Description

Varied Carpet Beetle
(Anthrenus verbascci)

Common Garden Ant.jpg

The varied carpet beetle tends to feed on pollen and nectar, but its larvae, the Woolly bear, eat fibres like carpets, clothing, furniture. They can be responsible for the same amount of damage to clothing and carpets as the Common clothes moth. These insects got through a complete metamorphosis life cycle.

The adults range from 2-4 mm long, oval-shaped and have white, black and yellow coloured scales on their back creating various patterns, hence the name, and as the beetle ages, the patterns will look dappled, These insects have powerful forewings making the varied carpet beetle capable of flying from plant to flower looking for food and egg-laying opportunities.

Description

Biology

The females will lay up to 100 creamy/white coloured eggs that are around 0.5mm long, these are attached to a material with a sticky secretion produced from the female's glands.
The larvae (Woolly bear) emerge 2-4 weeks later and start feeding on the fabric. The adults will live for around 2-6 weeks.

Food

You will often find the adults on plants and flowers, the adults will fly and feed on pollen provided by the flowers in your garden. The larvae (Woolly Bear), will feed on textiles that originate from animals e.g. silk, wool, feathers, leathers and furs to mention a few.

Habitat

Larvae can be found within carpets, tucked away in dark areas, where old fibres, carpets etc may be found. Larvae may also be found in the nest of other insects and birds nests. Adults can be found either indoors or outdoors, and will frequently fly.

Reason for control

Textiles damage: The larvae (Woolly bear) pose a real threat, and will cause damage to clothes, leather, silk, as well as furs. They survive particularly well-hidden in undisturbed areas like underneath carpets in wardrobes or cardboard and around skirting boards.

Detecting what and where your pest coming is from is key to any pest prevention.
If you are coming downstairs every morning to a fresh batch of droppings in the kitchen but have no idea where they come from, it could be a long while before you get rid of them. Identification is important, what to look for and to react quickly will greatly benefit you in the long term.

Holes in carpet and fabrics
Sporadic holes found in wools, furs and other textiles.

​Cast larvae skins
Cast larvae skins is another way to detect them, the number of cast skins may make the infestation look worst than it actually is.

Detecting an infestation

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