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Carpet Beetle Larva, Dermestidae, Anthrenus varbasci

Carpet Beetle Larvae, Dermestidae, Anthrenus varbasci

This fuzzy little creature is the larvae of the varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus varbasci. They are about 0.4 centimeters (0.2 inches) long. The hairs are very distinctive. They eat hair (wool) insect carapace, and other protein containing particles. Their frass and the damage done to their food source materials is evident by marks left by their grazing. They have been implicated as a source of an allergen and as a possible sensitizer to insect proteins in general.



Anthrenus varbasci is one of the "Carpet Beetles" (Dermestidae).

Significance in the Environment:

Anthrenus varbasci larva will eat wool, silks, skins, furs, feathers, hair, horn, cereals, red pepper, fishmeal, etc, but their favorite food is dead insects and spiders. According to Ebeling (see below) this beetle larva will even eat linen, cotton, and synthetic fibers, except for rayon acetate. The adult beetle eats primarily pollen and nectar. They often infest wasp nests. The adult beetle tends to enter homes in the spring and early summer.

Characteristic Features:

Associated Particles:


Ebeling, Walter, URBAN ENTOMOLOGY, University of California Division of Agricultural Sciences, pp.310-313, 1975.