Varied Carpet Beetles in Iowa
The varied carpet beetle, which gets its name from the various colors on its back, is considered to be the most common carpet beetle in Iowa. Carpet beetles are small insects that eat carpets and other natural fibers. Carpet beetle larvae are usually the first to catch a homeowner’s eye, as they are frequently striped and are covered in bristles, causing them to appear furry. As these larvae mature, they will shed their “shells,” which is another common way that carpet beetle infestations are identified.
Varied Carpet Beetle Habitat
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. Varied carpet beetles are present in many homes without being noticed. In small numbers, they can actually be beneficial to your home in the sense that they are good at breaking down old organic matter and “cleaning up” after other insects. Adults usually appear in spring or early summer; indoors, you’ll often find them near windows.
Varied Carpet Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers
Carpet beetles are scavengers. In homes, particularly large, old homes, this species commonly becomes entrenched in attics feeding on dead insect remains; it then moves down into the home to infest Oriental rugs, wall hangings, and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting. The varied carpet beetle has been recorded feeding on a great variety of animal and plant products such as carpets, woolen goods, skins, furs, stuffed animals, leather book bindings, and dead insects and spiders. If you believe that your home has fallen victim to a carpet beetle infestation, contact a professional beetle exterminator for treatment.