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Carpet beetles and fur beetles 

Facts about carpet beetles and fur beetles 

  • Little is known about the fur beetle but they are similar to carpet beetles
  • They are often found in foodstuffs and occasionally in grain
  • Adult carpet beetles seek the light and live out doors on plants but can be found roaming indoors
  • Carpet beetle larvae, known as 'woolly bears', avoid the light and live indoors, usually in dark, quiet places. Larvae are also often found in bird's nests and usually beetles gain access to properties via the loft from bird's nests in the eaves. They usually spread down in to the property via the airing cupboard

How can you identify a carpet or fur beetle? 

Carpet beetles
  • Image of carpet beetle shown at top of the fact sheet
  • The carpet beetle is approximately 3 millimetres in size
  • It is dark brown or black mottled with patches of white or yellow scales

Fur beetles

  • The fur beetle is slightly larger at 5mm
  • It is black except for small patches of white hair on either side near their middle

What damage do they cause? 

Whilst adults feed on flowers, the larvae require food of animal origin. They can cause considerable damage to carpets, clothes, wool, leather and silk, but will not attack man-made fibres.

Prevention and treatment

  • The best way to attack a carpet beetle problem is prevention!
  • Vacuum regularly (especially in areas under storage heaters or at the skirting junction)
  • Old bird's nests, animal remains and dead insects are sometimes the cause of infestation and should be removed if found
  • If the problem continues, spray with an insecticide specifically for indoor use on carpet beetles/crawling insects. These should be sprayed on floorboards, in cracks and gaps around skirting boards

Note: When using pesticides or chemicals always read the label before using.


    Treatment we provide 

    We offer a free identification service. You will need to catch the insect, seal it securely in a clear plastic container labelled with your name, address and telephone number. You can contact us for a suitable container.

    You should then send it us by post at the address shown below or you can take it to one of the following offices: 

    Barking Office: Barking Learning Centre, 2 Town Square, Barking, IG11 7NB

    Dagenham Office: Housing Enquiries Office, 2 Stour Road, Dagenham, RM10 7JF

    Our qualified pest officers will identify the beetle and contact you to let you know what type of beetle it is. We recommend that you treat for biscuit beetles yourself. However, our pest control officers can visit and treat using an insecticide spray pesticide for which there is a charge.


    For information about charges please visit Charges

    Methods of payment 

    • Cash - the exact amount as no change can be given
    • Cheque - supported by a cheque guarantee card
    • Credit Card - by telephone when booking the appointment

    Important: If you are paying by cash and do not have the exact amount, please note that treatment will not be carried out.

    Please note:
    We require 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment. If you fail to keep an appointment and do not notify us at least 24 hours before, a £10 fee will be incurred. No further service will be provided until this fee has been paid.

    How to contact us 

    If you would like further advice or need to make a pest control appointment please contact Barking and Dagenham Direct.

    Pest Control

    Business Support Team

    Roycraft House

    15 Linton Road


    IG11 8HE


    Phone: 020 8215 3010

    Email: pestcontrol@lbbd.gov.uk