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8556 Views 7 Replies Last post: Aug 8, 2012 7:18 PM by Episcophagus RSS
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Aug 8, 2012 8:59 AM

Help Identifying bug found in sock drawer

Hi all,


I found this little critter in my sock drawer today (next to my bed) buried in a rolled up pair of wool socks.  I think it will be one of the following:


Clothes moth caterpillar

Bed Bug

Carpet beetle larvae


It is (was) approx. 3mm long and 1.5mm wide.  It's the first time I have ever seen one of these.  I know the wife hangs the clothes out to dry in the summer so was wondering if it was a simple case of someting that just dropped onto the clothes line.


I could do with somone confirming what it is and also, as importantly, if it is possibly damaging, what can be done to rid my drawers of them without poisoning myself.


Insect in Sock 002.JPGInsect in Sock 005.JPG

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 8, 2012 9:50 AM (in response to pauljs)
    Re: Help Identifying bug found in sock drawer

    It is the larva of a sock-drawer bug! Well, they are more commonly known as carpet beetles (Anthrenus sp.).

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        Aug 8, 2012 10:47 AM (in response to pauljs)
        Re: Help Identifying bug found in sock drawer


        I've tried to increase the brightness in the photos (they are a bit underexposed), but still I'm not sure. It could be Anthrenus verbasci, but I think not. Please read the paragraph about larvae in our info sheet coppied below and see if you can establish if your specimen is A. verbasci or A. museorum. A. fuscus is another common beetle in this group. Your specimen looks more like A. museorum / fuscus to me, because of its more uniform brown plates on its back. To be sure, you would have to examine the individual hairs with a microscope, because they have a different shape for each species.

        I hope this helps.




        "The larvae of carpet beetles are called woolly bears because of their bodies being covered in hairs (= setae). The Varied Carpet Beetle larva has unevenly coloured tergites (= plates on its back covering its body segments); the ones in the middle are lighter brown, the three thoracic tergites just behind the head and the very last four abdominal tergites are visibly darker. The head is always light brown to orange, even when the tergites are quite dark. The last three abdominal segments carry thick tufts of special hairs growing backwards which are characteristic to the genus Anthrenus. The larva of the closely related Museum Beetle A. museorum is different in that all of its tergites are evenly coloured dark brown, and its head is also dark brown. Due to the small size of the larvae (4–4.5 mm) and because the differences between different stages of the same larva may be larger than differences between species, larvae are reliably identified only in their latest stage. Even so, separating related species is impossible without very powerful microscopes."

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        Aug 8, 2012 7:18 PM (in response to pauljs)
        Re: Help Identifying bug found in sock drawer

        Well, men who believe in pheromones never change socks!

        Actually there are many species belonging to more than one genus that are called carpet beetle, and pheromones - if they work at all - ought to be species specific (or do you like the smell of chimpanzee feet?).

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