Species of Textile Pests

At least ten types of textile pests have been recorded in Australia. It is mainly the introduced species, which are commonly found in homes or businesses.

Frequently encountered species include:

  • Case-bearing clothes moth
  • Common or webbing clothes moth
  • Variegated carpet beetle

Rarely encountered species include:

  • Brown house moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella)
  • Tapestry moth (Trichopaga tapetzella)
  • Australian carpet beetle (Anthrenocerus australis)
  • Furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes)
  • Black carpet beetle (Attagenus piceus)

Learn more below about the different types of textile pests found in Australia.

Case-bearing Clothes Moth

(Tineo pellionella)

Appearance

  • Approx. 7-10 mm long.
  • Forewings are silvery-buff with 3 dark spots.

Lifecycle

  • Lifecycle completion usually takes 3-8 months.
  • Larva up to 10 mm long when full grown.
  • Creamy white with dark head.
  • Usually protected in case made of silk and fibres of feeding material.

Habits

  • Can do extensive damage to woollens, felts, upholstered furniture, clothes, etc.

Webbing Clothes Moth

(Tineo/a bissellie/lo)

Appearance

  • Approx. 8-10 mm long.
  • Golden buff in colour.
  • Wings are fringed with no markings.
  • Wingspan about 12 mm.

Lifecycle

  • Completes in 3- 8 months.
  • Larva up to 12 mm long when full grown. Often found in a network of silken tubing.

Habits

  • Can damage a variety of animal products, including wool,fur, skins, clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, and felt.
  • Larvae may be difficult to spot as they hide in a network of silken tubing.

Tapestry Moth

(Trichophago tapatzella)

Varied-Carpet-Beetle

Appearance

  • Forewings dark at base, outer parts creamy white.
  • Wingspan about 19 mm.

Lifecycle

  • Complete in approx. 3-6 months.
  • Larva may grow to about 15 mm long.
  • Prefers coarse materials and constructs silk-lined galleries.

Habits

  • Typically attacks old carpets, feltings and the fur and feathers of stuffed animals.
  • Not very common species.

Variegated Carpet Beetle

(Anthrenus verbasci)

Appearance

  • Approx. 2-3 mm long.
  • Mottled yellow, white and black.
  • Oval shape similar to a ladybird.

Lifecycle

  • Complete in 9-12 months.
  • Larva up to 4-5 mm long when fully fed.

Habits

  • Damages carpets, underfelt, woollens, fur, feathers.
  • Can attack stored items such as cereals and meat products.

Black Carpet Beetle

(Attogenus unicolar)

Appearance

  • Approx. 3-5 mm long.
  • Shiny black to dark brown, with brownish legs.

Lifecycle

  • Completes in 6-12 months.
  • Larva up to 7 mm long when fully fed.
  • Reddish brown covered with stiff bristles.

Habits

  • Relatively widespread and destructive.
  • Often associated with bird- nesting in roof cavities.
  • Amongst others, leather, silk, carpet, and felt all at risk of infestation.

Australian Carpet Beetle

(Anthrenocerus australis)

Appearance

  • Approx. 2-3 mm long.
  • Dark body with lighter markings.
  • Oval shaped.

Lifecycle

  • Lifecycle takes 9-12 months
  • Larva reddish brown, covered with bristles.
  • Elongate oval shaped, with some long hairs trailing from tip of abdomen.

Habits

  • Attacks woollens, carpet, felt and underfelt, as well as stored food [e.g. meat products).

Furniture Carpet Beetle

(Anthrenus flavipes)

Varied-Carpet-Beetle

Appearance

  • Approx. 2-3.5 mm long.
  • Mottled yellow,white and black markings.

Lifecycle

  • Completes lifecycle in 9-12 months.
  • Dark colour larva up to 5 mm long when fully fed.
  • Wide at front, narrow towards the rear.

Habits

  • Can do damage to upholstered furniture, carpets and some stored food products.
  • Not as destructive as black and variegated carpet beetles.