Entomology (Study of Bugs)/past question


Hi! I read an answer of yours from 2011, regarding Carpet Beetles. You included this link in your answer:

I have no carpet nor taxidermy, actually few or none of the things listed as food for the adult beetle. I was cleaning a windowsill in which there are 4 flowering African violets, one of them purchased this past week, the others well established. Found the adult carpet beetles. Is it possible for adult carpet beetles to hitch a ride on flowering plants? For the life of me I can think of no other way they could have come in, and they were around the bottom of the plant recently purchased and moving outward. Thanks for you time, I appreciate it!

Hi, Gail:

Yes, it is certainly possible because the adult beetles feed on flower pollen and nectar.  Still, you'd be surprised at how little it takes to sustain a population of these insects.  They will even regress in their life cycle to whether a temporary absence of food.  They are one of the most amazing and frustrating of all pest insects....

Dust is basically shed skin cells from people and pets, and that is plenty to feed larval carpet beetles.  Even the cleanest homes have carpet beetles at some point.

If you take the precautions in storage and cleaning that I've outlined in previous answers, you should have minimal, if any, problems.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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