Can Carpet Beetles Live in Your Hair?

When it comes to common household pests, carpet beetles might not be the first insect that comes to mind. However, these tiny creatures can cause quite a bit of trouble in our homes, especially when they invade our personal space. One question that often arises is whether or not carpet beetles can live in our hair.

Yes, carpet beetles can live in our hair. These beetles are attracted to the essential oils in our hair and may inadvertently bite our heads as we sleep. Their presence is often betrayed by the small, black droppings they leave behind, which resemble tiny pepper flakes. Hair can provide an ideal environment for these pests, so taking steps to address this issue is advised.

Carpet beetles in hair are not only a nuisance but their bites can cause irritation and discomfort. Getting rid of these pests from our hair and homes can be a challenging process, but there are proven methods to tackle the problem. The key is to remain diligent and proactive in controlling carpet beetle infestations, ensuring that our hair and surroundings remain free of these unwelcome guests.

Can Carpet Beetles Live in Your Hair

As surprising as it may sound, carpet beetles can indeed live in your hair. These pests are attracted to hair because of the essential oils present, which can lead them to bite your head as you sleep (Pest Keen). Besides being a nuisance, carpet beetles in your hair can also create additional issues like itching and discomfort.

Carpet beetles are versatile insects, and they can be found in various spaces, including carpets, closets, air vents, and baseboards. These pests tend to be small, with adults growing up to 4mm long.

In your home carpet beetles may become a problem if not managed properly. Their larvae can cause damage by feeding on natural fibers, such as wool, silk, and leather, as well as on any pet hair that may be lying around (Country Living). While adult carpet beetles are relatively harmless, their worm-like larvae stage can be problematic and damage your property.

Luckily, regular cleaning, proper storage of clothes, and hair care will ultimately help manage these unwelcome pests.

Common Places for Carpet Beetles to Live

Household Items

Carpet beetles are often found in various household items. These tiny beetles, which typically grow to be 1/16 to 1/8 inch long, are known to live in carpets, closets, and air vents. They’ve also been discovered thriving in other areas such as behind baseboards and in pantries (Bob Vila). They are attracted to fabric, animal products, and dark environments, which is why they can also be found in furniture, clothes, rugs, and even windowsills where the adult beetles bask in the sunlight (The Spruce).

Natural Habitats

Aside from household items, carpet beetles can also be found in various natural habitats. You can find them in bird and animal nests, where they consume feathers and hair. They are also known to enter homes through open windows, and can be carried in on contaminated goods such as groceries or second-hand fabrics (Homes & Gardens).

Carpet beetles are indeed a nuisance in homes, but rest assured that their presence in your hair is unlikely. By focusing on their common living spaces, you can effectively prevent and manage infestations. Regular cleaning, vacuuming, and sealing off potential entry points can help keep these pesky beetles at bay.

How to Identify Carpet Beetles

In order to effectively deal with carpet beetles, one must first have proper knowledge on how to identify them. This section will discuss their distinguishing physical features and behaviors that can help you determine whether you have a carpet beetle infestation (or something else entirely!)

Physical Appearance

Carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped insects that range in size from 4 to 6 mm. They have a tuft of golden hair on their abdomen, which can serve as a distinguishing feature when identifying them. Adult carpet beetles have a rounded or oblong shape and their color may vary, primarily ranging from dark brown to black (The Spruce).

It’s important to note that carpet beetle larvae are often confused with other pests due to their worm-like appearance. These hairy little worms should not be ruled out when trying to identify the types of pests in your home.

Can carpet beetles live in your hair?
The larvae of the Varied carpet beetle (anthrenus verbasci)


Carpet beetles, both adult and larvae, have a preference for dark and undisturbed areas. This makes identifying an infestation quite challenging as they may be hidden away from plain sight.

Adult carpet beetles feed on various materials, such as wool, silk, and hair. They can make their homes inside the nests of birds or other animals and can even live in walls or chimneys, feeding on dead insects and animals. This wide-ranging diet and their preference for hidden spaces makes it essential to thoroughly inspect your home if you suspect a carpet beetle infestation.

