Carpet beetles, as their name implies,
are capable of damaging carpets. These
pests will also feed upon many other
materials besides carpets and will
attack any item composed of animal
fibers such as wool, furs, silk,
feathers, felt and leather. Serious
infestations of carpet beetles can
develop undetected in a home, causing
significant damage to clothing, bedding,
floor coverings and other articles.
Although there are many different species
of carpet beetles, the adults of all
species are small, oval-shaped beetles
about 1/8 inch long. The black carpet
beetle (the most common species) is shiny
black. Adults of other common species
are brightly colored in various patterns
of white, brown, yellow and orange.
Carpet beetles feed on a variety of
animal-based materials including wool, fur,
silk, feathers and leather. Items commonly
infested include wool sweaters, coats,
blankets, carpets, down pillows and
comforters, and upholstered furniture.
Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and
rayon are rarely attacked unless they are
heavily soiled with food stains or body oils.
They prefer to feed in dark, undisturbed
areas such as closets, attics, within boxes
where woolens and furs are stored, along and
under the edges of carpeting, underneath
upholstered furniture, and in air ducts where
they feed on lint, pet hair and other bits of
Carpet beetle infestations may also originate
from bird or animal nests or an animal carcass
present in an attic, chimney or wall void. They
also occasionally feed on seeds, pet food or
cereal products in the kitchen or pantry.