4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

Carpet Beetle

Attagenus spp.
Anthrenus spp.

Carpet Beetle

Physical Features

Small, oval insects normally less than 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. The larvae are usually half the size of the adult and are covered with bristles. Some species are a solid black while others can be mottled in color. Some possess scales on their bodies.

Life Cycle

Complete metamorphosis
Females lay 30 to100 eggs in secluded, dark areas near food sources. Eggs hatch in 1-3 weeks. Larvae molt 5-12 times over a 3-36 month period. Pupa stage lasts 6 to 24 days. The adult takes up to 3 weeks to emerge.


  • Diet: Animal based materials like wool, insects in stored products, seeds. Adults feed on pollen.
  • Activity: Dark Areas
  • Preferred Climate: Temperate climates
  • Defense: Small unnoticeable size
  • Cautions: Larval stage causes damage to fabrics and stored food sources/products.
  • Home Invasion: Mainly found indoors hidden in carpet fibers, stored products, by baseboards or windows. Small irregular holes will be a sign of feeding.

Helpful Hints

  • Vacuum regularly
  • Clean fabrics and use moth crystals or balls when storing.
  • Store fabrics and food in tightly sealed containers.
  • Discard all infested material.
  • Recommend regular pest control service plan.

Interesting Facts

Larvae can grow backward if deprived of food. This process is called retrogressive molting.



Nesting Sites

Infestation levels develop in collections of household lint, woolen fabrics, feathers and other items of animal origin.