Carpet Beetle Larvae
Carpet beetle larvae vary depending on species, but many measure 4 to 5 mm in length and have coarse hairs on their bodies. They are generally carrot-shaped to oval-shaped and brown to tan in color, with white and tan stripes. Hairs visible upon their backs easily identify carpet beetle larvae. Larvae of the black carpet beetle may grow as large as 8 mm in length and display brown and dark-yellow coloration. Their tail hairs are longer than those of other carpet beetle species.
The carpet beetle’s larval stage is when it is destructive. Larvae feed on fabric and other animal products such as leather, wool, feathers and fur. Carpet beetle larvae damage clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture and more. They also feed on dead insects, hides, milled products, pet food, crumbs, lint, felt and soiled clothing.
Carpet beetle larvae are capable of surviving long periods without food and are able to move from room to room in search of food sources. Although adult carpet beetles feed primarily on pollen and nectar, they may also invade human foods such as cereals, rice and flour.
Identifying a carpet beetle infestation involves locating adults, cast-off skins or roaming larvae. Carpet beetles are rarely visible in the egg or pupal stages, as they remain hidden within fabrics.