The adult beetle is about 1/8th of an inch long, oval in shape with short club shaped antennae. Thorax and wing cases are covered in white, pale yellow, brown and black patches. Their shape is rather like ladybird beetles and they are often seen during April to June. The larvae of the beetle, known as "woolly bears" are short brown hairy grubs up to 1/5th of an inch long and have dense tufts of golden hairs on each side of the hind part of the body. The eggs are laid in materials suitable as food for the larvae such as wool, silk, fur or feathers. Dead birds or disused nests in roof spaces are a common site. The larvae alone do the damage by eating irregular shaped holes in carpets, rugs or similar materials and they may even be seen crawling up walls or on shelves in cupboards or wardrobes.
Where one or two beetles or larvae are discovered, it is unlikely that much damage will have occurred and a radical investigation of all carpets, under felts and woollen material on the premises would not appear to be justified. Nevertheless, extra vigilance should be exercised for any evidence of damage in these materials.
Additional attention should be paid to cleaning carpets or woollens especially by vacuum cleaner or stiff brush. Woollens or similar material not in regular use should be stored in polythene bags. Old birds nests should be removed if present. Advice from a professional pest control operative should be sought before dealing with pesticides and insecticides.
Last updated Thursday, 6th December 2018