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There are a number of pests which will attack clothing and furnishings in the home. They fall into two basic categories: moths and beetles.

Due to the industrial mothproofing of carpets, the threat of damage by moths has reduced markedly, but they can still be found in older houses where carpets have not been treated.

However, the incidence of beetle varieties has increased due to the installation of central heating and wall-to-wall carpeting in many modern houses.There are many species of textile pest, but we shall concentrate on the most common types:

Clothes moths, and varied carpet beetles.



Textile pests can cause a considerable amount of damage to many fabrics. The adult insect does not feed, but the larvae will chew their way through the fibres of carpets and clothing causing clean irregular holes. In feeding they show a preference for textiles of an animal origin

including carpet, woollens, skins and furs. However, they will damage other fabrics by simply biting through and discarding the fibres without consuming them.

In all cases it is not the adult, but the larval form that causes the damage. It is therefore appropriate to describe the appearance of both the adult and the larva.




In a heavily infested home they may be found anywhere where there are carpets or woollens etc. The larvae are commonly found in dark undisturbed places such as beneath heavy furniture, inside cupboards, in drawers and in airing cupboards.


The adults are attracted to light and tend to be found on window sills and around lamp shades. Infestations of the varied carpet beetleand the fur beetle often originate from old birds' bests in a loft space and then spread throughthe home by following hot water pipes etc.



anthrenus verbasci carpet beetle

If you are looking for more information on the pest that is affecting you, click on the links below: