The two main species of carpet beetle in Canberra are the Variegated carpet beetle and the Black carpet beetle. The Black carpet beetle is a 3-5 mm-long. The larval form grow to 7 mm in length, are reddish brown in color, and covered with bristles. The Variegated carpet beetle is 2-3 mm long. The larval form grow to 4-5mm, and are covered in brown bristles. Both larval forms feed on natural fibres, damaging carpets, furniture and clothing.
The following general information is courtesy of Wikipedia (online encyclopedia), and the information applies to very similar species of carpet beetle found in Sydney.
The varied carpet beetle is a 3 mm-long beetle that can be a serious household pest. The larval form is known as a woolly bear and feeds on natural fibres, damaging carpets, furniture and clothing.
The National Pest Management Association [USA] offers the following information about the varied carpet beetle:
Color : Black centers, with white, brown and yellow patches in an irregular arrangement Legs: 6 Shape: Round Size: 1/16 Antennae: Yes Varied carpet beetles get their name from the rainbow of color on their back surfaces.
Habits : These pests enjoy dining on carpets, woolen fabrics, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones. It can take 249-354 days to three years for varied carpet beetles to grow from an egg to an adult.
Habitat Varied carpet beetles are found in homes in attics, Oriental carpets, tapestries and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting.
Threats Varied carpet beetles feed on dead insects, but also feed on upholstery and carpet, so they can damage those materials. They can also damage clothing fabric.
Prevention As with moths, to avoid varied carpet beetle infestations, store clothing in plastic containers. Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time.
Hadlington, P. and Marsden, C. (1999) Common Household Pests: A Homeowners Guide to Detection and Control, UNSW Press.