Variegated carpet beetle

(Anthrenus verbasci)

The variegated carpet beetle can be found throughout Britain and Europe - often in homes, factories and stores. These pests can be highly damaging as larvae feed on fabrics, such as clothes, bedding, carpets and leather, as well as animal furs and skins.

Life cycle:

Incomplete metamorphosis

Egg The female variegated carpet beetle will lay up to 100 eggs on a larval food source, such as fabric or bedding. Development at this stage takes between 10-30 days.
Larva Often known as the ‘woolly bear’, the continuously-feeding larvae grow through up to 5 moults. Distinctively banded, with short, sharp bristles – development at this stage takes several months.
Pupae  The pupae is the final stage before metamorphosis into the adult form. This process usually occurs in the spring, and lasts around 10 days.
Adults  Measuring between 1.5-4 mm, the variegated carpet beetle has a strong, oval-shaped body. It has a clubbed antennae and distinctive ‘W’ marks upon the skin.


Commonly found in Europe and the UK, these beetles feed on pollen plants during the warmer months. Often can be found in homes, factories and stores around various fabrics.   

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BPCA (2015) The British Pest Manual: A reference manual for the management of environmental health pests and pests of the food industry, 2015 edn., Derby: BPCA.