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Australian Wildlife

  Black Carpet Beetle (Attagenus unicolor)





Black Carpet Beetle | Attagenus unicolor photo
Black Carpet Beetle

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Black Carpet Beetle | Attagenus unicolor photo
Black Carpet Beetle larvae

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



BLACK CARPET BEETLE FACTS

Identification
The Black Carpet Beetle is an insect pest that damages animal based materials in homes and other premises. The adult is a small oval black beetle with brown legs and short antennae. The larvae are brown and covered in bristles.

Size
adult beetle length 3mm - 5mm. Larvae length about 5mm

Food
Carpet beetle larvae feed on dry animal materials such as wool, fur, silk, dried meat. In homes they will damage carpets, rugs, wall hangings, clothing and wool insulation. In museums, insect collections are often damaged. Adult carpet beetles feed on nectar or pollen.

Breeding
Adult carpet beetles lay their eggs near food source. The eggs hatch into larvae which feed on the surface of the material, or inside the material. The larvae feed for several months, then pupate. Adult beetles emerge in spring or summer. The complete life cycle from egg to adult takes nine to twelve months.

Notes
Infested material should be removed and decontaminated by heat or cold treatment (wrap in black plastic and leave in sun, or freeze for two weeks). Where items cannot be removed, chemical treatment with pesticides registered for use on carpet beetles may be required such as insecticide dust, surface sprays and space-sprays.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Coleoptera
Family:Dermestidae
Genus:Attagenus
Species:unicolor
Common Name:Black Carpet Beetle