Carpet Beetles

Common pest species found in New York:

Black Carpet Beetle (Adult)

Attagenus unicolor

Size: 1/8–3/16 inch long (3–5 mm); about the size of a highlighter tip

Color: Black or dark brown

Shape: Pill-shaped body with a hard shell, short antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

Legs: 6 legs

Antennae: Short antennae that appear thicker at the tips (3-segmented club); may not be visible if tucked under the pronotum

Body: Covered in a black or dark-brown shell that is hard, rounded, and divided into 3 sections: 1 pronotum (thorax) and 2 elytra (forewings); undersides are white

Wings: Black or dark-brown elytra (forewings) that meet along the mid-line of its back; large and membranous hindwings underneath; capable of flight

Black Carpet Beetle (Larva)

Attagenus unicolor

Size: Up to 1/2 inch long (13 mm); about the width of an adult’s pinky

Color: Light and dark reddish-brown

Shape: Long, carrot-shaped body with with alternating light and dark stripes, short bristles, and a tuft of long hair at the back

Legs: 6 short, stubby legs; not visible from above

Head: Small, reddish-brown head

Body: Elongated body with reddish-brown stripes of thin, horizontal plates (tergites); covered in short bristles (setae); tapers towards the rear; look for a tuft of long, thin hairs on the tail end

Varied Carpet Beetle (Adult)

Anthrenus verbasci

Size: 1/12–1/6 inch long (2–4 mm); about the length of a sesame seed

Color: Brown or black with mottled white, brown, and dark yellow patterns

Shape: Oval-shaped body with a hard shell, short antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

Legs: 6 legs

Antennae: Short antennae that appear thicker at the tips (3-segmented club); may not be visible if tucked under the pronotum

Body: Look for a hard, rounded shell with 3 bright, wavy bands made of mottled white, brown, and dark-yellow scales; shell divided into 3 sections: 1 pronotum (thorax) and 2 elytra (forewings); undersides are greyish-yellow

Wings: Mottled white, brown, and dark-yellow elytra (forewings) that meet along the mid-line of its back; large and membranous hindwings underneath; capable of flight

Varied Carpet Beetle (Larva)

Anthrenus verbasci

Size: Up to 1/5 inch long (5 mm); about the width of a pencil eraser

Color: Light and dark brown

Shape: Cigar-shaped body with alternating light and dark stripes, long bristles, and 3 tufts of hair on its rear

Legs: 6 short, stubby legs; not visible from above

Head: Small, light-brown to orange head

Body: Elongated body with dark brown stripes of thin, horizontal plates (tergites); covered in long bristles (setae); slightly broader at the rear; look for 3 pairs of dense, backwards-growing hair tufts on its last 3 abdominal segments

Furniture Carpet Beetle (Adult)

Anthrenus flavipes

Size: 1/12–1/6 inch long (2–4 mm); about the length of a sesame seed

Color: Brown or black with mottled white, brown, and dark yellow patterns

Shape: Wide, oval-shaped body with a hard shell, short antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

Legs: 6 legs

Antennae: Short antennae that appear thicker at the tips (3-segmented club); may not be visible if tucked under the pronotum

Body: Look for a hard, rounded shell with symmetrical spots and patches of mottled white, brown, and dark-yellow scales; divided into 3 sections: 1 pronotum (thorax) and 2 elytra (forewings); undersides are white or yellow

Wings: Mottled white, brown, and dark-yellow elytra (forewings) that meet along the mid-line of its back; large and membranous hindwings underneath; capable of flight

Furniture Carpet Beetle (Larva)

Anthrenus flavipes

Size: Up to 1/5 inch long (5 mm); about the width of a pencil eraser

Color: Reddish-brown with brown or black hairs

Shape: Cigar-shaped body with alternating light and dark stripes, long bristles, and a vibrating bundle of hair on its rear

Legs: 6 short, stubby legs; not visible from above

Head: Small, reddish-brown head

Body: Elongated body with dark, reddish-brown stripes of thin, horizontal plates (tergites); covered in long bristles (setae); slightly narrower at the rear; look for a long bundle of hairs at the end that vibrate continuously