The furniture carpet beetle undergoes complete metamorphosis, passing through the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The complete life cycle requires four to 12 months depending upon the temperature.
Adults: Adults of the furniture carpet beetle are round, 2 to 3.5 mm long, and black with a yellow and white mottling of scales on the back, and thick yellow scales on the legs. Color patterns vary but the adults can be distinguished from other species of carpet beetles by examining the body scales with a hand lens. The furniture carpet beetle has round or oval scales while other carpet beetle scales are long and narrow. Adults may be found feeding on the pollen of flowers, but do not cause damage to the flower. The adult furniture carpet beetle has a life span of 30 to 60 days.
Eggs: Females lay 35 to 100 white, oval eggs that are visible upon inspection. The eggs are 0.35 mm wide and 0.75 mm long and are deposited in cracks and crevices near the larval food source. Eggs hatch in one to three weeks.
Larvae: The larval stage of the furniture carpet beetle is responsible for causing damage. The larva is 5 mm long, oval, and covered with brown hair. The larva of the common carpet beetle, Anthrenus scrophulariae, is difficult to distinguish from that of the furniture carpet beetle. One way to distinguish the furniture carpet beetle from the common carpet beetle is to look for the presence of a long pencil of hairs at the end of the body that continually vibrates, which is indicative of the furniture carpet beetle. Larval color is dependent on the color of the food substrate. The number of larval instars may vary from six to 12 and requires two to three months before pupation occurs.