Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci)

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Adult 1.5 – 4mm. Small, oval beetles with yellow/black/whitish dense scales in bands across the upper surface.

Larvae 4-5mm Small brown, hairy grubs with spiky appearance. They typically have two hairy tufts or protrusions from the rear abdominal segment.

Larvae feed continuously and the larval stage causes the greatest economic harm and physical damage.

Life Cycle:
Eggs: Between 20-100 are laid on feeding material. Development from larva to adult 3 – 4 months.

Dermestid Beetle Variagated carpet beetle ©

Variagated carpet beetle larva ©

Anthrenus verbasci occurs in homes, museums and commercial food sites.   They can infest a wide selection of food sources such as carpets, stored woollens, skins, silks, furs and materials with high protein content such as insect and animal specimens and leather artefacts. On food handling sites the y can feed on carbohydrate rich foodstuffs such as grains, cereal products, flour, semolina, bran and sugar. On commercial food sites, adults and larvae may be found in areas of accumulated food debris and detailed cleaning is an effective measure to reduce harbourage.  Beetle numbers can rapidly increase in commercial dry food sites such as flour mills and powdered milk sites.

In the wild they devour organic material in bird nests (acting as natures cleaners). The presence of birds nests can cause large numbers of beetles to occur indoors as bird activity can provide a reservoir for internal beetle activity.

Adults are active fliers and they will readily fly to electric fly control units.

The beetles become active in early springtime when the adults emerge and begin to disperse to other areas. This activity is easily apparent in the catch-trays of electric fly control units, or adults may readily be seen on windows and window sills inside factories or homes.

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