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
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.
So.... I have read up on this critter. It seems taht insecticide control is limited (resitance) but I was thinking of pheromone traps like these: http://www.pestcontroldirect.co.uk/acatalog/Carpet_Beetle_Pheromone_Traps__5_.html
Problem is that it states: PLEASE NOTE: These traps are NOT suitable for the Varied Carpet Beetle (The Varied Carpet Beetle appears to be multi- coloured)
Problem is that I do not really know what beetle it is specifically (as I have never seen an adult beetle knowingly). They are quite pricey and I don't want to waste my cash if it's not going to help.
Any advise on control / eradication (apart from vigilent cleaning) would be most welcome. I appreciate that that this forum may not be the best place to get this advice on eradication and control (after all you are mostly lovers of such insects) but from my perspective I do need to protect my poor socks (and other clothes). Happy to use a bio control though, don't want to blitz everting in the house to kingdom come and don't want to poison my family with horrible insectisides unless I have to.
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."
Thanks for all of that info. I think what I will have to do is performa a bit of a bug hunt this evening when I am home from work. If I find more than I will try to take a better photo.
I suspect that the socks may have been outside on the washing line (close to a small copse of trees) and someting my have simply blown onto the line. I hope this is an isolated beast but will let you know if I manage to find more and manage to take better pictures. I only have a point and shoot with a macro setting and I don't think it will get much better though. The picture was taken with thelense almost touching the creature and it was on the windowsill is fairly bright light.
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?).