Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetle

Scientific Name: Anthrenus verbasci

How to identify a carpet beetle

Although there are a number of different species of carpet beetle, the most common species is the Variegated Carpet Beetle. (All the species have similar behaviours and appearance, although the colour of the adult needle may differ).

  • Eggs: The eggs are white / translucent and 0.5 -1mm in size and so difficult to see

  • Larvae: Carpet beetle larvae superficially look like hairy beetles in shape and movement. However, they are dark in colour and covered with numerous tough bristles. Larvae undergo several moults before becoming an adult. There is no cocoon or pupa in the carpet beetle.

  • Adult: Adults are less than 0.5cm long with a variegated colour. 

Where are carpet beetles commonly found?

The adult carpet beetle is attracted to light, so they're often found near window sills and light fixtures. If you see adult carpet beetles in your house, you can bet there's a nest somewhere and larvae at different stages of growth. They're attracted to natural fibres such as wool, fur, silk, felt, feathers and leather.

Why are carpet beetles considered a pest?

The larvae are responsible for the damage of various items in homes, such as furniture, clothing, blankets, furs, and carpets. The larvae are also a major pest in museums as they attack dried animal skins.

What is the biology and lifecycle of carpet beetle?

All carpet beetles pass through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Depending on the species, each female may lay 40 to 90 white eggs which hatch in 8 to 15 days. Eggs laid indoors are found in lint accumulations near the food source, in air ducts, under heavy furniture, behind baseboards.

Management Tips for Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetle Control:

  • If you suspect carpet beetle presence / damage in carpets, all affected areas should be sprayed with insecticide (either aerosol or ready to use pump spray), paying particular attention to damaged areas and other areas under furniture.

  • Items of clothing or curtains suffering damage (or items stored close by) should be placed in a sealed black plastic bag in the sun for 1-2 hours.  This will kill any larvae / eggs. The items can then be washed. Any delicate items then may be impacted by heat should be inspected individually.

Carpet Beetle Prevention:

  • Regularly vacuum all carpeted rooms, especially around the perimeter and under heavy furniture.

  • Regularly move cupboards and heavy furniture in carpeted rooms. Inspect the carpet for signs of damage and insect activity.

  • At the end of each season, wash and store clothes in a sealed bag / suitcase.

  • Check incoming flowers for adult beetles

  • If you have a lot of flowers near your home, adult beetles can regularly fly in – insects screens will help.


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