Varied Carpet Beetle Or Bed Bugs

Common Insects Blog — Texas Insect Identification Tools

The three main species of carpet beetles are the varied carpet beetle, the furniture carpet beetle and the black carpet beetle. All of these types are similar in appearance and commonly infest the same types of materials. But, where do carpet beetles come from and how do carpet beetles get in your house? The answer may surprise you.

Often the carpet beetle is confused for bed bugs because people see the adult carpet beetles crawling in their bed, and then wake up with a rash. Since bed bugs tend to feed multiple times in a row, the rash from a carpet beetle can have a similar appearance to bed bug bites, complete with irritating bumps that you'll want to scratch until they start to bleed.

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Varied carpet beetles are black with white, brown, and yellow scales while furniture carpet beetles are black with white, brown, yellow, and orange scales. Varied carpet beetles have small scales in an irregular pattern while furniture carpet beetles have larger scales. The scales for both can wear off over time.

Carpet beetles vary in color depending on type (e.g., varied, black, furniture or common carpet beetles). Sometimes they look like a black and yellow ladybug. They have short antennae and round bodies and might also have irregular brown, orange and white scales or be solid brown or black. Carpet beetles are generally smaller than bed bugs.

So back to the question at hand, 'do carpet beetles live in beds?' While their larvae can and will feed on the fabrics in and around your bed, they do not typically 'live' in your bed like bed bugs can; and people will often confuse carpet beetles and bed bugs. Knowing this, it is important to be able to distinguish between the two.

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