Textile & Fabric pests
Textile pests include moths and beetles that feed on a natural protein called Keratin. Keratin is found in any textile of animal origin including wool, mohair, silk, animal hair, leather and feathers which could include carpet and furniture.
There are at least ten species of textile pests recorded in Australia, however only a few of these, mainly the introduced species, are commonly encountered.
The clothes moth species occur most frequently in the humid, coastal areas of the continent. Carpet beetles are more likely to be found inland.
For further information regarding specific textile pests please see below.
Variegated Carpet Beetle
2 – 3mm long. Mottled yellow, white and black. No cleft where elytra meet at the end of the abdomen. Oval shape similar to a
Very widespread and destructive. Attacks carpet, under felt, woolens, skins, fur, feathers , horn and other materials such as
cereals, meat products and dead insects
Webbing Clothes Moth
8 - 10mm long. Golden buff. Wings without markings and fringed. Wing span approx. 12mm.
Finding damaged fabric or other materials, sand like larval droppings, cast skins and perhaps live larvae will confirm their activity
Case Bearing Clothes Moth
7 – 10mm long. Fore wings silvery buff with 3 dark spots, sometimes in distinct. Wings fringed. Wingspan approx. 12mm
Very widespread and destructive pests of woolens, felts, upholstered furniture, clothes etc. case of larva is often conspicuous as
it is often incorporated into fibers of materials being attacked.
Black Carpet Beetle
3 – 5mm long. Shiny black to dark brown with brownish legs. Elongate oval shape
Relatively widespread and destructive. Often associated with birds nesting in roof cavities. May attack woolens, silk, carpet, felt,
furs, skins, upholstered furniture, meat products, leathers and various stored foods.
Fore wings dark at base, outer parts are creamy white. Wing span about 19mm
These are rare. Typically attacks old carpets, felting and the fur and feathers of stuffed animals.
Australian Carpet Beetle
2 – 3mm long. Basically black or dark with lighter markings. Oval
Not as destructive as black and variegated carpet beetles. Attacks woolens, carpet, felt and under felt, as well as stored food
Psocids (Book Lice)
1 – 2mm long. Creamy white or greyish. Prominent head with narrow thorax. Wingless and soft bodied.
Mainly a nuisance pest. Fast moving. Found feeding on microscopic moulds on stored foods, paper, books, fabrics and leather.
Usually associated with poor storage conditions that promote excess moisture.