Textile Pest Species

Textile pests are scavengers of natural fibres such as wools, silks, feathers, animal hair and fur. Damage is done by the larval stage of the beetle, while adults feed on flowers and shrubs.

Varied Carpet beetles are a common pest in museums and homes


3 mm long, ladybird shape.
Patterns vary according to species but often a mixture of black, white and yellow.
Larva are 4-5 mm long.
Brown and hairy with three bunches of spear-headed hairs either side of the rear segments.
Pupa are formed in the last larval skin. Duration 10 to 30 days.

Life Cycle

Normally one generation per year but possibly two in warm temperatures.

The larvae of Fur Beetle commonly attack furs, skins, woollens, etc. and stored grain.


Adults are 4 - 6mm long.
Elongate oval.
One small patch of white on each wing case, otherwise red-brown to black.
Larva are 6mm long. Long orange tufts of hair on the last abdominal segment. Larvae have a banded appearance.
Pupa are formed in the last larval skin.

Life Cycle

Mating takes place outdoors after which they fly indoors to lay eggs.
Normally one generation per year but development may extend to three years depending on environmental conditions.


A common inhabitant of birds' nests.
Adults feed outdoors often on Spiraea plants.

The Leather Beetle is also known as Skin or Hide beetle. Some species, commonly called "bow bugs," infest violin cases, feeding on the bow hair.


Adult are 6 - 10mm in length.
Uppermost is black, underside is white.
Larva are similar in appearance to a Larder beetle (comet shaped, brown and hairy) but with an orange stripe running down the length of the back.

Life Cycle

2 - 3 months at 18 - 25 °C.


Scavenger feeding on various animal materials such as skin, feathers, animal hair and dried fish.
Pupates in solid material, e.g. wood.
Quantity of white on the underside may vary according to species.
Adults fly readily.

Once you know the signs to look for, it can be fairly simple to spot evidence of a textile pest infestation. Regular inspections and monitoring can help to identify a problem early to ensure fast and effective textile pest treatment. Taking immediate action can greatly reduce the risk of long term damage to sensitive items like woollen carpets and textile items of historic and cultural significance.

Textile Pest Signs

Apart from damage, other visible signs of an infestation also exist. In general, beetle larvae tend to concentrate damage in one main area of an item whereas moth larvae create more scattered areas of damage.

Evidence of activity

Live or dead adult insects - such as carpet beetles or textile moths, often found gathered around window openings are an indication of an infestation.

Damage - often caused to natural fabric items such as carpets, tapestries, rugs, leather book bindings, upholstered furniture, silks and feathered items.

Check for signs of damage on pillows, mattresses, cushions and furniture with traditional fillings such as feathers or horse hair. Brushes and paint brushes made with natural bristles, and pads and felts in woodwind instruments (especially if stored for long periods of time) are also at risk.

Faeces and shed skin - carpet beetle larvae produce faecal pellets about the size of a salt grain and shed brown shell like cast skins. These will be concentrated in the source area of infestation.

Larvae - textile pest larvae prefer to hide in quiet, dark, undisturbed locations such as under large items of furniture (that are not often moved) or in wardrobes or closets. Carpet beetle larvae have alternate light and brown striped bodies and are covered with dense tufts of hair, giving them the nick name "woolly bears".

You must check for eggs of textile pests, as they are often laid in air ducts, cupboards, wardrobes, under furniture as well as on textiles and fabrics.

Many textile pests are carried by birds as they nest in eaves or lofts in buildings. When birds leave their nests, the textile pests will then move into the building in search of alternative food sources.

Steps to Take to Control Textile Pests

Not sure if you have a problem? Look out for these textile pest signs.

Regular inspection of textiles to monitor for adult beetle or moth activity.

Routine vacuuming of carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture and fabric-covered items that cannot be laundered. Always take care when emptying the vacuum as eggs, larvae and adult textile pests will still be alive.

Where possible, launder fabrics and textiles on a regular basis to eliminate eggs and larvae.

Invest in professional bird proofing of your premises so that birds cannot roost or make nests that could harbour textile pests.

Experts in Textile Pest Control

All our BPCA (British Pest Control Association) certified technicians understand the habits of textile pests, such as beetles and moths, ensuring effective and targeted treatment.

Bites found in different parts of the body can indicate being bitten by several different bed bugs. Bites often occur at night when we are sleeping. Bed bug bites are unlikely to wake the victim, as bed bugs inject an anaesthetic whilst drawing blood from the host (victim).

Regular monitoring and professional solutions can effectively eliminate an infestation without harming delicate items or valuable artefacts such as in museums or antique dealers.

A professional service is critical to help identify your invading pest species and offer a tailored solution for successful control. The term textile pest covers a wide range of pest species, which may respond better to different methods of control.

Peskills Service for Textile Pests

We offer a specific 'integrated textile pest monitoring and control package' tailored to suit your individual business needs.

Our aim is to resolve the infestation safely and effectively with the minimum of fuss and disruption to your business.

Our Service Benefits

FREE business site survey - at a convenient time, we will carry out a full, in-depth and free inspection of your business premises to assess the level of infestation.

Targeted treatment plan - we will plan an appropriate treatment based on the level of infestation and any proofing requirements. Treatment details and price will be provided to you, and also emailed, for consideration.

BPCA certified technicians - we will regularly inspect your premises using a range of textile pest monitors to identify the exact pest species before they cause damage.

Regular visits - the number and frequency of visits to your site will depend on the infestation levels and treatment requirements.

Targeted pH neutral treatments - our pH neutral insecticide spray treatments quickly reduce textile pests within the infected areas without harming fabrics.

Heat Pod treatment - our chemical free Heat Pod treatment will eliminate all life stages of pest insects from egg to larvae, pupa and adult by heating the infected items to a controlled temperature for a set time period.

Controlled Atmosphere Technology (C.A.T) - our method uses inert gases such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide to create an anaerobic atmosphere in which textile pests are eliminated, whilst leaving no harmful residue contamination or degradation of delicate objects treated.

Legal compliance - we will tailor treatments to your individual business ensuring compliance to all necessary regulations and legislation.

Prevention advice - our surveyor or technician will offer advice on how to prevent textile pest infestations in the future.

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