Adult Carpet Beetle, Anthrenus verbasci Click to enlarge image
Adult Carpet Beetle, Anthrenus verbasci Image: CSIRO
© CSIRO

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Anthrenocerus
    Subfamily
    Megatominae
    Family
    Dermestidae
    Super Family
    Bostrichoidea
    Suborder
    Polyphaga
    Order
    Coleoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    2-3 mm

Introduction

The Australian Carpet Beetle is a native member of a small but significant group of beetles (family Dermestidae) that frequently invade homes and whose larvae feed on carpets and similar fabrics.

Habitat

The Australian Carpet Beetle lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands.

Distribution

The Australian Carpet Beetle is found throughout Australia.

Feeding and diet

The Australian Carpet Beetle frequently invades homes, whose larvae then feeds on carpet and similar fabric. These beetles are a major pest in museums as they attack dried animal skins. The adult beetles eat flowers and live mostly outdoors. As a result, treatment indoors is ineffective in the long term because the adult beetles easily re-enter and infest buildings.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The larvae of the Australian Carpet Beetle are small hairy grubs whose hairs break off when handled and can cause allergic reactions in some people. Before we introduced household goods into their diet, carpet beetle larvae naturally fed on spider webs, dried animal skins or other dried protein material.