Common Fabric Beetle Species
Knowing about different fabric beetle species’ lifecycle and habits can help identify the most effective control methods.
Leather Beetle/Hide Beetle
- The adult is 6–10 mm in length.
- Black and dull in colour with a white underside.
- The larva is 3–9 mm in length with an orange stripe running down its back.
- Female lays up to 800 eggs.
- The lifecycle is 2–3 months.
- Pupates in solid material such as wood.
- Feeds on various animal products and dried fish.
- Commonly found infesting silk production areas and museums
- The adult is 4–6 mm in length.
- Reddish-brown to black with distinctive white spots, one on each wing cases.
- The larva is 6 mm in length with a long orange ‘tail’ of hairs.
- Usually one generation per year
- Development can take up to three years.
- Mating takes place outdoors, after which they fly indoors to lay eggs.
- A common inhabitant of bird nests.
- Larva feeds on dead insects and animal materials such as wools, feather and furs.
- Adult feeds on pollen and nectar.
Varied Carpet Beetle
- The adult is around 6.4 mm in length and ladybird shape.
- Wing covers (elytra) exhibit an irregular pattern of white, brown, and dark yellow scales.
- Wing covers of older adults are black.
- The larva is 4-5 mm in length with a body covered in a pattern of alternating light and dark-brown stripes.
- Female lays up to 40 eggs.
- Typically one generation per year, but possibly two in warm temperatures.
- Larva takes 3–36 months to develop into an adult.
- Larva rolls up when disturbed.
- Hairs may be an irritant to some people.
- The larva is known as a “woolly bear”.
- Larva feeds on dead animals and animal products, such as wool, silk, leather and fur.
- A common pest in museums and houses.