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1499 Views 1 Reply Last post: Oct 26, 2011 2:35 PM by Tipula - Museum ID team RSS
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Oct 26, 2011 1:26 PM

Please identify

We are continually finding minute larvae in various rooms of the house. They are only 2mm max. in length, whitish with black head and dark rear end, short dark hairs, but not "woolly". Might be related to small black beetles, about the size of a rape pollen beetle, but not hard case, with white spot on each flank.  We have a number of Phalaenopsis orchids about the house, either flowering or resting. Pics attached.
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    Oct 26, 2011 2:35 PM (in response to Moggie)
    Re: Please identify

    Hi Moggie,

     

    These are the larvae of carpet beetles - Anthrenus verbasci, or Anthrenus sarnicus.  These larvae are commonly called woolly bears.  They are a really common household pest and most houses probably have a few of these around at one time or another.

     

    If you are only finding one or two they shouldn't be much of a problem, but as the larvae like to feed on woollens an larger infestation could be bad news for your jumpers and carpets.

     

    The favour hidden nooks and crannies so a good way to get rid of them is to thoroughly hoover in undisturbed corners.  If you have a large infestation you can freeze any affected clothing and perhaps use some household insecticide if you feel the need.

     

    The beetles you describe don't sound like Anthrenus, the pattern sounds more like the two spot carpet beetle Attagenus pellio.  This is a slightly larger beetle, but it is also a common household pest with a similar MO.  The larvae of this species are longer, thinner and less bristly than Anthrenus larvae with a little brush of bristles on the tail.

     

    I have attached a fact sheet for your information

     

    Hannah

    NHM ID Team

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