Carpet Beetle

  • Carpet beetles are small and oval shaped
  • The carpet beetle is now considered more of a nuisance in the UK to textiles and fabrics than the clothes moth
  • The larvae of the carpet beetle are known as ‘woolly bears’
  • When the larvae are disturbed, they roll up
  • As it grows, the larvae moults
  • Adults appear in April to June looking for egg-laying sites
  • Grubs are more active in October as they prepare to hibernate
  • The adult carpet beetle feeds on pollen and nectar
  • They lay their eggs in old bird nests, felts, fabrics and fluff
  • It is the emerging larvae from these eggs that leave the tell-tale signs of damage
  • Larvae feed on feathers, fur, hair and wool – in other words, anything with a high enough level of natural fibres
  • The life cycle takes a year
  • The grubs can survive for several months with limited food
  • The damage is easy to spot – the larvae leave well-defined round holes along seams of fabrics and materials

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Diagnosis

Nuisance scale: 8/10 HIGH

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Leaves irreparable damage in some cases, with carpets and clothing needing to be replaced

Hazard: 1/10 MILD

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Do not spread disease or cause illness

Vital Statistics

Length: 2 to 4mm
Description: Small and mottled brown in colour with flecks of grey and cream. The related Fur beetle is black with one spot on each wing.

Interesting Facts

  • The female carpet beetle can lay 40 to 90 eggs
  • These eggs take 16 days to hatch
  • The larvae avoid light
  • The larvae stage can last from 60 days to a whole year!