Explanation of Names
Anthrenus Geoffroy 1762
Common name refers to common occurence in houses, where larvae may feed on woolen carpets.
Broad body covered with colored scales that often form patterns(3)
(scale colour and distribution variable, but often diagnostic)
most spp. in semiarid regions of Eurasia and Africa; those that inhabit houses are cosmopolitan(2)
; several of the species now found in North America are introductions from the palearctic.
the species not yet included in guide are mainly western (and quite new to science):
A. omoi Beal, 1998 (Sonora, AZ)
A. pulaskii Kadej, 2011 (CA)
A. umbra Beal, 1998 (Sonora, AZ)
A. chiton Beal, 1998 (CA-TX)
A. fucosus Beal, 1998 (AZ)
A. blanci Beal, 1998 (BC-CA)
In the wild, abandoned nests of birds/mammals or old wasp nests; some spp. are common household stored product pests. Adults frequent flowers.
Adults mainly occur in spring (year round indoors)
larvae scavenge on accumulated fur, feathers, skin flakes, dead insects, etc. keratine- or chitin-rich materials; adults feed on pollen on flowers
Typical household products consumed include dry pet food, wool blankets/clothes, furs, and hair and skin flakes shed by people and pets and accumulated in the corners
larvae may cause considerable damage on wool, fur, feathers, and natural history collections.
Control can be achieved by keeping your home free of accumulated hair and dust (dust is mostly shed skin flakes of people and pets), discarding infested items and properly storing vulnerable items. Store dry foods (including dry pet food) in glass or metal containers with tight-fitting lids. Store woolens, furs, silks in a cedar chest. Forget mothballs and moth crystals. They are ineffective and carcinogenic respectively.
Anthrenocerus australis (Australian Carpet Beetle)
is similar, but body with hairs instead of scales(4)
; even more destructive on wool