Monday, 8 November 2010

Woolly

I was just wondering what to make the subject of today's blog, when I espied a small creature climbing up the wall.  We've all seen these little creatures from time to time, but few of us have taken any notice.  It is, in fact a Woolly Bear, the larval form of the Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci).  Here seen magnified 10 times.
A nasty little pest in the home, it feeds on natural fibres, damaging carpets, clothing and furniture.  Fortunately, these days, most of us have far fewer 'natural' fibres on which it can feast.  The wide use of polyester, nylon and the like, make our homes less vulnerable.  This picture of it's head end and clearly showing the bristly hairs which give the Woolly Bear it's name, x60.
The larvae usually hatch from eggs in bird's nests, but they will also be found in stored fabrics.  The larvae then take 1 to 3 years to develop into adults, which feed on flower pollen before mating, laying eggs and starting the cycle again.
I got rid of it after taking its photo.  We may not have much in the way of natural fibres these days, but I don't want what little we have, eaten by a Woolly Bear!
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