Carpet Beetles although their names may indicate that they just eat carpets this is far from true. Carpet beetles can cause damage to a wide variety of materials mainly of animal origin and may also feed on wool, fur, hair, silk, clothes, fabrics, carpets, rugs, animal carcasses and stored foods.
Adult carpet beetles are quite small up to 5mm in length and oval or elongate-oval in shape. Their larvae are usually a reddish-brown colour and are covered with stiff bristles all over their bodies.
Feeding carpet beetle larvae produce droppings that are similar to sand and their activity is usually restricted to undisturbed areas where feeding may lead to accumulation of droppings and cast skins.
The adults are mostly pollen and nectar feeders and are often found near windows, probably trying to migrate to the outside flowers. This is generally how they have introduced into the household hitching a ride on the freshly cut flowers.
When you see flying or crawling adult carpet beetles, it may indicate the presence of an infestation. You may also see damaged materials or sand-like larval droppings. This will confirm their activity.
Variegated Carpet Beetle
The Variegated Carpet Beetle is considered very widespread and destructive. They are 2-3mm long, mottled yellow, white and black in colouring and are oval-shaped similar to a ladybird. They have no cleft where elytra meet at the end of the abdomen. This species of carpet beetle attacks carpets, underfelt, woollens, skin, fur, feathers and other materials such as cereals, meat products and dead insects.
Black Carpet Beetle
The Black Carpet Beetle is also considered widespread and destructive. They are 3-5mm in length, shiny black to dark brown in colour with brownish legs. They are oval in shape. This species of carpet beetle is often associated with birds nesting in roof cavities but can attack woollens, silk, carpet, felt, furs, skins, upholstered furniture, meat products, leather and various store foods.
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