Life Cycle of Carpet Beetles

Life Cycle Stages

All species of carpet beetles undergo complete metamorphosis, passing through the egg, larval, and pupal stages before developing into adults. Most carpet beetles develop up to four generations yearly, while varied and black carpet beetles develop only one. The life cycle of a carpet beetle ranges from two months to several years in length. Larval food sources play a significant role in determining the duration of a carpet beetle’s growth cycle.

life cycle chart

Eggs & Larvae
The life cycle of the carpet beetle begins when an adult female lays her eggs. Carpet beetles can lay their eggs indoors, although they may also infest the nests of birds, mice, and other insects. After mating near sources of light, females can lay more than 100 eggs at a time, which will hatch into larvae within seven to 35 days. Larvae can survive for several weeks without food.

Pupae & Adults
The duration of the carpet beetle’s pupal phase varies, and adult carpet beetles emerge in spring or summer. Carpet beetle young develop into adults within nine months to two years, while adults survive only a few weeks.

Encounters & Concerns

Adults are capable fliers, therefore carpet beetles can move from room to room, allowing for rapid infestation. Carpet beetle larvae destroy fabrics, animal products, and other such items they infest. The most likely locations to encounter these insects during their life cycle are stored or rarely used fabrics and items such as:

  • Animal dander
  • Feathers
  • Furniture & Carpet fabrics
  • Furs
  • Lint
  • Non-synthetic clothing
  • Rodent nesting materials

Infestations of carpet beetles are usually discovered when the homeowner notices damage to fabrics, presence of shed larval and pupal skins, or actually seeing movement of larvae and flying adults, often near sources of light. The egg and pupa stages are not mobile or active, plus the eggs are very small and sometimes very hard to see. The obvious concerns for homeowners are the damage to infested items and the nuisance of flying adults inside the home.

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