Physical Characteristics

Adult carpet beetles are 1/16 to 1/8 inches long, their bodies are oval in shape. Carpet beetles have black bodies, with a white/yellow/orange zigzag pattern across the elytra, or its hardened wing covers. Carpet beetle larvae are 1/4 inch long and reddish brown, with black and/or brown tufts of hair. These larvae are sometimes called “woolly bears,” although that term is also used for Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) caterpillars. 

Varied Carpet beetle

Varied Carpet Beetle


Typically, adult carpet beetles are found outdoors during late spring through midsummer on flowers, feeding on pollen and nectar; adults are relatively short-lived. The destructive carpet beetle larvae remain larvae on an average of seven to 11 months, but have been known to stay in that state for up to 20 months. They will feed on natural animal by-products – wool, hair, horn, feathers, leather, silk and fur – resulting in irregular holes; they also feed on such plant materials as pressed flowers and plants, rye and wheat flour, and other packaged foodstuffs. 

Latin name: Anthrenus verbasci