Fun Varied Carpet Beetle Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Read these varied carpet beetle facts to know more about these arthropods
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.8 Min

Have you ever seen clothes that have small holes when you take them out from a cupboard? Do you wonder where it comes from?

They were eaten by a common household pest called varied carpet beetles. A varied carpet beetle is a very tiny insect that feeds on natural fibers like wool, silk, leather, and so on, that belongs to the Dermestidae family. They are seen in homes and national museums and can cause serious damage.

An adult varied carpet beetle is a pollen grazer. Temperature plays a major and vital role in the development of varied carpet beetle larvae.

Curious to know more about it?  Here are some fun, engaging, and interesting facts on varied carpet beetles.

After reading this, you may also take a look at mayfly facts and common wasp facts to learn more about the insects and arthropods that inhabit the world.

Varied Carpet Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a varied carpet beetle?

A varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci is one of the most common species of domestic pest that belong to the Dermestidae family. The varied carpet beetle larvae can damage natural fibers, carpets, furniture, clothes, and other things.

Varied carpet beetles are the first insects to show the annual behavioral rhythm. These oval-shaped carpet beetles are widely seen across different parts of the world. Varied carpet beetles are a serious pest in households.

What class of animal does a varied carpet beetle belong to?

A varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci is an oval-shaped beetle that belongs to the Insecta class. Varied carpet beetles come under the Coleoptera order of the Dermestidae family, and the scientific name is Anthrenus verbasci.

They are different from the lady beetle and other types of beetles. Varied carpet beetles were introduced to North America in the 1850s and spread across South America and Europe. The other related types include Black carpet beetles and furniture carpet beetles.

How many varied carpet beetles are there in the world?

There is no accurate and rough estimate of the total number of varied carpet beetles in the world. Varied carpet beetles are a very common species that is widely spread in different parts of the world. The population of black carpet beetles and furniture carpet beetles is increasing rapidly.

Where does a varied carpet beetle live?

Varied carpet beetles, Anthrenus verbasci, live indoors and outdoors and prefer to be in cosmopolitan areas. They are found in Nearctic, Oriental, and Neotropical regions. Varied carpet beetles are widely seen across Europe and South America and introduced in North America in the 1850s. Varied carpet beetles are also found in North Africa and North Asia.

What is a varied carpet beetle's habitat?

Varied carpet beetles usually prefer cosmopolitan areas. They are found indoors as well as outdoors.

Varied carpet beetles are found in temperate regions, grasslands, and forests. These pests are found in the flowering plants, cupboards, stored food material, and plant material, attics, and sidings of the homes. Varied carpet beetle infestations have also been spotted in warehouses and flour mills.

Who do varied carpet beetles live with?

The varied carpet beetle life cycle is impressive. Varied carpet beetles live in large colonies like army ants. These home pests are rarely seen alone.

How long does a varied carpet beetle live?

Varied carpet beetles have an average lifespan of one to two years in the wild. In the outdoors, varied carpet beetles survive longer due to the winter temperature and take a longer time for the development of varied carpet beetle larvae, whereas high temperatures shorten the time span in the development of life stages of varied carpet beetles.

How do they reproduce?

Copulation of varied carpet beetles takes about one to nine minutes. Both sexes of the carpet beetle larvae can have multiple mating partners.

Female varied carpet beetles lay about 40 eggs and take around 10-20 days for hatching. Adult carpet beetles do not require water or food to reproduce, and in the outdoors, these beetles feel an attraction to light, and usually, they mate on the plants they feed on.

Temperature affects the development of the carpet beetle adults. Varied carpet beetle larvae usually hatch in the spring and early summer.

What is their conservation status?

Varied carpet beetles do not have any special status and are not listed in the IUCN Red List. Furniture carpet beetle is a very common species and widely spread across different parts of the world. They are serious home pests that can cause significant damage.

Varied Carpet Beetle Fun Facts

What does a varied carpet beetle look like?

Varied Carpet Beetle on white background

A varied carpet beetle is a  tiny beetle that belongs to the Dermestidae family. Adult carpet beetles are round-shaped with irregular patterns.

