Varied Carpet beetles are a common pest in museums and homes, the adult Carpet Beetle feeds only on pollen and nectar of garden flowers but lays its eggs in old birds’ nests, felt, fabric or accumulated fluff in buildings and are often found on windowsills trying to get outside. It is the larvae that causes damage. They feed on feathers, fur, hair, woolen fabrics, carpets and clothes, even wool/synthetic mixtures, but do not attack pure synthetic fibres. Damage is often found under heavy furniture that has been standing on wool mixture carpets as the larvae like the dark space underneath where they can remain undisturbed.
Adult beetles. 1.5 to 4mm in length, variable, brown or black and mottled with yellow or white marks in colour. Similar in shape to a small ladybird.
Larvae known as ‘woolly bears’ 4–5 mm long, brown and hairy with three bunches of spear– headed hairs either side of the rear segments.
An adult female will produce between 20 and 100 hundred creamy white eggs during spring and early summer on furs, woollens and any dried materials of animal origin. The eggs hatch between 10 to 35 days and the emergent larvae (woolly bears) embark on a continuous feeding binge and moult several times before pupating; the length of the larval life is normally 60-70 days but this may increase or decrease depending on temperature, humidity and diet.
Infestations mostly originate in birds' nests in lofts and chimneys. It is important to trace and remove the source of the infestation. Check the roof spaces for old birds' nests and wool based lagging or other materials, examine the cracks between floorboards around the edges of rooms and under skirting boards for accumulations of debris. Infested nests and inexpensive materials should be removed and the areas thoroughly vacuumed paying particular attention to cracks and crevices, contents of the vacuum cleaner should be disposed of in an outside bin. Treat the infested areas using a residual insecticide labeled for crawling insect to ensure that all adult beetles and larvae have been killed.
Products to control Varied Carpet Beetle:
Ecorex Action Plus (1L)
Alphaban Super (500ml)
Permost CS (500ml)