Do Carpet Beetles Poop And What Does It Look Like?

Maybe you are suspicious that you may have carpet beetles in your house. Surely there is some kind of evidence left by carpet beetles if they are in your house. This begs the question do carpet beetles poop and what does it look like?

Yes, Carpet beetles do poop. However, you are most likely to come into contact with the carpet beetle larvae poop, not the adults. The larvae poop ranges in size, from table salt size to a fine powder. Poop is more often black or brown, but it can be whatever color the carpet beetle’s last meal was.  

Carpet beetle larvae
Carpet beetle larvae are super hairy.

Stick with us as we explain the difference between adult and larvae carpet beetle poop and find the answer to questions such as does it stain, does it smell, and do carpet beetles produce any other waste? 

Carpet Beetle Poop: Adult Beetles Vs Larvae

Carpet beetle larvae leave a lot more mess behind than their adult counterparts. They live to eat and prefer food sources found in your home. When they get a chance to munch through a food source they can leave piles of excrement in their wake.  

Carpet Beetle Poop
Carpet Beetle Poop

Adult carpet beetles prefer to live outside, flying or crawling indoors only to lay their eggs. Their diet consists of pollen and nectar. Some sources say that adult carpet beetles, much like adult clothes moths, may go their entire adult life without eating. 

Given the adults’ restricted diet and that they are probably pooping outdoors or in potted plants, their poop is difficult to find and identify. 

Where Are You Likely To Find Carpet Beetle Poop? 

Carpet beetles are “open-minded” poopers. They are comfortable pooping wherever they go. You are most likely to find carpet beetle poop near their food source

Carpet beetle larvae poop
Carpet beetle larvae poop on the go wherever they happen to be eating at the time.

Carpet beetle larvae preferred to eat dry protein. They have the rare ability to digest keratin, a fibrous animal protein. Such as the carcasses of other insects, dry skin flakes, and hair. 

Wherever this type of debris collects in your house; in corners, under beds, shelves, or any undisturbed dark spaces are likely places to find carpet beetle poop (if you have an infestation).

This protein also comes in the form of wool, silk, fur, feathers, and leather. Any clothing, furniture, upholsteries, or decorations made out of these materials are likely to be ground zero for carpet beetle poop as well.

For a full rundown of what carpet beetles and their larvae are likely to damage, check out this article we have written, Are Carpet Beetles Harmful?

Many books are bound with animal products, such as glue from horse hooves. Making them an ideal meal for carpet beetles, look for excrement wherever books are stored.

Any cabinets, shelves, or pantries where you store dry food such as; beans, corn, rice, wheat, or seeds are also good places to check for carpet beetle excrement. 

If you are looking for evidence of carpet beetles outside pay attention to bird and wasp nests, rodent holes, and animal carcasses. 

Though a lot less is known about adult carpet beetle poop, presumably it can be found near their preferred food sources as well. A good bet might be to check any flowering plants or cut flowers.

Make sure to look around light sources and on windowsills. Adult carpet beetles are drawn to light and want to get outside. They are commonly sighted on or near windows. 

If you are looking for a more detailed answer on, what causes carpet beetles to come into your home, then check out this article we have written called, What Causes Carpet Beetles? What Should You Watch Out For?

Does Carpet Beetle Poop Stain? 

Although the protein-hungry carpet beetle larvae will happily chew their way through a new silk blouse or a woolen blanket, their excrement will not typically stain it

While the damage done by carpet beetle larvae is well documented, they are the bane of museums everywhere. There is no evidence that their ability to damage includes stains. 

There is plenty of evidence connecting bed bugs and other insects with leaving stubborn spots where they poop. These rusty brown to inky spots are attributed to the insect’s diet.

Bed bugs, for example, mostly eat blood. It is this combination of digested blood and uric acid that results in liquid staining poop. Carpet beetles, on the other hand, prefer drier foods. It only takes a good vacuuming or a wash to deal with their droppings. 

That said, exceptions may exist, if carpet beetle poop was rubbed into a light-colored fabric or if the larvae ate something with staining quality to it, it could result in stains.

Does Carpet Beetle Poop Smell?

Carpet beetle poop most definitely has its unique smell, but humans are not equipped to smell it

There is no evidence that even significant amounts of carpet beetle poop create a detectable smell.

Once again, here is a distinction in the difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs. Bed bug pheromones and accumulated feces are said to produce a sweet or musty smell. That is specific to bed bugs and does apply to carpet beetles. 

Even when it comes to bed bugs, entomologists are skeptical that humans can smell them to the degree of making an accurate identification. You might be able to train your dog to smell them out.

What Other Waste Do Carpet Beetles Produce? 

One of the clear signs of a carpet beetle invasion is the presence of its molted shell. These can usually be found in the same places larvae poop would be found. 

Black Carpet Beetle
This is a black carpet beetle.

Depending on the type of carpet beetle the larvae will almost double in size. The black carpet beetle (the largest carpet beetle larvae) grows up to ½ an inch. Throughout this dramatic transition, the larvae will shed their skin anywhere from 5 to 12 times before it matures.

If you are trying to tell what creature is eating holes in your furniture or clothing, these larvae shells are your best bet at identifying carpet beetles as your culprit. 

The Wrap Up

When people talk about carpet beetle poop they are almost always referring to carpet beetle larvae. It is the larvae who do most of the eating and pooping

Carpet beetles are often confused with and compared to bed bugs. It makes sense as both are small, good at infiltrating homes, and can irritate the skin. 

However, unlike bed bugs, carpenter beetles’ poop does not leave stains or smell in any identifying way.

A carpet beetle invasion can be difficult to identify. Their poop is similar to that of many other insects. Their propensity for eating holes in your belongings can be easily confused with clothes moths.

They do leave a distinctive calling card in the multitude of molted shells that they leave strewn about wherever they have been. 

Out of all the destructive characteristics of carpet beetle larvae, their poop is probably the least offensive thing about them


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