Carpet beetles are varied in color, generally being black or brownish and often speckled. Carpet beetles may take up to three years to complete a life cycle.
The beetle eggs hatch in 17 to 18 days emerging in the Spring and can usually be found where carpet meets the walls and other areas such as wall or ceiling voids, attics, rodent baits, wasp and hornet nests, and animal trophies. The adults live short lives from 14 to 40 days.
The larvae are responsible for damage to household items. They feed on a wide variety of materials including; hair, fur, feathers, hides, horns, carcasses, dead insects, cereal, stored grain, nuts, seeds, cayenne peppers, and flour. They love your clothes, will eat your drapes and make a mess out of your carpet. On fabrics they mostly graze on the surface but can also make irregular shaped holes. On furs they will cut the hairs at the base and leave the hide undamaged giving a bare appearance. They hide well and you may not find them until the damage is done. Some carpet beetles will feed on the food products in pantries.
Adults beetles feed largely on pollen and nectar and they are commonly carried into homes on flowers. Some carpet beetles species require pollen for successful production of eggs.