Facts about Furniture Carpet Beetles – Anthrenus Flavipes

You may have already known the tiny insects called Furniture Carpet Beetles, which is also known as Anthrenus Flavipes in scientific language.

Since they are so tiny, most people do not see them in their households, but people can easily detect the damage caused by them. 

All over the world, Anthrenus Flavipes are considered pests since they can destroy the upholstered part of the furniture.

Now, a question raises. Why are these tiny destroyers so attracted to our furniture and determined to damage the things that are so dear to us?

You may find its answer among the facts that I am going to share below:

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Furniture carpet beetles feed on animal hair, feathers, and plant fibers.

This means they do not come to our home to destroy our furniture but to ensure their survival.

They love keratin, which is a protein found in the animal hair and feathers. 

They also eat fiber-based products that are made with cotton and silk, especially if those materials are soiled with oil-based stains.

The beetles like a warm environment.

No wonder, why they choose a cozy place to live. They can’t live in a cold climate as it can kill their reproductive cycle.

By living inside fur, feather, wool-based materials, they keep themselves warm and ensure a supply of food for their survival.

Therefore, they are more common in warmer countries. For instance, Southern parts of the United States have more reported cases of the carpet beetles compared to the northern parts.

However, they do not mind living in the northern parts as long as the place is highly insulated.

They do not multiply in a short period.

It is good news. Some people think once the furniture is infected with the beetles, their number multiplies in a very short time. However, that is not true.

According to the University of Florida, the total lifecycle of the insects takes about 12 months.

They go through a full-scale metamorphosis as other insects do. First, they lay eggs, then they emerge as a larva, turn into a pupa, and finally, reach the adult age.  

This means you can eliminate them from your furniture before their number goes out of control.

Furniture Carpet Beetles are not the same as common carpet beetles.

picture of carpet beetle larva
carpet beetle larva

Furniture carpet beetles got their name because they infest primarily upholstered furniture.

People can’t distinguish them from the common carpet beetles easily, especially at the larval stage. It is because, at the larval stage, both of these beetles look so similar.

One way to distinguish the larva of the furniture carpet beetles from that of common carpet beetles is to inspect their outer appearance.

Furniture carpet beetles have long brown hairs on their body, which constantly vibrates. Common carpet beetles do not have that feature.

Furniture carpet beetles are abundant layers.

A single furniture carpet beetle can lay somewhere between 35-100 eggs per cycle. And, each egg is measured to be between 0.35 mm- 0.75 mm. 

The number of eggs is horrible news for the people who are trying to protect their home from these pests. Because they can take over their host once their numbers are multiplied.

Nevertheless, there is good news. The eggs take about 1 to 3 weeks to hatch depending on the room temperature. 

If you catch them on time, you can destroy them with commercial insecticides.

Furniture carpet beetles are more destructive at the larval stage.

At the larval stage, they need to consume adequate protein to transition into other stages of their lifecycle.

Another bad news is that furniture carpet beetles remain in the larval stage for about 2-3 months before pupation occurs.

Overall, it is enough time for the larva to cause heavy damage to your furniture.

Adult furniture carpet beetles have yellow, white, and black scales.

A picture is better than thousand words. Just, have look at the picture below.

Adult Anthrenus Flavipes
Adult Anthrenus Flavipes / Credit: Wikimedia

Their bottom part is white. At the adult stage, they are in an oval shape.

Dry cleaning, washing, and vacuuming will help to eliminate them.

According to specialists, prevention is the best remedy to get rid of these pests.

Washing, dry cleaning, and vacuuming the susceptible materials eliminates the odor that attracts the beetles. Also, thorough cleaning destroys their eggs and disrupts their lifecycle.

Additionally, there are some commercial products that you can spray on to wool, leather, and fur-based materials and susceptible fabrics. Here is the list of insecticides.

Adult beetles do not pose a direct threat to your furniture.

Adults primarily feed on pollen and nectar. 

Although they do not cause direct damage, they are still part of a chain of evil as long as the furniture is concerned.

Generally speaking, the adults spread a destructive population of the beetles by laying a large number of eggs.

They also like fur and wool-based clothing.

This means the furniture is not the only target for them. They gladly eat the parts of the clothing that is made with wool or fur.

Therefore, it is recommended to keeping those types of clothing in colder rooms.

Anthrenus Flavipes (Furniture Carpet Beetles) prefer dried proteins.

We already mentioned that they have an appetite for wool, feather, and fur-based products such as clothing, blankets, upholstered furniture, leather, carpet, etc.…

But, they can also be found outdoors under dead animals. 

Furniture carpet beetles are hard to control, but there are some ways.

It is hard to eliminate them from a household because it is almost impossible to find their origin of infestation.

However, regular cleaning, washing, and vacuuming may prevent their spreading.

Especially, it is recommended to vacuum the edges of wall-to-wall carpets and the surfaces of all of the susceptible materials.

An article posted by Michigan State University suggests that abandoned nests of birds, bees, wasps, and rodents can serve as a home for the carpet beetles as well.

The oil spots on the upholstered furniture are even more attractive for the beetles.

It is because oil ads new aroma and make the material more appetizing for hungry beetles.

We all know that food tastes better with additional seasoning.

These were 13 facts about furniture carpet beetles, also known as Anthrenus flavipes.

I hope, you found it informative and valuable for your needs.

If you have something to add about these pests, please share them in the comments section.

By Arslan Batyrovich

Founder of
Writer, Researcher, Fact-finder, and All-in-one
Loves nature, Likes history, and Adores anything interesting
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