Carpet Beetles: Do they Make Good Pets?

Keeping carpet beetles as pets isn't actually that hard.

Carpet beetles can be kept as pets. This is not a joke, this is a 100% serious article about keeping pests as pets. You might think of carpet beetles as bad because they eat your carpet and apparently can bite. I think of them as interesting creatures that are worth observing, just like lawn shrimp, who swim in your pool and make it smell like shrimp, and thrips, who eat up flowers and other plants. All three of these creatures are seen as pests but are actually interesting creatures.

When I first moved into my new house, I found these little black and white bugs and decided to keep them as pets. Carpet beetles can be kept in a box with breathing holes and eat paper as well as some other things. They are fairly common and are easy to find in a new house that hasn’t been cleaned, but after a few months, they seem to disappear.

Anthrenus verbasci or carpet beetles eat pieces of your carpet, and this is why they are hated all around the world. Some people get whole infestations of them and have to call an exterminator to get rid of them before they eat up the carpet. Normally people just use bug spray to kill them, but you can also get rid of them with a steam mop.

Carpet beetles can hide in the carpets and are easy to find because of their distinct look. They can also be found crawling on the wall if you are lucky or can be found on beds, furniture, rarely the tile floor, or even in the sink. Houses without carpets don’t have carpet beetles for obvious reasons.

If you manage to put them in a box or wherever you keep them, it is best to feed them small pieces of paper and droplets of water. Don’t overdo on the water or drop it on them because they drown very easily. They are very easy to take care of and don’t poop everywhere like other bugs such as pillbugs, so you don’t have to clean the tank too frequently.

The best place to keep them is in a box with a lid that has breathing holes. They will try to climb out, so the lid is a good idea, but they can also crawl through big breathing holes if they manage to get on the bottom of the lid, and the babies can squeeze through tiny holes made with a pencil. A screen net will not do either because they will just chew through it. I recommend letting them out if they want to leave.

Carpet beetles live for 1 to 2 months normally and for 1 month when kept as a pet. This obviously means that they are best in their natural habitat, your house. Keeping them is not a good idea unless it’s for a science experiment or for a project. Don’t forget to release them after one month so they can go back to their (and your) home.

My final verdict is that they are interesting to observe and look at, but shouldn’t be kept for more than 2 weeks because then they try to escape and might starve to death. Do note they will go back to chewing on your carpet.