Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Anthrenus - Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetle Damage - Anthrenus Bathroom bug - Anthrenus Ladybug? - Anthrenus verbasci Giant carpet beetle - Anthrenus pimpinellae Carpet Beetle - Anthrenus castaneae Varied Carpet Beetle - Anthrenus verbasci Museum Beetle ? - Anthrenus museorum Lyre Beetle 2 - Anthrenus lepidus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Bostrichoidea (Carpet, Powder-post and Death-watch Beetles)
Family Dermestidae (Carpet Beetles)
Tribe Anthrenini
Genus Anthrenus (Carpet Beetles)
Explanation of Names
Anthrenus Geoffroy 1762
Common name refers to common occurence in houses, where larvae may feed on woolen carpets.
Numbers
18 spp. in our area(1), ~200 worldwide(2)
Size
1.8-4 mm(3)
Identification
Broad body covered with colored scales that often form patterns(3) (scale colour and distribution variable, but often diagnostic)
Range
most spp. in semiarid regions of Eurasia and Africa; those that inhabit houses are cosmopolitan(2)
Habitat
In the wild, abandoned nests of birds/mammals or old wasp nests; some spp. are common household stored product pests. Adults frequent flowers.
Season
Adults mainly occur in spring (year round indoors)
Food
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
Remarks
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.
See Also
Anthrenocerus australis (Australian Carpet Beetle) is similar, but body with hairs instead of scales(4); even more destructive on wool
Print References
(5)