Varied Carpet Beetles
(Actual Size 1/8 inch - 5mm)
The varied carpet beetle is widely distributed in the United States. Adults are much smaller than the black carpet beetle. Their body shape is more rounded when viewed from above and they have a pattern of white, brown and yellow scales on the upper surface of their wing covers.
Eggs are laid in various locations, where they hatch in 17 to 18 days. Larvae molt 7 or 8 times over about 7 to 11 months. Mature larvae are rarely more than 1/4-inch long and bear three pairs of hair tufts on the back end of the abdomen. These hairs can be irritating to the skin, or if breathed into the nose or lungs. The larva is rather wide in proportion to its length and has a "hippy" appearance since it is usually broader at the back than at the front.
Varied carpet beetle larvae are scavengers. They are quite common in nests of birds and spiders, on dead animals and in insect collections. They feed on a variety of animal products such as woolens, carpets, hides, feathers, horns, bone and insect pupae; as well as on plant products such as rye meal, corn, red pepper and other similar materials. The have also been found in drywood termite workings after fumigation has killed the termites.
Varied Carpet Beetle Larvae (Actual Size 1/4 inch - 8mm)
Pupae are formed in the last larval exoskeleton, and take 10 to 13 days to develop into adults.