scattering diatomaceous earth, wait for half an hour to let it do its work.
Diatomaceous earth will kill any bugs that might have escaped the steam-cleaning process.
Use A Vacuum Cleaner To Remove Dead Bugs In The Carpet
By now, most of the biting bugs in the carpet are dead.
So, take a vacuum cleaner and clean the carpet of the diatomaceous earth and the dead bugs.
Dispose of the vacuum cleaner dust bag outside your property so there’s no chance that some of the alive bugs can sneak inside your home from the dust bags.
Remember to flip over the carpet to clean the carpet’s undersides.
Repair Floor Damages, If Any
Fleas on hardwood floors are common in homes with flea infestation.
Additionally, the cracks and voids on the floor are a hiding and nesting ground for many biting bugs that can hide in the carpet.
Biting ants, like pavement ants, can also nest in the cracks and gaps on the floor.
So, repair floor damages.
High dampness can also cause floors to crack and walls to become moist.
So, fix any water leakages in your house causing the dampness.
And, not to mention, maintain a clean floor and home.
Spray Peppermint Oil On The Carpets
There are many smells that bugs, spiders, and rodents hate. But peppermint’s smell is the one they hate the most.
Using peppermint spray regularly on the carpet and the soft furnishings keeps away bugs and pests from inhabiting them.
There are other options too.
Bugs also hate smells of cinnamon, lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and citrus.
So, using their sprays on the carpets and rugs will also keep the bugs away.
Prevent Bugs From Entering Your Home
During the bug seasons, spring and summer, take appropriate measures to prevent carpet beetles and other bugs from entering your home.
Many tiny bugs enter homes through open doors and windows. So, ensure that there are screens on the air vents and window screens with fine mesh on the windows.
Keep your food in airtight containers so adult carpet beetles and other pantry pests can’t sneak inside them.
Keep Your Carpet Clean
Food stains, crumbs, spilled beverages, hair, pet fur, and other wastes on the carpet attract bugs and pests to the carpet.
So, to keep bugs away from the carpet and other soft furnishings like couches, you must keep them clean.
Wastes on carpets and bugs like roaches on the carpets.
These wastes also cause flies to lay their eggs on the carpets.
When these eggs hatch, maggots on the carpets appear, which is not only a disgusting site but also an open invitation to ants.
So, keep your carpet clean. If your carpet is woolen, silk, or made from other animal fabrics, then it’ll be best to give your carpet for dry cleaning at least once a month.
Carpet beetle larvae are one of the most common bugs in carpets and rugs. But they don’t bite.
The hairy bristles on their bodies cause rashes and intense itching, that look like bug bites, when they come in contact with your skin.
However, there are many other bugs in carpet that bite. This guide revealed all of them and their sources.
Some bugs that live in carpets, for example bed bugs and fleas, signify that there’s an infestation in your home.
To eliminate them, you’ll need to hire a professional pest controller.
But this guide revealed the steps that you can take right away to get rid of carpet bugs and prevent them from infesting your carpet.