Carpet beetles are very small, round insects that can reach 1/16 inch in length.
Carpet beetles in general are patterned in mottled, checkerboard, or wavy lines with black, white, gray, brown, or orange colors.
These small beetles feed on a wide range of animal and plant products, being severe pest problems in stored foods as well as on wool, hides, furs, feathers, or other materials with animal hair origins. They also feed on dead insects. Outdoors they are often found in birds nests and animal dens where they feed on animal hair and feathers. Indoors, they are often found living under carpets and rugs and in voids where hair and dead insects accumulate. Carpet beetle larvae often wander from room to room in an infested house which can widely spread the infestation.
Adults feed on pollen and nectar and, in summer months, can be found on outdoor plants.
Female carpet beetles can lay 30 to 100 eggs in lint, behind and under baseboards, in cracks or other dark locations. Eggs typically hatch in three weeks. The length of time from egg to adult varies, averaging around 275 days, but extending to almost two years in some circumstances. Larvae shed their skin up to 12 times.
Carpet beetles have the ability to digest animal hairs and feed on anything made of natural fibers including wool and cashmere. They can cause severe damage to carpet and other personal items.