A reader reached out to us because she discovered some worms in a bag that contained old toilet paper. She explained that she was given some toilet paper that had been in storage for many years. When she opened the bag she noticed a few dark brown bugs on the toilet paper. She quickly put the toilet paper in a sealed plastic bag and doesn’t want to look into the bag again. She wants to know if we have any ideas as to what these creatures are. She didn’t include a photograph with her message, but she did disclose that the creatures are dark brown and the toilet paper smelled like old books.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to provide our reader with a definite identification without a photograph (the photo featured with this article is from a previous article on carpet beetle larvae) or more details about the creatures besides what color they are. Since we know they are dark brown and eating the toilet paper, we think these creatures might be carpet beetle larvae.
Carpet beetle larvae are extremley common household pests. Since these larvae have such a wide range of potential food sources, readers find them in all rooms of their homes. Carpet beetle larvae eat carpet, upholstered furniture, animal products, linens, dust, and other fibers including toilet paper. Our reader should just throw out the bag and check the area around where the bag was to ensure there aren’t any other larvae hiding.
To sum up, one of our readers discovered dark brown worms in a bag of old toilet paper. We think these might be carpet beetle larvae, since carpet beetle larvae are dark brown and potentially eat toilet paper. Of course it is also very possible that these mystery dark brown worms are something else, we just can’t say for sure without a picture.