Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci)

Where Usually Found

As well as in carpets, in other woollen goods, fur, silk, upholstery, stuffed animals and collections of preserved insects. They usually infest only infrequently Carpet Beetleused objects, such as carpets underneath heavy furniture, blankets stored for the summer, or museum specimens stored in glass cases. Carpet beetles are also found in the debris of old birds’ nests. Sparrows or starlings’ nests in the eaves of old houses are often found to be infested.

What they do

The grub (or caterpillar or larva) is the destructive stage of the life-cycle. It eats wool, fur and other animal products. The grub is about half a centimeter long and is reddish brown. it can easily be seen by the naked eye, and lives for up to three years.

How to control (by natural methods)

Wrap stored clothes or bed coverings in plastic bags. Clothes should be cleaned, washed or brushed before being stored. Vacuum carpets periodically where covered by large furniture; alternatively do not carpet such areas. Carpet beetles seem particularly attracted by dust, fluff and dog, cat or child urine. Stuffed animals should be sealed in airtight insect-proof cases. Cut flowers may harbour adult carpet beetles.

Life history and other comments

The black carpet beetle and the varied carpet beetle, though closely related, vary in overall appearance. The Varied Carpet BeetleBlack carpet beetle is 3mm to 6mm long, and has an elongated oval shape. Colour is dark brown to black and the head is concealed from above. The varied carpet beetle is 1.5mm to 3mm long and nearly round or broadly oval. The body is marked with a mottled pattern of yellow, white and orange scales on a black background the life cycle exhibits four different body forms; the eggs; the larva, grub or caterpillar; the chrysalis or pupa; and the adult beetle. The grub moult several times during its one to three years existence. the adult, which emerges from the pupa in late spring or early summer, is able to fly well. It must leave the building to feed on pollen, which ensures maturation of the eggs. Adult carpet beetle are usually attracted to white flowers with stamens, such as daises and are often brought into the house on cut flowers. The adult beetle is just over half the maximum size of the grub or lava. The eggs are laid on suitable food material for the larva, or in cracks or crevices of furniture or floors.

Where to obtain professional advice


Melvyn or Kevin Gilbert. Phone. 03 3841636 (NEW ZEALAND)

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