We recently got a picture and short message from one of our readers in Colorado. She said that she found a worm-like organism in her boyfriend’s apartment and would like to know what the creature is and if it should be a source of concern. She explained that it is small and copper colored:
Although the photograph isn’t super clear, we can still see some distinctive features. The copper colored organism has a segmented body, and when we zoom in to get a better look, we notice the presence of tiny bristle-like hairs sprouting from its body.
We are confident that this creature is a carpet beetle larva. So, now we will move on to our reader’s next question: Should it be a source of concern? The answer to that isn’t as straightforward. Carpet beetle larvae aren’t dangerous or harmful, so as far as health is concerned, our reader doesn’t need to worry. On the other hand, carpet beetle larvae are household pests, which means they can be quite a destructive presence in a household and can be a nuisance to get rid of.
In order to get rid of carpet beetle larvae, our reader will need to find the source of the infestation, remove it from the home, investigate for other potential food sources, and thoroughly clean the areas of these infestations. Our reader should search everything in the vicinity that she noticed the carpet beetle larvae, looking for signs of damage to carpet, couches, clothing, and other materials. She should remove the infested items from the home immediately because they likely are harboring unseen carpet beetle larvae eggs. She can either have the items professionally cleaned or dispose of them. Next, she will need to search around the house to see if the infestation has spread to other areas of the house. She should keep her eye open to damaged materials, other carpet beetle larvae, and carpet beetle larvae skin and feces that get left behind, which look like rust-colored dirt. Once she has removed and cleaned all of the suspicious items, she will need to begin an intense cleaning regime to eliminate all other unseen eggs and to prevent them from returning. This should include doing laundry, dusting, and sweeping every day for about two weeks. Although cleaning this often is surely a headache, it is important to be vigilant when getting rid of carpet beetle larvae because a full-blown infestation can be quite destructive.
To conclude, one of our reader’s discovered a copper colored organism in her boyfriend’s house. We have identified the specimen as a carpet beetle larva, and have advised her on how to get rid of these larvae.