This beetle in larval form is common in houses where it usually does little or no noticeable harm, but it is a feared pest in natural history museums, where it can seriously damage biological specimens. While adults are pollen grazers, larvae feed on natural fibers and can damage carpets, furniture, clothing and insect collections. As the beetles are extremely common in gardens in the summer it is impossible to eradicate them completely from a normal home. Regular vacuuming will keep their numbers down.
The larval form is known as a woolly bear, a name it shares with the larvae of Arctia caja and many other moths of the family Arctiidae.
A. verbasci was the first insect to be shown to have an annual circadian rhythm and to date remains a classic example of circannual cycles in animals.