Adult beetles have fine scales that cover the dorsal surface; elytra and are white, brownish-yellow, and black in color and have wings. The scales of the underside have a grayish-yellow color, and they have 11 segmented antennas. Larvae are known as woolly bears as they are elongated and have setae, that is, hair.

The larva is covered in brown stripes where the hairs are organized alternating groups with light brown and dark brown patches. The adults resemble Lady beetles in shape but are quite smaller in comparison.

How cute are they?

Varied carpet beetles are tiny beetles that can become serious pests. Adult carpet beetles can damage clothes, wool, carpets, furniture, and other materials as they feed on natural fibers. These pests are not cute and can damage the stuff.

How do they communicate?

Varied carpet beetles use smell and sight, and chemicals to communicate with each other. Adult carpet beetles use pheromones to find other beetles.

How big is a varied carpet beetle?

Black carpet beetle species has a length of 0.7-0.14 in (1.7-3.5 cm) and is a tiny-sized beetle. Adult beetles are much smaller than a scorpion.

How fast can a varied carpet beetle move?

Varied carpet beetles can fly. Black carpet beetle larvae can also move very rapidly. But their exact speed is not known.

How much does a varied carpet beetle weigh?

Varied beetle weight is around 0.2 oz (5.6 gm), more than three times smaller than a dung beetle.

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male and a female varied carpet beetle do not have sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby varied carpet beetle?

A baby varied carpet beetle is called a carpet beetle larva.

What do they eat?

Carpet beetle adults are herbivores. Adult beetles primarily feed on chitin skin and keratin skin of natural fibers. These home pests eat stored food materials like wheat, maize, oats, rice, cake, biscuits, dried cheese, and seeds.

They also feed on wool, fur, silk, carpets, and so on. Varied carpet beetles living in the outdoors mainly feed on the nectar and pollen of the flowering plants.

These home pests are scavengers and also feed on dead insects, animal hair, human hair, etc. Varied carpet beetle larvae are fed by another insect. Varied carpet beetles trap their prey and eat it.

Are they poisonous?

Varied carpet beetle bugs are not poisonous. These insects can cause serious damage to the clothes, carpets, and wool in the home. These beetles can also contaminate the food. Hence, you must avail professional pest control to get rid of this pest species.

Would they make a good pet?

Varied carpet beetles are not suitable insects for keeping a pet. Insects are common species outdoors and indoors. They can cause serious damage to the fabric material, wool, carpets, and furniture in the home.

They can contaminate food too. They are fabric pests and feed on dead insects. So they are not apt for making a pet as carpet beetles are caused because they find food for their larvae in your house.

Did you know...

Varied carpet beetle bed bugs and varied carpet beetle infestations can be prevented in a number of ways using fabric pest controls. The cupboard should be regularly checked, and carpets should be vacuumed regularly.

Varied carpet beetle infestation can be removed by using insecticides. So many beetles are there, like furniture carpet beetles, black carpet beetles, and all insect collections that can cause carpet beetle infestations.

It is very difficult to spot one carpet beetle, but you can always spot the signs of their infestation.

If you want to get rid of carpet beetles from stuffed animals, then place the toy inside the freezer for a couple of days and then clean it thoroughly.

Adult carpet beetles can get inside your home through open doors and windows. After they enter the home, they lay eggs on furniture, clothing, or rugs. You can also get carpet beetles when you bring infested items inside your home.

What if you get bitten by a varied carpet beetle?

Varied carpet beetle scales usually don’t bite humans but can cause allergic reactions if they come into contact with your skin, eyes, or digestive tract. The symptoms include itchy and watery eyes and runny nose, and rash and are called carpet beetle Dermatitis. You must avail professional pest control to get rid of these insects from your home.

Where do carpet beetles lay eggs?

Varied carpet beetles usually hatch their eggs during the spring and early summer season. An adult varied carpet beetle reaches sexual maturity within a few weeks of age, and females lay around 40 eggs and are kept for incubation for 18 days.

In the outdoors, the Varied black carpet beetles are attracted to light, and they mate on the plants they usually feed on.

The eggs are usually laid on bird nests or tree hollows, or any dry places near the human environment. Temperature plays a major and vital role in the development of the larvae and does not require water or food to produce.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our morpho butterfly facts and stag beetle facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable varied carpet beetle coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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