Family: Dermestidae (skin feeders)
Scientific Name: Anthrenus verbasci (Carpet Beetle), Anthrenus flavipes (Furniture Carpet Beetle), Anthrenus museorum (Museum Beetle), Attagenus pellio (Fur Beetle).
Carpet Beetle (including Varied Carpet Beetle, Furniture Carpet Beetle, Museum Beetle and Fur Beetle). Pests of animal products and occasionally food products of plant origin.
All carpet beetles are between 2-4mm long with the exception of Fur Beetle which is 4.5-6mm long. Variable colours, brown or black and mottled with yellow or white scales, the Fur Beetle are black, and covered in white hairs. Larval forms cause considerable damage to keratin-containing products such as wool, fur and leather. Occasionally food products of plant origin can be attacked. Damage takes the form of clean irregular holes in textiles. No webbing or excrement present and by the time larvae are observed, considerable damage has often been done. Carpet beetles are of limited significance as a health hazard, but are potential vectors of anthrax.
The varied carpet beetle is Indigenous to Europe and in England. The furniture carpet beetle is of a subtropical origin and cold sensitive. Carpet beetles are a major pest of textile. Warm, dry conditions are ideal for their development, but they can survive in foodstuffs of very low moisture content. Museum beetle is often found in museums where it is a particular pest of dried specimens. The fur beetle may be found in fur, skins, textiles and grain. Adult carpet beetles are found outdoors and live of pollen and nectar. Carpet beetle thrive in situations where they remain undisturbed, e.g. beneath carpets and around skirting boards.