Varied Carpet Beetle Identification Guide

What Are Varied Carpet Beetles?

The varied carpet beetle is a common stored product pest that lives worldwide. They received their name from the variety of colors found on their wing covers (elytra). The multiple colors form a spotted-like pattern on their body. These beetles feed on dead insects, fabrics, and other fibrous materials. Adult varied carpet beetles grow to about 1/10th of an inch long and their wing covers have an irregular pattern of white, brown, black, and dark yellow scales. Varied carpet beetle larvae are a bit longer than the adults. Their body is broader at the front and narrows toward the backend. The larvae have alternating light and dark stripes covering the body, in addition to dark tufts of hair. 

carpet beetle on table

Are Varied Carpet Beetles Dangerous?

Varied carpet beetles are not dangerous pests, but they are damaging pests. The larval stage is the stage of development that causes most damage. After the females lay their eggs on a source of food (fabrics, animal products, or dry goods) the larvae hatch in the material and begin feeding on it- damaging or contaminating it in the process. The oils found in people's hair attracts varied carpet beetles and other species of carpet beetles. As we sleep they crawl across us to feed on our hair. The hairs that cover the larva's body cause a skin rash on some people. The rash that develops is often confused with bed bug bites.

Why Do I Have A Varied Carpet Beetle Problem?

Varied carpet beetle adults enter inside of homes through open windows and doors after being attracted by outdoor lights. Once inside they lay their eggs on furniture, clothing, rugs, and fibrous materials. Sometimes they also lay their eggs in dry goods stored in pantries and kitchens. A varied carpet beetles infestation may also happen after bringing a rug, pieces of furniture, or another item into your home that is infested with varied carpet beetles eggs or larvae.

Where Will I Find Varied Carpet Beetles?

Outside female varied carpet beetles lay their eggs inside of bird nests, bird nests, wasps, nests, or spider webs. Adults feed on the plant nectar of flowering plants in garden areas. Those that have moved inside of our homes to lay their eggs usually choose to lay them on wool rugs, furs, silk, dried plants, leather book bindings, hair, or any other items that could serve as a food source for their larva. Varied carpet beetles are most problematic in the spring and early summer months. Adults that have found their way inside of your home will gather near or windows and window sills.

How Do I Get Rid Of Varied Carpet Beetles?

Getting help from a professional pest control expert is the best way to eliminate varied carpet beetles and keep them from returning. Albemarle Termite & Pest Control technicians are highly trained and dedicated to providing safe, effective and affordable pest control services. Our local, family-owned pest control company prioritizes putting our customers first and exceeding expectations. For home or business owners looking to eliminate pests once and for all, call Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How Can I Prevent Varied Carpet Beetles In The Future?

Pests are not just a nuisance; they pose potential health risks and are capable of damaging property. Avoid problems with varied carpet beetles with the help of the following prevention tips.

  • Inspect flowering potted plants for varied carpet beetles before bringing them inside.

  • Switch out white outdoor lightbulbs for yellow or LED lights that are less attractive to varied carpet beetles and other insects.

  • Keep outdoor lights turned off when not needed.

  • Place weather-stripping around windows and doors.

  • Vacuum carpets and upholstery.

  • Store clothing and other fabrics in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, not in cardboard boxes.

  • Remove dry goods from their original packaging and place them in plastic or glass jars with air-tight lids.


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