|University of Kentucky Department of Entomology|
Mystery Bug Answers
Mystery Picture #32
Carpets are a favorite spot, but that is where I'm often not. As an adult I am a beetle and a nemesis for many people.
The Carpet Beetle, a common stored product pest, is a scavenger that feeds on almost any animal material--from fur to feathers to silk to wool. The larvae are brown and densely covered with hairs or bristles. These little guys are the destructive stage and are happiest in dark, undisturbed areas in closets, attics, and under furniture. They may sometimes be found feeding on cereals, flour, and other stored grains in the kitchen!
The adults are small, oval-shaped beetles that may be shiny black or variegated white, orange, or brown. They feed on flowers.
To find out more about carpet beetles and how to keep them from causing havoc in YOUR house, see Entfact 601--Carpet Beetles.
As a caterpillar, I make my own sweater, maybe from one of yours!
If you have found holes that mysteriously appeared in wool, silk, or other natural materials, the Clothes Moth is probably the culprit. Feeding by the creamy-white larval stage does the damage. The caterpillar in our picture is one of the case-making variety of clothes moths. Its nice, comfy case is made from wool fibers taken from the sweater it is eating! The adults are rarely seen as they prefer to hide in folds of clothes or in cracks in dark, undisturbed areas.
Entfact 609--Clothes Moths--will tell you more about what to do to keep your clothes safe from these pests.
This page is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org