Carpet Beetle

Category:

Actual Size: 2 to 3 mm

Characteristics: Oval, blackish in the center, with a variable, irregular arrangement of white, brownish, and yellowish scales.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, and they can fly.

Habitat: In homes, will infest attics feeding on insect remains, then moving down into the home to infest Oriental rugs, wall hangings, and wool-based carpeting.

Habits:

  • Feeds on both plant and animal products.
  • Known to ingest carpet, wool, stuffed animals, hair, leather, and insects.
  • Strong flyers, beetles enter homes through open windows, especially around eaves and attic vents.

Carpet Beetles in Bristol

The varied carpet beetle, which gets its name from the various colors on its back, is considered to be the most common carpet beetle in Bristol Carpet beetles are small insects that eat carpet and other natural fibers. Carpet beetle larvae are usually the first to catch a homeowner’s eye, as they are frequently striped and are covered in bristles, causing them to appear as furry. As these larvae mature, they will shed their “shells,” which is another common way that carpet beetle infestations are identified.

Carpet Beetle Habitat

Outdoors, female beetles search out spider webs, bee, wasp, or bird nests as locations to lay their eggs. These nests and webs contain dead insects, beeswax, pollen, feathers, or other debris that can serve as larval food. Varied carpet beetles are present in many homes without being noticed. In small numbers, they can actually be beneficial to your home in the sense that they are good at breaking down old organic matter and “cleaning up” after other insects. Adults usually appear in spring or early summer; indoors, you’ll often find them near windows.

Carpet Beetle Behavior & Dangers

Carpet beetles are scavengers. In homes, particularly large, old homes, this species commonly becomes entrenched in attics feeding on dead insect remains; it then moves down into the home to infest Oriental rugs, wall hangings, and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting. The varied carpet beetle has been recorded feeding on a great variety of animal and plant products such as carpets, woolen goods, skins, furs, stuffed animals, leather book bindings, and dead insects and spiders. If you believe that your home has fallen victim to a carpet beetle infestation, contact a beetle exterminator for treatment.