Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci)
Quick Look Pest Stats
Color: Black centers with white, brown and yellow patches in an irregular pattern
Size: 1/10″ Long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Varied carpet beetles are found in homes in attics, Oriental carpets, tapestries and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting.
These pests enjoy dining on carpets, woolen fabrics, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones.
The adult varied carpet beetle is about 1/10 inch long and black with an irregular pattern of white, brown, and dark yellow scales on its wing covers, or elytra. In older adults the scales that form this pattern wear off, so the beetles appear solid brown or black. Outdoors, female beetles search out spider webs or bee, wasp, or bird nests as places to lay their eggs. The nests and webs contain dead insects, beeswax, pollen, feathers, or other debris that can serve as larval food. Indoors, beetles deposit eggs on or near wool carpets and rugs, woolen goods, animal skins, furs, stuffed animals, leather book bindings, feathers, animal horns, whalebone, hair, silk, dried plant products, and other materials that can serve as larval food. Adults usually appear in spring or early summer; indoors, you will often find them near windows. It can take 249-354 days to three years for varied carpet beetles to grow from an egg to an adult. Mature larvae are slightly longer than adults and are covered with dense tufts of hair they extend upright to form a round plume if disturbed. They have alternating light and dark brown stripes and are distinguishable from other carpet beetle larvae because they are broader in the rear and narrower in front.
Varied carpet beetles feed on dead insects, but also feed on upholstery and carpet, so they can damage those materials. They can also damage clothing fabric.
As with moths, to avoid varied carpet beetle infestations, store clothing in plastic containers. Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time.