Actual Size: 2.8 to 5 mm
Characteristics: Dark black or brown; twice as long as it is wide.
Wings: Adults have wings and can fly.
Habitat: Live and breed in the soil, often under rocks, logs, leaves, and more.
The black carpet beetle is the most common and most destructive carpet beetle in South Carolina. It destroys any household products that contain keratin, a principal protein found in animal hair and feathers. Plant materials such as cereals and grains, as well as synthetic fabrics not derived from animal matter, may also be attacked. Additionally, dried insect specimens, such as those found in insect collections, are also destroyed.
Outdoors, female beetles search out spider webs, bees, wasp, or bird nests as locations to lay their eggs. These nests and webs contain dead insects, beeswax, pollen, feathers, or other debris that can serve as larval food. Black carpet beetle adults are attracted to flowers, and in the spring, they may fly into homes and buildings. The larvae may wander from the nest into the attic and other parts of the house. Very often, black carpet beetles are brought into the house with old woolens and carpeting. Sometimes, black carpet beetles are introduced into homes or buildings in stored products such as dried dog food.
Black carpet beetles are scavengers. In homes, the black carpet beetle is a pest in kitchen cupboards, as well as in woolen carpets or clothing storage areas. Infestations can stem from bird nests, animal carcasses, or accumulations of dead insects such as flies or lady beetles in attics or basements. Stored products like cereal, pet food, birdseed, are other possible sources of carpet beetles. If you are dealing with a black carpet beetle infestation, always contact your local beetle exterminators.