Physical Characteristics

Adult black carpet beetles range from 1/8 to 3/16 inches in length. Their bodies are oval and shiny black and dark brown, with brownish-colored legs. Larvae can range up to 5/16 inches in length, and range from light brown to black; they are shiny, stiff and hardened, and their bodies are covered with short, stiff hairs, tapering toward the tail and ending in a tuft of long hairs. Black carpet beetles have been linked to allergies in humans.

Black Carpet Beetle


Despite this insect’s name, black carpet beetle larvae are more of a stored product pest than a menace to fabrics, at least in California. They feed on stored spices and grains, along with wool, silk, leather, fur, hair brushes with natural bristles, pet hair and feathers. Unlike moth larvae, they don’t create webbing, but do leave shell-like bristly brown cast skins when they molt.



Search out the source of infestation, and then eliminate them. The obvious places are carpets, drapes, clothes, furs, furniture covered by fabric, and stored grains and spices, you might also look in nests of other insects like wasps, along with bird and rodent nests, plus wall and ceiling voids and light fixtures, where other insects have lived and died, because these beetles will lay eggs so the hatched larvae can feed on dead insects. Baseboards, where animal hair can accumulate, and insulation are other places to look. Larvae hatch over winter. Unlike the darkness-loving larvae, the adults that emerge in the spring are attracted to light. Follow your search with a good cleanup. Your Clark technician will know the proper pest control strategy tailored specifically to the biology of the black carpet beetle, along with good exclusion and sanitation practices that you can put into action.


Latin name: Attagenus megatoma