Legend:

Good
Bad

Get to know the Black Carpet Beetle

(Attagenus unicolor)

Black Carpet Beetle

Appearance

  • There are a number of carpet beetle species in Australia with the common ones being the Variegated and the Black carpet beetle.
  • Larvae is up to 7mm long when fully developed in larvae stage.
  • The larvae are usually reddish-brown to dark brown in colour with stiff bristles over the body.
  • The beetle is 3-5 mm in length
  • The Black carpet beetle is elongate-oval in shape, and a dark brown to shiny black in colour with brownish leg colour.

Life cycle

  • Females will lay their egg in a dark undisturbed area, where the larvae will eat and develop.
  • Eggs hatch between 14-28 days
  • Larvae feed up to 9 months, after which they pupate (pupal stage – metamorphosis is 14-21 days)
  • Adults live between 20-40 days
  • The Black carpet beetle’s life cycles is 6-12 months.

Habitat

  • The Black carpet beetle is found throughout Australia.
  • The beetle lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands.
  • The adult beetles eat flowers and live mostly outdoors.
  • The beetle may invade homes, whose larvae then feeds on carpet and similar fabrics.
  • As a result, treatment indoors is ineffective in the long term because the adult beetles easily re-enter and infest buildings with their larvae.
  • The most common way these beetles are entering homes is through cut flowers being brought in from the garden.

Neutral

Good: The Black carpet beetle in its natural environment, forests and woodlands, are good and beneficial as the larvae feed on dead insects and animal carcasses. The adult beetle feed on pollen which assists in pollination.

Bad: Black Carpet beetles lay their eggs in houses, the larvae will feed on wool, fur, hair, silk, clothes, fabrics, carpet and rugs, insulating material, stored foods like dried meat, seeds and grains.

The larvae of the of the Black carpet beetle are small hairy grubs whose hairs break off when handled and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If allergic reaction occurs, seek medical attention.

Control

Closely inspect carpeted areas beneath heavy furniture and along carpet edges for infestation. If live larvae are found, hygiene plays an important role. In the prevention of carpet beetle infestation, vacuuming and/or cleaning carpet or fabric properly is very important. It is important to clean carpet edges and areas where hair, dust, and other materials may build up.

Firstly, it is important to properly identify the beetle once infestation occurs as the larvae is most harmful to carpet and fabrics. Immediately and directly remove the carpet beetles by vacuuming them up.

Chemical method

There are a number of products on the market, make sure that the product lists carpet beetles on its label, and follow the directions on the label.

To seek professional advice or services, please see our “ Pest Control Companies” section on the website.

 

 

Get to know the Variegated Carpet Beetle

(Anthrenus verbasci)

dreamstime_s_13634328_varegaited-carpet-beetle

Appearance

  • There are a number of carpet beetle species in Australia with the common ones being the variegated and the black carpet beetle.
  • Larvae is 4-5mm long when fully developed in larvae stage.
  • The larvae are usually reddish-brown to dark brown in colour with stiff bristles over the body.
  • The beetle is 2-3 mm in length.
  • The Variegated carpet beetle is oval in shape and yellow, white and black in colour

Life cycle

  • Females will lay their eggs in a dark undisturbed area, where the larvae will eat and develop.
  • Eggs hatch between 14-28 days
  • Larvae feed up to 9 months, after which they pupate (pupal stage – metamorphosis is 14-21 days)
  • Adults live between 20-40 days.
  • The Variegated carpet beetle’s life cycle is 9-12 months.

Habitat

  • The Variegated carpet beetle is found throughout Australia.
  • The beetle lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands.
  • The adult beetles eat flowers and live mostly outdoors.
  • The beetle may invade homes, whose larvae then feeds on carpet and similar fabrics.
  • As a result, treatment indoors is ineffective in the long term because the adult beetles easily re-enter and infest buildings with their larvae.
  • The most common way these beetles are entering homes is through cut flowers being brought in from the garden.

Good: The carpet beetle in its natural environment, forests and woodlands, are good and beneficial as the larvae feed on dead insects and animal carcasses. The adult beetle feed on pollen which assist in pollination.
AND
Bad: The Variegated carpet beetles lay their eggs in houses, the larvae will feed on wool, fur, hair, silk, clothes, fabrics, carpet and rugs, insulating material, stored foods like dried meat, seeds and grains.

Danger to humans and first aid

The larvae of the Variegated Carpet Beetle are small hairy grubs whose hairs break off when handled and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If allergic reaction occurs, seek medical advice.

Control

Closely inspect carpeted areas beneath heavy furniture and along carpet edges for infestation. If live larvae are found, hygiene plays an important role. In the prevention of carpet beetle infestation, vacuuming and/or cleaning carpet or fabric properly is very important. It is important to clean carpet edges and areas where hair, dust, and other materials may build up.

Firstly, it is important to properly identify the beetle once infestation occurs as the larvae is most harmful to carpet and fabrics. Immediately and directly remove the carpet beetles by vacuuming them up.

Chemical method

There are a number of products on the market, make sure that the product lists carpet beetles on its label, and follow the directions on the label.

To seek professional advice or services, please see our “ Pest Control Companies” section on the website.