Carpet beetles: Information and advice

How to identify them

Carpet Beetles are one of the major pests of textiles.

  • The adult beetle lives outdoors and feeds on pollen,
  • it is the larval stage that feeds on natural textile fibres (but do not attack pure synthetic fibres).
  • The adults are about 2-4 mm long, brown or black and mottled with yellow or white marks on the back.
  • The larval stage has a characteristic banded appearance, 4-5mm long and covered in short bristles.
  • The larvae are known as Woolly Bears.

hairy carpet beetle larva called a woolly bear  adult carpet beetle

How are they treated?


These insects have a wandering habit that makes them difficult to control. Any treatment must be carried out as part of a programme to remove their habitat. The first step is for you to find and remove the source of the infestation. This may be an old bird's nest, animal remains, wool based insulation or lagging or the debris that accumulates between floorboards. Regular checking and cleaning are also important. Infestations can be treated by yourself with a residual insecticide and it is important to carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions to avoid causing damage. Thorough treatment is essential to ensure that all larvae are destroyed.

 Contact the pest control team for more information about treating commercial infestations. 


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