Health Risks Associated with Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are not dangerous to humans directly. However, they can cause skin irritation and also trigger an allergic reaction in some people. According to Healthline, symptoms of an allergic reaction to carpet beetles include red, itchy, and watery eyes, runny nose, and an itchy skin rash, which looks like welts or bites and may cause a burning sensation.

While carpet beetles don’t commonly bite or live in human hair, their larvae can cause discomfort when they come into contact with skin. The bristly hairs on carpet beetle larvae can cause dermatitis by irritating human skin. This irritation is generally mild and short-lived, but it can be quite unpleasant.

Aside from the health risks, carpet beetles can also cause significant damage to belongings like carpets, upholstered furniture, and clothing made from animal fibers such as wool, silk, and fur. ABC Home warns us about these pests’ propensity to destroy carpets from the bottom up, chew the covering of upholstered furniture, and create holes in clothing with animal fibers.

To minimize health risks and damages associated with carpet beetles, it’s essential to keep homes clean and treat any infestations promptly. Some preventative measures include sealing cracks in the foundation, installing tight-fitting door sweeps, and vacuuming frequently to remove any individuals that enter buildings. In food storage and preparation areas, it is advised to use pest-proof containers and clean thoroughly to limit the attraction for these pests.

Preventing Carpet Beetle Infestations

Regular Cleaning

As someone who wants to prevent carpet beetle infestations, I make it a point to clean my home regularly. Vacuuming frequently helps to remove debris such as dead skin, dead insects, hair, and other particles that carpet beetles and their larvae like to feed on. I always pay special attention to the carpet along the skirting boards, as this is where they often hide and lay their eggs.

Sealed Containers

In addition to cleaning, I ensure that my clothes and other items made of natural fibers are stored in sealed containers. I wash and dry clean clothing before storing it for long periods to kill any potential eggs and eliminate sweat odors that may attract carpet beetles.

Pest Control

Another method I employ to prevent carpet beetles from entering my home is to install sticky pheromone-type flypaper strips near windows to catch adult beetles before they can enter and lay their eggs. If I notice signs of an infestation, such as larvae or adult beetles, I’d consider reaching out to a professional pest control company to address the issue and prevent further damage to my belongings.

By implementing these strategies, I can keep my home clean, my belongings safe from damage, and ward off carpet beetles and their larvae.

Removing Carpet Beetles from Your Hair

Shampoo and Hair Care

If you discover carpet beetles (or their droppings) in your hair, start using a shampoo that contains ingredients like neem oil, cedar oil, and peppermint oil. These oils are known to be effective in killing carpet beetles and preventing their growth (WYPestControl). After using this shampoo, make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly with apple cider vinegar, as its acidic properties are also helpful in getting rid of carpet beetles (Pest Keen).

In addition to using the right shampoo, ensure your hair is dry before styling or heading to bed, as moisture can also promote carpet beetle growth. Keep your hair and scalp clean by washing it regularly and maintaining a healthy hair care routine.


Another effective method to remove carpet beetles from your hair is combing. A nit comb, commonly used to get rid of lice, is an ideal tool for this purpose. Combing through your hair with the nit comb should help you physically remove carpet beetles and their larvae.

To make combing more efficient and less painful, brush your hair first to remove any tangles. After that, used the nit comb, starting from the scalp and working your way down to the hair tips. Make sure to clean the comb between each stroke by dipping it in hot water to wash off the beetles and their larvae.


I was surprised to learn that not only can carpet beetles indeed live in human hair, but they can actually prefer it! They are attracted to the essential oils present in our hair and can bite our scalp while we sleep. Their small, black droppings may serve as evidence of their presence.

Getting rid of carpet beetles in hair can be done through various methods. I’ve discovered that using a nit comb, hot hairdryer, or natural remedies like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, neem oil, cedar oil, and peppermint oil can effectively kill these pests.

It’s essential to remain vigilant and maintain good hygiene habits to prevent carpet beetles from infesting our hair. This way, we can avoid the irritation and discomfort they can cause. It also stops us from spreading them to other people, which is only polite.

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