Furniture Carpet Beetles
Adult furniture beetles are 1/16- to 1/8-inch long, oval in shape, and covered with spots of yellow, white, and black scales. The underside of the body is white. The larvae are about 3/16-inch long, rather stubby-looking, and clothed with bands of stiff, erect brown hairs. The body is wide in the middle but tapers at both ends. Three thick tufts of hairs arise from either side of the body near the rear end.
Adult females lay about 30-100 eggs in areas where the larvae are able to feed. The eggs hatch in nine to 19 days, and the larvae develop from 70 to 94 days before pupating in their last larval skin. The adults emerge from the pupal skin in 9 to 19 days and may live for another 60 days. Development from egg to adult is 90 days to two years.
This insect is found world-wide. It gets its name from its habit of feeding on the hair padding, feathers, or woolen upholstery of furniture. It often attacks upholstered furniture. It also feeds on wool, hair, fur, feathers, bristles, horn, tortoise shell, silk, insects, dried carcasses, dried cheese, dried blood, glue, and book bindings. It damages linen, cotton, jute, softwood, and leather when these items are soiled. Outdoors, the adults feed on plant pollen. treated with an appropriately labeled product.
Prevention of Furniture Beetles
The best way to avoid carpet beetle problems is through prevention. Woolens and other susceptible fabrics should be dry cleaned or laundered before being stored for long periods. Cleaning not only removes perspiration odors that are attractive to the beetles, but also kills any eggs or larvae that may be present.