Common in UK, in birds’ nests, domestic premises, museums. Larvae feed on fabrics, carpets, clothing, furs, stuffed specimens. Damage done by larvae, adults harmless.
Eggs – up to 100 per female, laid singly on larval food of animal origin, including woollen carpets, clothing, furs and museum specimens. Hatch in 10 days to 1 month.
Larvae – up to 5 mm, banded appearance covered in short bristles. Known as ‘woolly bear’. 5 moults, several months to develop.
Pupae – inside last larval skin among larval food, usually in spring. Development time 10 days.
Adults – 2-3 mm, active fliers, orange, black, white speckled appearance. Feed on pollen and nectar.
Serious pest of museum specimens, clothing and carpets in domestic situations.
Distribution and Habitat
Found commonly throughout Europe and Britain, the adult beetles fly freely feeding on pollen and nectar on flower heads during the summer months. The larvae need a high animal protein diet and occur naturally in dry birds’ nests. They appear in domestic situations infesting carpets, clothes, animal furs and skins (including stuffed specimens) and are often associated with bird nesting activity in eaves and roof spaces.
Treatment and Control
Various treatments are available including fumigation, residual spray treatments and monitoring. It is essential that in addition to effective, thorough treatment, good advice is given when dealing with this pest to ensure maximum chances of control.
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