It's spring time, and the carpet beetles are coming out to feast. You may not notice these tiny creatures in your garden at first, especially because you don't expect to see them anywhere else other than inside your home in your carpet. Hence the name carpet beetle. These itty bitty bugs dine on dead animals, fur, hair, feathers (you'll even find them in birds nests) dead insects, and things like that. Their diet consists of things that are high in protein. Mainly the female carpet beetles, This is because they need high protein in order to produce eggs, and guess what is high in protein? Pollen.
(Varied Carpet Beetle on cilantro flowers. Photo: Princess Cole)
They're life cycle is dependent on their food source, allowing them to live for just a couple of months, or even years. Carpet beetles can lay 100 eggs or more, and the larval stage lasts between 7 and 30 days. Black and varied carpet beetles only have one generation a year, while others have four.
(Three carpet beetles. Photo: Princess Cole)
There's no need to worry if you see these little guys in your flowers, they won't harm your plants. In fact, because they can fly, they even help pollinate by going from flower to flower. However, you may want to check any cut flowers before bringing them in your home unless you want to invite carpet beetles inside. By the time you even notice the infestation, they would have already ruined your clothes and other natural materials.