Types of Carpet Beetles

Updated April 17, 2017

There are three varieties of carpet beetles: varied, furniture and black carpet beetles. When carpet beetles are full grown, they can reach 1/8 inch in length and have hard shells. They inhabit areas such as homes, storage units and warehouses, as they explore for food each day, and they can cause damage to carpets and fabrics. The key to controlling the damage that carpet beetles can cause is to vacuum and sweep on a routine basis to rid of dust, hair and lint. Furs and wool products need to be brushed and dry cleaned regularly.

Varied Carpet Beetle

The varied carpet beetle is black and around 1/10 inch in length and has an uneven pattern of brown, white and dark yellowish coloured scales. However, as they age, the scales slough off and their overall colour becomes a shade of black or brown. The beetles lay eggs in or close to rugs, carpet, wool products, feathers, stuffed toys, furs, silk, bindings of books and animal skins. When found outdoors, the female varied carpet beetle tends to lay eggs in bees' nests and spiderwebs.

Furniture Carpet Beetle

The furniture carpet beetle has scales that range in colour from orange and yellow to white. They also have black splotches on their hind wings that cause them to have a blotchy outward appearance. Their bodies are white on their underside. They have a circular shape with a larger frontal area and a thinner rear area. The females can lay up to 100 eggs that hatch in 9 to 19 days. The furniture carpet beetles that are outside find their nourishment in pollen. Their inside feeding habits tend to include upholstered furniture, feathers, hair, wool, silk, book bindings, dried blood and cheese.

Black Carpet Beetle

The black carpet beetles have a glossy, dark brown and black shade to their bodies. When they reach adulthood, they can be from 1/8 to 3/16 inch long. Females can lay up to 100 eggs, which develop into larvae in one or two weeks. The larvae are firm and can be shades of black or a light brown colour and are oblong shaped with brown spikes. They have lengthy brown hair that extends out of the lower part of their bodies. The larvae feed for 9 months up to 3 years. Their preferred setting to cause devastation is mohair cushions, furs, carpet and felt padding.

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About the Author

Hunter Darden is an author of four children's books, a novel, and a black-and-white photography book. She is also a humor/inspiration newspaper columnist having written for The Charlotte Observer. Darden has a degree in psychology from Meredith College. She was the 2005 recipient of the Meredith College Career Achievement Award and the NC General Federation of Women's Clubs Excellence in Creative Writing Award.