Varied Carpet Beetle


Actual Size: 2 to 3 mm

Characteristics: Oval, blackish in the center, with a variable, irregular arrangement of white, brownish, and yellowish scales.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, and they can fly.

Habitat: In homes, will infest attics feeding on insect remains, then moving down into the home to infest Oriental rugs, wall hangings, and wool-based carpeting.


  • Feeds on both plant and animal products.
  • Known to ingest carpet, wool, stuffed animals, hair, leather, and insects.
  • Strong flyers, beetles enter homes through open windows, especially around eaves and attic vents.

Varied Carpet Beetles in North Carolina

The varied carpet beetle, which gets its name from the various colors on its back, is considered to be the most common carpet beetle in North Carolina. Carpet beetles are small insects that eat carpet and other natural fibers. Carpet beetle larvae are usually the first to catch a homeowner’s eye, as they are frequently striped and are covered in bristles, causing them to appear furry. As these larvae mature, they will shed their “shells,” which is another common way that carpet beetle infestations are identified.

Because there are many different types of beetles in North Carolina, they can be difficult to distinguish, however our common beetle species can help with this.

Varied Carpet Beetle Habitat

Outdoors, female beetles search out spider webs, bees, wasps, or bird nests as locations to lay their eggs. These nests and webs contain dead insects, beeswax, pollen, feathers, or other debris that can serve as larval food. Varied carpet beetles are present in many homes without being noticed. In small numbers, they can actually be beneficial to your home in the sense that they are good at breaking down old organic matter and “cleaning up” after other insects. Adults usually appear in spring or early summer; indoors, you’ll often find them near windows.

What Causes Varied Carpet Beetles?

Varied Carpet Beetles enter homes through open doors and windows or on infested items. They are attracted to natural fibers and can be brought into homes on woolen fabrics, furs, or other items containing animal fibers.

Varied Carpet Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Carpet beetles are scavengers. In homes, particularly large, old homes, this species commonly becomes entrenched in attics feeding on dead insect remains; it then moves down into the home to infest Oriental rugs, wall hangings, and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting. The varied carpet beetle has been recorded feeding on a great variety of animal and plant products such as carpets, woolen goods, skins, furs, stuffed animals, leather book bindings, and dead insects and spiders. If you believe that your home has fallen victim to a carpet beetle infestation, contact a beetle control expert.

Are Varied Carpet Beetles Harmful?

Varied carpet beetles themselves are not harmful to humans or pets, but their larvae can cause allergic reactions in some people. The larvae have bristly hairs that can irritate the skin, respiratory tract, and eyes.

How to Get Rid of Varied Carpet Beetles?

To get rid of Varied Carpet Beetles, it’s essential to clean and vacuum regularly, particularly in areas where the beetles are likely to feed. Infested items should be washed in hot water or disposed of. Insecticides can be used in severe infestations, but professional pest control services are often more effective.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why do Carpet Beetles Come into My House?

Carpet Beetles commonly enter homes in search of food. They are attracted to natural fibers found in carpets, clothing, upholstered furniture, and other household items. They can also enter through open windows or doors or be brought in on infested items.

How do I Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Getting rid of carpet beetles involves a thorough cleaning of your home, regular vacuuming, washing infested items in hot water, and properly storing clothing and fabrics. Insecticides can be used for severe infestations, but professional pest control is often the most effective method.

What do Varied Carpet Beetles Feed on?

Varied Carpet Beetle larvae feed on a variety of animal-based materials, including wool, silk, leather, fur, hair, and feathers. They can also feed on plant-based materials and are known to cause damage to carpets, upholstered furniture, clothing, and other household textiles.