Carpet beetle life cycle

Carpet beetles as any other bug undergo through different stages in their life expectancy. This means each cycle would carry new features characterising and distinguishing the carpet beetles from other beetles.

Why is this information important to you?

Because if you properly identify the insect in each stage you will perfectly know how to handle the situation before it’s completely out of your control.

Eggs

carpet beetle eggs on clothing

Naturally, their life begins with the egg stage. The beetles prefer to lay the eggs indoors, however, they can also thrive outside. For example, If they find nests of rodents or birds, they can breed there, as well. One condition to lay over 100 eggs at once is to have a source of light.

We can be easily distinguished carpet beetles eggs from others because they have ledges that look like a backbone. They are white in colour and can reach up to 0.5mm in length with an oval shape.

The carpet beetles infestation in this stage can be hard to be detected as they match the environment. You can find carpet beetle eggs anywhere around carpets, upholstery, closets, fabrics, pigeon nests etc.

The hatching period continues 7 to 35 days when they reach the larval stage.

Image by: CSIRO / License: BY 3.0

 

Larvae

brownish carpet beetle larva

Carpet beetles larvae can reach up to 0.6cm in length. They have an oval shape and depending on the type of the beetle, their appearance can vary.

The varied carpet beetle larvae have dark and white stripes and hair on their bodies.

The black carpet beetle larvae differentiate with brown to black colour and are not covered with bristles.

The furniture carpet beetle larvae are white but during growth, they change their colour into red and also have brownish strips across the body.

The larvae can be found indoors and outdoors, as well. Inside, they hide in places where they can easily access food such as hair, dandruff, dead skin and dead insects. This means they can damage leather books, carpets and rugs, stuffed animals and furs.

Outside, the larvae can thrive in nests where they provide food like hair or bird feathers. Carpet beetle larvae are not known to possess any serious health dangers but can irritate the skin because of the bristles.

Image by: Pascal / License: ZERO 1.0

 

Pupae

Next stage is when larvae grow into pupae. Depending on the conditions and mostly the temperature this pupal stage can last between two and three weeks. During this period the larvae hibernate and develop in a cocoon which is white in colour. Usually, carpet beetles pupae emerge into adults during spring and summer seasons. The pupal stage happens near the larval source of food.

Adults

adult carpet beetles' close up

Carpet beetles reach their adult stage for about 9 months up to two years. When they become adults, the beetles survive only a few months. They are considered to be less harmful than larvae. Usually, carpet beetles can enter your home through open doors and windows by flying inside.

Adults can reach up to 4mm in length and have an oval shape. Depending on their type the beetles can vary in colour. Furniture carpet beetles are black and have yellowish spots. Common carpet beetles have black, yellow and white patterns and are covered with scales. Black carpet beetles like their name indicates, are very dark brown to black.

Adult carpet beetles feed on the flower’s pollen without damaging it. The bugs can rapidly spread around the house and usually hide behind the furniture, carpets or even in non-synthetic clothes.

They can live for approximately one to three months.

Image by: AJC1 / License: CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Conclusion

Carpet beetles can stay unnoticed for a long time when the infestation worsens. The larvae and pupae are so small that you can barely spot them. More probably, you will spot the adults while flying around a light source or crawling on surfaces. Usually, the carpet beetle larvae are the main intruders, not the adults as many people think. The larvae can cause big damages to your textiles such as carpets, rugs, stuffed animals, wool, leather and other non-synthetic clothes, for which are often confused for moths. For that reason, you should stop the infestation from spreading and the best way is to book a professional carpet beetle treatment. The specialists are well-equipped and have the right products and methods to get rid of the beetles.

Still not sure if you have carpet beetle infestation?

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Disclaimer

Note that we only aim to provide some useful information about how to identify carpet beetles in each stage of their life. We cannot guarantee that you are not infested by other beetle.

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